10 Fast Facts about Chickens

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 22 July 2020

Chickens are, without a doubt, one of the most interesting critters to own. To know them, is to fall madly in love with their beauty, their entertaining antics, and their sweet clucky chitter-chatter. These intelligent and very sociable chooks can “worm” their way into your heart within seconds. So, let’s take a peek at what makes them unique.

1. On average, chickens tend to live to be 5-8 years of age.

2. Chickens have an eclectic palate. They’re happy to devour your kitchen scraps, veggies and the “fruits of your labour” from your garden. They also love to eat bugs and worms, seeds and nuts, grass and wait for it…weeds! They will happily polish off a plate of scrambled eggs for an egg-stra dose of protein too!

3. Chickens clean themselves by preening- they gather oil, using their beak, from a tiny gland located near their tail and then peck at their feathers. They will also take a dust bath where they basically just roll and flop around in dry dirt or sand. They use their wings to spread the dirt onto their skin and throughout their feathers, then proceed to shake it all off!

backyard chickens preening themselves

4. Equipped with a third eyelid, chooks use this transparent and horizontally moving lid to moisten their eyes and protect against other chickens’ pecking.

5. Hens produce an egg approximately every 25 hours and they are able to lay eggs completely without the help of a rooster! Hens will lay an average of 100-365 eggs per year. That’s a LOT of eggs!

6. They come equipped with egg-straordinary wings, but most don’t fly well and they cannot swim.


7. Molting occurs once a year, usually during the cooler temperatures and at approximately 16-18 months of age.

8. In very hot weather, a chicken can drink up to 1 litre of water per day.

9. Chickens’ combs occur in quite a variety of styles, some of which are single, rose, pea, cushion,  V, carnation, buttercup, cushion, and walnut shapes.

surprised longhorn rooster

10. Chicken droppings help to make egg-cellent fertilizer for you gardens and free-ranged chickens lay much healthier eggs!  Yay!

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With so many interesting facts about our feathered friends, it's understandable why they make amazing pets. Along with all the benefits, there are plenty of practical things to consider when becoming a chicken parent from health to nutrition. You'll want the right information to help you raise a happy, healthy flock. Many chicken keepers struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, especially in the first few years of having a flock.

This is why I recommend Chickenpedia to all my readers. They have comprehensive online courses on everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, you’ll find beginner-friendly courses that’ll give you the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your chickens.

As a member, you will get access to ALL their fantastic courses. No need to wing it, become the ultimate chicken eggspert! Check out Chickenpedia today!

Sources and further reading