- The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids


Chicken Facts

Size 8-22 in (20-55 cm)
Speed Unknown
Weight 4.4-11 lb (2-5 kg)
Lifespan 5-8 years (world record is 14 years)
Food Grass, grain, insects; sometimes mice
Predators -
Habitat Worldwide
Order Galliformes
Family Pasianidae
Scientific name Gallus gallus domesticus
Characteristics Comb on its head; wattle under its beak

Main Characteristics

Author NaimaChicken Evolution

The original chickens (red junglefowl) live in the jungles of South-East Asia. Around 4,000 years ago, people in the jungles of South-East Asia kept red junglefowl - kind of the original chickens.

Chicken Chicken - Photo: Jakkrit Phomwong/Shutterstock


There are now around 200 different chicken breeds, bred for different purposes. Some breeds lay a lot of eggs, others grow quickly and are used for meat, and others just look nice.

Rooster Rooster - Photo: Bosko/Shutterstock


From Egg to Chicken

The number of eggs a hen lays varies according to her breed. She will then incubate them for 21 days. At the beginning, the eggs are turned several times a day. The egg then stays still for the last two or three days. The chick opens the eggshell with its egg tooth (the “tooth” on its beak). The chick can walk from the moment it hatches.

Do Brown Hens Lay Brown Eggs?

Do brown chickens lay brown eggs? No, that’s a myth. If this was true, black and white chickens would lay black and white eggs. The color of the egg depends on the breed, not the coloring. The Araucana chicken, for example, lays green eggs.

Fledgling Fledgling - Photo: PCHT/Shutterstock

Chicken Farming

Male Chicken

We’ve all been there: you go into a fast food restaurant and order a portion of chicken nuggets. What’s this tasty snack made from? Happy chickens that were killed after a long, happy life? No! Quite the opposite. Most of these chickens only lived for a short time, and never even saw the sun. Male chicks are sorted, suffocated and used to make nuggets and similar products.

This fact sheet was submitted by fan Naima. Thanks for your amazing article! Do you want to write a fan fact sheet?

Chicken Eggs Chicken Eggs - Photo: Lungkit/Shutterstock

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