Here are 10 things you didn't know about chickens.
Besides dogs and cats, we probably are more familiar with chickens than any other animal. But there's more to them than how they taste.
Here are 10 things you may not know about them.
Number 10. They lay eggs of many colors. In addition to white and brown, chicken eggs naturally come in green and blue. It’s not a guessing game, either. The breed of the chicken determines what hue their eggs will be.
Number 9. Chickens are the closest living relatives of the T-Rex. In fact, one team of researchers strapped a fake dinosaur tail onto one to get an idea about how the killer dinosaur walked.
Number 8. They have built-in birth control. During mating a hen will take many roosters, but can choose which one will be the proud papa. Females have the ability to eject the sperm they don’t want.
Number 7. Chickens are capable of empathy. In an experiment the moms were monitored while their chicks were hit with an uncomfortable puff of air. The grown-ups watching exhibited the same stressed responses as their offspring.
Number 6. They have a specialized spoken language. They communicate with one another using at least 24 specific vocalizations. Each of them carries a different message.
Number 5. Chickens can tell who’s who in the coop. They can differentiate individuals within their flock and also recognize human faces they’ve seen in the past.
Number 4. Hens talk to their unborn chicks. While the little ones are still growing inside the shell, mothers begin to call to them. Once they’ve developed enough to respond the chicks join in the conversation.
Number 3. Eggs can contain another egg. It rarely happens, but sometimes doubles do occur. It’s the result of irregular contractions that send an already developing egg back to the ovary. Once it’s back at the starting point, another shell forms around it.
Number 2. Double yolks predict a marriage. That’s according to an old wives’ tale that says when there are two sunshine centers, a friends’ nuptials will soon be celebrated. One woman in New Zealand cracked open an egg with 8 yolks, but it’s unknown if 4 weddings followed.
Number 1. Eggs fully form in 26 hours. Given that, a single chicken can produce over 250 of them in a year. The record holder, however, laid over 370 of them in a 12-month period.
Which chicken fact do you find most interesting?