The words “hens” and “chickens” are often used arbitrarily daily. For those who are impressed with this endearing kind of bird, sometimes you might ask: “What’s the difference between a hen and a chicken?”. Well, a hen is a chicken, but not all chickens are hens. Read on to find out more details about their differences.
What is a chicken?
Chickens (Gallus Gallus Domesticus) are well-known all over the world as domestic animals. Previous researches have indicated that these birds have maternal origins in Asia. The domestic chickens we know today migrated from ancient India to West Asia and finally to Greece in the very first century BC.
Although chickens are birds, there are some differences between a chicken and a typical bird. Firstly, its comb and wattles make it different from other species of birds. The comb is the red appendage on the top of the head, while the wattles are the two appendages below the chin. Secondly, although the chicken has two legs and two wings, domestic chickens have nearly lost the ability to fly.
What is a hen?
A hen indicates a mature female chicken that has reached sexual maturity and is laying eggs. Most hens are from 16 to 20 weeks of age, so they start to lay eggs as early as 16 weeks. You will notice that as they get older, their frequency of laying eggs begins to decrease.
A hen is not a different species or type of chicken. Not all chickens are hens, but all hens are chickens.
What’s the difference between a hen and a chicken?
In general, it can be said that “chicken” is a particular type of species. It refers to a broad term for the bird, whether it is a female or a male, a young or a mature. Meanwhile, a hen is an adult female chicken with the ability to lay eggs.
Just as humans, we are divided into male and female, and chickens are likewise. In this context of the chicken reaching the adult period, a rooster indicates a man and a hen is equivalent to the woman. Both are generally chickens, but the names tell us more about their gender.
Other terms of chickens
Even though the names of different types of chickens can be quite confusing to you, the classification is simply based on the chickens’ age and sex combination. Here are some other terms of chickens explained in short.
- Chick: Since there is no way of defining the genders of chickens until adulthood, the word “chick” describes both young male and female birds.
- Pullet: A pullet is a young female chicken under one year of age and cannot lay eggs yet. If they are fully grown, they will have shiny new feathers.
- Cockerel: It is a young male chicken that has not reached adulthood yet. They begin to crow between the ages of twelve to sixteen weeks old.
- Rooster: It is an adult male chicken. They are the types that crow, generally starting exceptionally early in the morning. They become bold and aggressive as he fights for hens to add to his flock. They can live from between five to eight years.
Tips for taking care of chickens
Having a flock of chickens requires some chores that you need to do to keep your flock happy and safe regularly. Learn about some of the following easy chicken care tasks to make your duties more effectively.
First, regularly check the water. Make sure your chickens always access a clean water source since they can dehydrate if they do not drink even for a short time. Also, it would help if you sanitized the water container before refilling it.
Second, remember to feed the chickens daily. This will ensure that chickens are getting vital vitamins, nutrients to keep them healthy. You can feed the chickens freely by using a sizable hanging feeder, or you can provide them with a certain amount each day.
Third, observe the chickens. Despite many chickens in the flock, do not forget to spend some time watching them and making sure they are healthy. Active chickens with bright eyes and smooth feathers are ones in good health condition.
If you made it through the whole article, it is not difficult to find the answer to the question: “What is the difference between a hen and a chicken”. Learning to distinguish between hen and chickens and other types of chickens is tricky at the start, but it is essential if you are looking at pursuing a poultry-based business venture.