Farm Store | articles | Terms Every Chicken Owner Should Know

Terms Every Chicken Owner Should Know

Bantam: A miniature chicken, about one-fourth the size of a regular chicken.

Biddy: Another term for chicks or baby chickens.

Broiler: A young chicken, bred for its meat. Usually broilers are intended to be processed between nine and 12 weeks of age and weigh between 2.5 and 3.5 pounds. Also sometimes known as fryers.

Brooder or brooder box: A heated enclosure for raising chicks. Protects chicks from drafts and predators and provides access to food and water.

Brooding period: The stage of life between hatch and adulthood. Usually lasts from the first eight to 10 weeks of life.

Broody hen: A hen that wants to sit on eggs to hatch them and brood chicks.

Chick: A baby chicken.

Chick tooth: Sharp end of a chick's beak used to poke a hole in the egg's shell during hatching. Also known as an egg tooth.

Cloaca: The opening in chickens through which the intestinal, urinary and reproductive tracts empty.

Clutch: A group of eggs, usually about 12. Term is commonly used with a group of eggs being sat on, or incubated, by a brooding hen.

Coccidiosis: Disease of fowl caused by a microscopic protozoa that causes diarrhea, unthriftiness or death. Occurs most frequently in chicks older than three weeks and in young adults. Transmitted by chicken waste. Prevented by many commercially available coccidiostats that can be added to feed.

Cock: A male chicken over one year of age. Also called an old rooster.

Cockerel: A male chicken under one year of age. Also called a young rooster.

Comb: The fleshy, red-colored growth on top of a chicken's head.

CRD: Chronic Respiratory Disease, a common disease of chickens that is characterized by sneezing and difficulty breathing. Commonly controlled with antibiotics usually administered in feed or drinking water.

Down: Soft, fine feathers on chicks.

Dusting or dust bath: Common chicken behavior of bathing with dirt in a dusty shallow depression to rid themselves of mites and parasites.

Fount: A water fountain or watering device for chicken.

Gallus domesticus: The scientific name for a domestic chicken.

Gizzard: Internal chicken organ that crushes food with the help of pebbles or grit.

Grower feed: Commercially available feed formulated for adolescent, growing chickens. Usually used from nine to 20 weeks.

Hen: An adult female chicken over one year of age.

Incubator: An artificially heated container that simulates the environment for hatching eggs. Forced-air incubators have a fan to circulate the air. In a still-air incubator the air is not circulated mechanically. Incubator temperatures vary from 99 degrees to 103 degrees. According to University of Illinois poultry experts, 100.5 degrees is optimum for a still-air incubator.

Layers: Mature female chickens kept for egg production. Also known as laying hens.

Laying feed: Commercially available feed formulated for laying hens. Usually given to chickens beginning at 20 weeks of age.

Marek's disease: A viral disease common in chickens. Commonly prevented by a vaccination administered immediately after chicks hatch.

Newcastle disease: A viral respiratory disease common in chickens. Newcastle disease can spread very quickly within a flock. Commonly prevented with a series of vaccinations.

Picking: Detrimental activity of chickens picking at each other's feathers.

Pipping: The act of chicks pecking at their shells to break out.

Pullet: A female chicken under one year of age.

Rooster: An adult male chicken.

Scratch: A type of feed that can consist of cracked corn and different types of whole grains. Often fed as a treat for backyard chickens and not used as a main food source.

Starter feed: Pre-mixed commercial food for chicks, commonly available at feed or farm stores. According to University of Florida animal science experts, starter feeds usually contain about 20 percent crude protein and the vitamins and minerals needed by chicks. These feeds usually are also medicated. Should be fed to chicks for the first six to eight weeks of life.

Straight-run chicks: Chicks that have not been separated according to sexes. Chicks that have been separated are known as sexed chickens.

Turn: The act of turning incubated eggs to prevent the embryos from sticking to the shell membranes.

Unthrifty: Term often used when raising chickens to describe unhealthy individuals that are failing to thrive or won't put on weight.

Wattles: The fleshy, red-colored growths that hang from the side of a chicken's beak.

Shop Poultry Essentials

Related Products

More Products Like This:
Grid View
List View
  • Southern States All Grain Layer & Breeder Pellet 50 lb

    SKU 52352011
    Southern States All Grain Layer & Breeder Pellet is a complete vegetarian feed that is ideal for egg layers and breeders 16 weeks of age and up. The nutrient dense, all-natural formulation results in eggs produced with higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 content, and superior egg shell and yolk quality. The added pro-biotic optimizes feed digestion and overall heath in a natural way. Southern States All Grain Layer & Breeder is free of antibiotics, animal proteins and animal fats. Available in crumble form, SKU: 52352071.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Southern States All Grain Layer & Breeder Crumbles 50 lb

    SKU 52352071
    Southern States All Grain Layer & Breeder Crumbles is a complete vegetarian feed that is ideal for egg layers and breeders 16 weeks of age and up. The nutrient dense, all-natural formulation results in eggs produced with higher levels of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 content, and superior egg shell and yolk quality. The added probiotic optimizes feed digestion and overall health in a natural way. Southern States All Grain Layer & Breeder Crumbles are free of antibiotics, animal proteins and animal fats.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Little Giant Solid Top Egg Carton 1 Dozen

    SKU 10004172
    This Little Giant Solid Top Egg Carton is a high-quality, natural colored 100% reclaimed paper carton that includes required FDA safe handling instructions and keep refrigerated warnings. The solid top is left blank to allow for personalization. There are no grade or sizes specified on carton, so carton can be used for a variety of egg sizes.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Southern States Traditions 2-Grain Scratch 50 lb

    SKU 52354051
    Southern States Traditions 2-Grain Scratch is a high-energy supplement for poultry with coarse cracked corn and whole wheat. Use it blended or top-dressed with other supplements or regular feeding regimen for chicks after four weeks of age through maturity.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Southern States Traditions Egg Layer Poultry Feed Pellet 50 lb

    SKU 52711011
    Southern States Traditions Egg Layer Poultry Feed Pellet is a complete feed for laying poultry over 16 weeks of age. This feed is available in crumble or in pellet form to suit the preference of your flock, and contains 16% crude protein to promote bigger eggs. Healthy hens eat Southern States Traditions Egg Layer Poultry Feed. Available in crumble form, SKU: 52711071.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Southern States Traditions Chick Start & Grow (AMP) Medicated 50 lb

    SKU 52360071
    Southern States Traditions Chick Start & Grow (AMP) Medicated is a complete starter and grower feed for meat and egg type chicks. Medicated with Amprolium as an aid in prevention of coccidiosis. An economical formula that provides complete and balanced nutrition without compromising on quality.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Southern States Flock Balancer 20% Booster 50 lb

    SKU 52543011
    Southern States Flock Balancer 20% Booster is a pelleted complete feed for growing and mature poultry. It brightens plumage, builds great muscle tone and improves all-around performance. 20% crude protein ensures developing birds get the nutrition they need to be in top form.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Southern States Super Breeder 50 lb

    SKU 52361071
    Southern States Super Breeder is a complete poultry breeder and layer feed for all your egg producing birds. From broilers to turkeys, gamebirds to emus, Southern States Super Breeder gives you healthy birds and healthy eggs. PrimaLac for good gut microbials and 21% crude protein for excellent muscle development and beautiful plumage gives you poultry that's healthy from the inside out.
    to see pricing & availability

Find Your Nearest Southern States Location

Sales & Offers