domesticated bird kept by humans primarily as a food source

A chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is a kind of domesticated bird. It is raised in many places for its meat and eggs.[1] They are usually kept by humans as livestock. Most breeds of chickens can fly for a short distance. Some sleep in trees (if there are trees around).

Female pair.jpg
A rooster or cock (left) and hen (right)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Gallus
G. g. domesticus
Trinomial name
Gallus gallus domesticus

A male chicken is called a rooster or a cockerel. A female chicken is called a hen; a young chicken is called a chick. Like other female birds, hens lay eggs. The eggs hatch into chicks.

When raising chickens, a farmer needs a chicken coop (like a little house) for the chickens to roost (sleep) in. They also need a run or yard where they can exercise, take dust baths, eat and drink. The chickens also need to be protected from predators such as foxes. Fences are often used for this. [2]

Chickens can also be farmed intensively. This lets farms make a lot of chicken meat and eggs.

Chicken and chickenpoxEdit

Chickenpox has nothing to do with chickens. When chickenpox was first described, people thought that the pox spots looked like chickpeas placed upon the skin. The Latin word for chick peas is cicer. That is the original word that chickenpox got its name from.[3]


A chicken egg.

Chickens are well known for their eggs. Many people eat them for their breakfast. The eggs can be prepared in many different ways.


Because of the low cost, chicken meat (also called "chicken") is one of the most used kinds of meat in the world. Americans eat 8 billion chickens every year.[4] Some popular dishes with chicken are: Buffalo wings, butter chicken, chicken rice, chicken balls, chicken pot pie, chicken soup, fried chicken (see picture), roasted chicken and tandoori chicken.[source?]


Two gamecocks fighting in a rural Thailand.

In some parts of the world people breed chickens to fight. They bet money on which of two birds will win. In many places this is illegal.


  1. "chicken (bird) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 1 May 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. How to Raise Chickens, retrieved 15 March 2011.
  3. "Why is it called chicken pox?". Archived from the original on 14 May 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. "Chicken Facts by The Easy Chicken for beginners". Retrieved 1 May 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Other websitesEdit

  Data related to Chicken at Wikispecies
  Media related to Chicken at Wikimedia Commons
  Raising Chickens at Wikibooks