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0. Grit is a product for sale that is basically small rocks for chickens to eat. This is because chickens have a gizzard, and eating the rocks helps them digest food better (the way cows do). Some grit is made of oyster shells, which gives them calcium as well, but it gets used up faster.

1. Chickens don't need grit if they're in a pen or yard that has access to dirt, grass, or forage. If you have have a yard you let them run around in, they'll naturally peck at rocks and whatnot, rendering bought-grit useless. b

2. Even then, you only need grit if you're not feeding them pellets. Modern chicken food pellets break down naturally, eliminating the need for grit.

3. Chickens are opportunistic cannibals. They will eat chicken if its cooked. They will eat each other if they can. A danger of having an injured bird with other chickens is that they will start to eat her. A danger with having an injured bird is that, sometimes, they will start to eat themselves.

4. Chickens are able to learn rudimentary commands and calls. Especially if food is involved.

5. Chickens are able to figure out how to get into places they're not supposed to, such as: over the fence, under the fence, into the garden, into the garage, on top of the shed roof, stuck inside the compost pile, and inside the house. Do not leave your house door open when chickens are on the loose, or they will wind up in your bathroom.

6. Buff does not describe how muscular a chicken is, it is referring to a color. The color is yellow.

7. When you clip a bird's wings, it means you are trimming their flight feathers, thus making it harder for them to hop the fence. You are not actually cutting parts of their wings off. It is painless and akin to a human getting a haircut.

8. Eggs are, essentially, chicken periods. Unfertilized eggs will not hatch, no matter how long you leave them under your parents heater blanket.

9. Chickens, sick bastards that they are, will eat their own eggs. This isn't bad for them health-wise; eating eggs is actually really healthy for a lot of birds, as it gives them protein and calcium. It is bad if you want to eat those eggs, though. Therefore, you should always make sure they have a supply of food, and that you take the eggs every day.

10. Chickens will chase and peck each other. This is how they establish dominance, and it should stop eventually provided you have enough room for them all to live comfortably. This is the origin of the term, pecking order. However, if the area is too small, they will continue to pick each other, and they'll start losing feathers. If a bird's feathers are picked too often, they'll go permanently bald (this is seen frequently in stressed birds, not just chickens but parrots too). Usually, bald chicken = sad living conditions.

11. There are chicken diseases. Mareks Disease, Infectious Coryza, and Coccidiosis are the tip of the iceberg. There are vaccines for some of them, though not all.

12. If you sit down in the grass, eventually chickens will come to inspect you. If you stay still for long enough, they will start picking at your clothes and try to perch on you.

13. While chickens can eat grass, there is no such thing as a grass-fed chicken. They are omnivores and need bugs (or pellets). Cracked corn is a treat for them.

14. Chickens will hide their eggs if they feel like they're at risk-- which they are, because presumably you will be taking them. If they are given the chance, chickens will hide and lay their infertile eggs in the bushes, then leave them there to rot. It is not fun to find these caches around Easter time. You can prevent this by purchasing a fake egg to place in the nest boxes. This fools chickens into thinking the space is safe, even as their other eggs all disappear every day.

15. Broody chickens will fite u. Even if their eggs are infertile, a broody chicken will refuse to leave them and will puff up and growl at you of you come near. Yes, chickens can growl.

16. Chicken eggs come in different colors. White, light brown, medium brown, "chocolate" brown, light green, olive green, blue, pink-- just to name a few. Colors are caused by pigments produced inside the hen that seep into the shell as the egg is being developed. Oocyanin makes the interior and exterior of the shell look blue. Protoporphyrin, which develops later in the egg-making process, affects only the outside of the egg, and it turns it brown. The assorted shades of eggs are due to these pigments overlapping one another to various effect.

17. Despite the common misconception, brown eggs are no healthier or more flavorful than white eggs. Instead, the difference can be tasted in how the hens are raised. Healthier, free-range chickens produce eggs that have a more vibrantly yellow yolk than caged hens. Free range eggs are higher in protein, and they tend to taste better. At least, that's what people tell me. I haven't eaten store bought eggs in ages, so I don't know.


Have any questions? Ask me and I'll try to answer.