Chicken Glossary

Everything you ever wanted to know about chickens and more......

Air Cell - the empty space between the white and shell at the large end of the egg.

Albumen - also known as egg white. Albumen accounts for most of an egg's liquid weight, about 67%. It contains more than half the egg's total protein, niacin, riboflavin, chlorine, magnesium, potassium, sodium and sulfur.

Alektorophobia - fear of chickens (which you will no longer have after reading this).

Bantam - (banty)- small chickens: not a breed.

Biddy - referring to a hen.

Blood spots - also called meat spots. Occasionally found on an egg yolk. Contrary to popular opinion, these tiny spots do not indicate a fertilized egg. Rather, they are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel on the yolk surface during formation of the egg or by a similar accident in the wall of the oviduct. Less than 1% of all eggs produced have blood spots.

Bloom - the moist coating that protects the freshly laid egg, it dries so quickly it is hard to see.

Brooding - when a hen wants to sit on the eggs she is broody.

Chalazae - two white cords on each side of a yolk that keep the yolk properly positioned within the egg white; singular: chalaza.

Cloaca - the chamber just inside the vent where the digestive, reproductive, and excretory tracts come together.

Clutch - a batch of eggs in a nest.

Cockerel - male chicken less than 1 year old.

Comb - part of the chicken: the fleshy material on the top of their head.

Crop - a pouch at the base of a chicken's neck that bulges after the bird has eaten.

Double Yoked Egg - is created when two ova are released from the ovary at the same time. Seem to be most common in earlier ages and in specific breeds (Rhode Island Reds).

Droppings - chicken manure.

Flock - bunch of chickens.

Freshness - Freshness of an egg depends on temperature and humidity factors. The ideal conditions are temperatures that don't go above 40°F. (4°C.) and a relative humidity of 70 to 80%.

Gizzard - an organ that contains grit for grinding up the grain and plant fiber a chicken eats.

Grit - grinding agent used in digestion: sometimes needs to be added to their diet if not free range.

Hens - adult female chicken.

Perch - chickens wrapping their toes around a branch or stick are said to be on a perch.

Pecking order - social ranking of a flock: they figure it out by size and temperament. There really is a pecking order! You will be able to tell by watching their actions!

Pullet - female chicken less than 1 year old.

Molt (Moult) - annual process of feather loss and re-growth.

Roost - where chickens return to each night: their home.

Spurs - horny protrusions on legs of rooster.

Vent - where the egg comes out of the chicken.

Wattles - dangly thing under the chickens chin.

PLEASE NOTE.................