Did you know that chickens actually store away gravel inside their bodies to aid in the digestive process? Chickens (and other birds) have a special organ called a gizzard. When chickens eat, they ingest bits of gravel and stones. These stones (called gastroliths) are stored away inside the gizzard, and help to grind the harder parts of the chicken’s meal, such as seeds, during digestion. Another interesting fact is that domestic chickens aren’t altered in any way to keep them from flying away. They can fly only very short distances. Free roaming chickens often like to fly up the lower limbs of trees, where they will roost at night.
Chickens are smarter than they often assumed to be. Recent studies show that chickens have different vocalizations to differentiate between airborne and ground predators, that they use to warn their fellow chickens. Chickens are also becoming more popular as pets, and are sometimes kept to control the insect population in gardens, as well as for their eggs. The Bantam and Silkie breeds are particularly popular as pets, as they are smaller than normal chickens, but they also produce smaller eggs. Some are even kept as “show chickens” and displayed at livestock shows, not unlike show breeds of dogs. The average lifespan of a chicken is six years, but they can live up to ten. The world record for longest living chicken is sixteen years.
Want to know more about chickens? Check out Our Feathered Friends, on DE streaming!