All About Chickens

Chicken Activities for Kids and Teachers

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Chicken Facts

Chickens are domestic or farm birds. The live span of a chicken is about 10 to 15 years. The male is larger and more brightly colored than the female. This is common feature in birds. The males show off their colorful feathers to attract the females.

A chicken has a comb on the head and two wattles under the neck. The male has a larger comb compared to the female. The male is called a rooster. The female is called a hen while the young are called chicks. The female is usually ready to lay her first eggs when she is around six months old.

The morning call your hear on the farm every morning is actually the rooster crowing "cock-a-doodle-doo". The female is called a hen and she goes "cluck-cluck". The young are called chicks and they go "chick-chick".

What do chickens eat?

Chickens eat worms, insects, seeds, grains, snails, slugs, fruits, vegetables and many other foods. The gizzard which is a part of the stomach contains tiny stones to help grind up the food.

Who are the chicken's enemies?

Animals like the hawks, bobcats, snakes, skunks, owls, raccoons, foxes and opposums prey on chickens.

Breeds of chickens

There are approximatelty 175 varieties of chickens. They are grouped into 12 classes and approximately 60 breeds based on geographical areas :
- Asiatic, American, Continental, English, Mediterranean
See below for some of the different breeds :

  • Bantams. These are miniature chicken breeds.
  • Plymouth Rock. Originated in the United States.
  • Marans. They are small breeds preferred for their eggs rather than meat.
  • Leghorns. Most popular commercial breed. Usually white in color.
  • Rhode Island Red Chicken. This is a very popular breed of chicken.

Usually raised for their meat and eggs and sometimes as show birds.

Life-Cycle of a chicken

The hen does not need a rooster to lay eggs. However, the eggs will not hatch because they are not fertilized. Chicken eggs come in different colors like white, brown, blue or bluish green and pink. The unique blue eggs come from the Araucana breed, from South America. Most chickens will stop laying eggs when the weather is cold. They will start laying when it gets warmer again.

How long does it take for a chicken egg to hatch?

A hen lays an average of 300 eggs per year. The hen will sit on her eggs to keep them warm so that they will hatch into chicks. A fertilized egg starts developing into a chicken when its temperature reaches 86 degrees farenheight. A chicken takes 21 days to hatch.

Have you ever seen a chicken laying an egg? Well, this video clips shows a chicken laying an egg very clearly.
Click here to watch the video

Chickens by Oklahoma State University Board of Regents
Different breeds and description of each breed. Very good site.

Pure Breeds of Traditional Utility Poultry
Different breeds and short description of each breed.

Prairie Chickens and the Prairie in Illinois
Take a look at this very interesting classroom project by 3rd and 4th Grade Classrooms

IACUC Learning Module - Poultry
POULTRY (Chickens and Turkeys) "Take-Home" module

Broiler Chickens
Information Sheet

How do Chickens Balance?
An interesting question and answers given.

How to Have Eggsceptional Laying Hens
Answers to all your questions.

Chickscope Embryology: The 21-day Chick Lifecycle
Illustrated stages of the egg from embryo to chick. Very good site.

4-H Embryology
Photos of a chick hatching. Very good site. Must see. Watch video clips. Very good site.

Museum of Science and Industry : Chick Hatchery
Watch a video clip of a chick hatching. Good. Very good site.

Chickscope EggMath: The Shape of an Egg
Learn about the oval shape in detail

Sci4Kids - Going Coo Coo for Chicken
Interesting facts about chicken feathers what they can be used for.

The Coop : The online poulty community
Talk with others

Raising Chickens is Easy with a Henspa or Henhaven
The Henspa is a complete chicken coop system designed to eliminate mess, make feeding and watering a snap and provide you with up to 10 eggs a day from up to 10 hens

CHICKEN WORKSHEETS AND CHICKEN COLORING ACTIVITIES

Going coo coo for Chicken
Questionaires - worksheets and what chicken by-products can be used for. Pdf format available there too.

CHICKEN LESSON PLANS AND RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS

All About Chickens
Facts, ideas, printables and more. Good site.

Embroyology in the classroom
Teachers' Resources. Good site.

Egg & Chick Theme Page
Activities, ideas, links and printables.

From Egg to Chick
Raising chicks and activities for the classroom with eggs

From Egg to Chicken
This is a cross curricular thematic unit on chick embryology and egg production. It will take the students through the lifecycle of a chicken and more.

The Topic: Eggs
Everything about eggs. Links to Lesson Plans and more.

The Little Red Hen Crafts and Lesson Plan Printable Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten
Good site.

Life Cycle of a Chicken Poster
Free colorful printables for the preschool classroom

CHICKEN CLIPARTS AND GRPAHICS

Free Stuff Animations
Chicken animations

Chickens - Hen standing - Free Bird Clipart

Hen on nest clipart

Hen on nest clipart

CHICKEN ACTIVITIES AND GAMES

John's Chicken Activities
Ideas for games and more from a Master Teacher in pdf format.

Egg Fun
Recommended Age Groups: early or later Elementary

CHICKEN SONGS AND CHICKEN POEMS

Chicken Dance Song
Original lyrics. Sing along with the music format.

Chicken
Lyrics to kids songs format.

Hickety, Pickety, My Black Hen
Rhebus Rhyme

Eggs
Songs, Rhymes, Stories, Activities, Crafts - eggs.

CHICKEN CRAFTS

Eggshell Mosaic. Age : 5 +
Hatch a chick
String eggs. Age 5+
Claypot chick. Age 3-5

CHICKEN STORIES

The Adventures of Ready Rooster
Story coloring book about safety on the farm. Very nice.
The Further Adventures of Ready Rooster
Story coloring book about safety on the farm. Very nice.

BOOKS

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