Little-known Chicken Facts

Little-known Chicken Facts
1. A  hen  can  lay  about  320  eggs  per  year  at  her  highest  production.  This  number decreases as the hen ages.

2. Only one country andone continent are fowl free- Vatican City and Antarctica.

3. Mexicans eat more than 400 eggs per year, almost three times the global average. Americans eat more than 80 pounds of chicken a year, four times the world average and more than any other major nationality.

4. The first known image of a rooster dates back to around 1300 BC.

5. In ancient times, Persians held the rooster in such esteem it was forbidden, as it was among Hindus, to eat them.

6. In Greece chickens became the sacred animal of a half dozen gods and goddesses, and during Rome’s heyday they predicted the outcome of battles.

7. Today, one of the most prominent film awards in China is a statue of a golden rooster.

8. Chickens were likely first domesticated not for food, but for religious ritual and gambling.

9. The Globe Theater in London was designed primarily for cock fights rather than  Shakespearian performances.

10. Common phrases like "battle royal," "showing pluck," "remain cocky," and "cockpit," are all references associated with cockfighting.

11. Roosters, also commonly referred to as “cocks,” actually have no penis.

12. The rooster is the national emblem of France and one of the oldest symbols of  the Democratic Party in the United States.

13. Raising chickens was the only private enterprise that plantation owners like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson allowed their slaves. As a result, African Americans laid the foundation for today’s poultry industry.

14. Queen Victoria launched development of the modern chicken in the 1840s, and women were at the forefront of the chicken business for the subsequent century.

15. Commercial laying hens living cage free are not necessarily better off than those packed into wire enclosures.

16. Until last year, three kinds of arsenic were commonly used in chicken feed.

17. Imports of American chicken are banned in the European Union.

18. Chicken soup is proven to be good, and flu vaccine is made from chicken eggs.

19. Broiler-fryers, roasters, stewing/baking hens, capons and Rock Cornish hens are all  chickens.

Image source:By Rob Farrow, CC BY-SA 2.0,

20. In  the  wild,  chickens  can  live  for  5-11  years,  but  their  life  is  many  years  shorter (usually 1-2 years) on a farm. 

21. Chickens can recognize and remember about 100 other chickens.

22. Chickens clean themselves by taking dust baths. 

23. Chickens have nerve  endings in their  beaks,  meaning de-beaking (beak trimming)  is painful, unlike many people believe. 

24. More  than  90%  of  Canada’s  egg-laying  hens  are  confined in  small  cages  called "battery cages". They are often grouped 4-6 to a cage. 

25. Free roaming chickens walk about 3 kilometres a day.

26. Eggs  are  graded  by  weight  and  quality  (shell quality, interior quality, and the size of the air cell located at the larger end of the egg). Eggs are classified as Grade A, B or C. 

27. Omega-3  enhanced  eggs  are  from  hens  that  are  fed  an  all-vegetarian  diet  with significant  amounts  of  ground  flaxseed.  As  a  result,  these  eggs  are  a  source  of omega-3 fatty acids. 


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