1. Chickens are the closest living relative of the T-Rex!
2. Chickens are real sleeping beauties. They experience rapid eye movement sleep (REM). This means they dream just like we do.
3. Chickens are omnivores. They will eat seeds and insects, but also larger prey like frogs and mice.
4. Tiny eggs laid by hens are called ‘fart eggs’ or ‘fairy eggs’. They were once thought to be laid by roosters as they are generally yolk-less.
5. Chickens can recognise up to 100 human faces. Do your chickens know who feeds them? Mine definitely do!
6. Chickens love to play. They can often be found playing – running, jumping and jousting with others in the flock.
7. Chickens will only lay eggs after receiving a light cue, either from a natural or artificial source of light. When light is received by a gland near the chicken’s eye, it triggers the release of an egg cell from the chicken’s ovary. That is why most eggs are laid in the morning hours.
8. Chickens are able to see more colours than we can. While the human retina contains cones that are sensitive to wavelengths of red, blue and green, chickens have an additional cone that can detect violet wavelengths, including some ultraviolet wavelengths!
9. Hens have demonstrated the ability to anticipate future outcomes based on sound recognition. For example, the sound of a storage container means food, while the sound of leaves in a tree is a neutral sound, and the sound of a hawk can indicate negative outcomes.
10. When the flu vaccines are made, the virus is grown in the yolk of fertilised hens eggs. Egg-based manufacturing of influenza vaccination is the most common method and has been used for more than 70 years.