10 Surprising Facts About Chickens That May Surprise you.

Published on 20 March 2024 at 17:57

Did you know that chickens have complex social structures and can form strong emotional bonds with humans and other animals?

Chickens are fascinating creatures with a wealth of interesting traits and behaviors that often go unnoticed. Here are 10 surprising facts about chickens that you may not know, shedding light on the remarkable world of these animals.

  1. Colorful Egg Varieties: While white and brown eggs are common, chickens can lay eggs in various colors, including blue, green, and even pinkish hues. This diversity in egg colors is due to different breeds and genetic factors.

Chickens lay eggs of different colors due to genetic variations among different breeds. The color of an eggshell is determined by pigments deposited during the egg formation process in the hen's oviduct. Here are examples of specific breeds known for their colorful egg production:

  • Araucana: This South American breed is famous for laying blue-green eggs. The Araucana's unique genetic makeup results in eggs with a stunning teal hue, adding a splash of color to the egg basket.
  • Easter Egger: While not a pure breed, Easter Eggers are hybrids known for their colorful eggs. They can lay eggs in shades ranging from blue and green to olive, cream, and even pinkish tones, delighting poultry keepers with their egg diversity.
  • Marans: Originating from France, Maran chickens lay eggs with dark chocolate-brown shells. The depth of color in Maran eggs is highly sought after by enthusiasts and adds a touch of elegance to egg-based dishes. I have to add here though that my Marans lay eggs that are simply brown, nothing fancy or exciting, and not dark brown like most of the pictures you see.
  • Welsummer: This Dutch breed is known for its rich reddish-brown eggs speckled with darker markings, resembling miniature works of art. Welsummer eggs stand out in the egg carton and are prized for their aesthetic appeal
  • Olive Egger: Created by crossing blue egg layers with dark brown egg layers, Olive Eggers lay eggs in varying shades of olive green. Each egg is unique, showcasing nature's creativity in eggshell pigmentation

2. Social Hierarchy: Chickens establish a complex social hierarchy within their flocks, with dominant individuals asserting their authority over others. This pecking order influences behaviors such as feeding patterns and roosting preferences.

3. Intelligent Communicators: Chickens communicate through a range of vocalizations, body language, and even facial expressions. They can convey emotions like excitement, distress, and contentment through their vocalizations and interactions with other flock members.

4. Natural Pest Controllers: Chickens are excellent at controlling pests in the garden. They actively forage for insects, snails, and small rodents, helping to keep pest populations in check without the need for chemical interventions

5. Eggshell Strength: Despite their seemingly delicate appearance, eggshells are remarkably strong. They are designed to protect the developing chick inside and can withstand significant pressure without breaking under normal conditions.

6. Dust Bathing Rituals: Chickens engage in dust bathing as a natural grooming behavior. They vigorously flap and roll in dry dust or soil, which helps remove excess oils from their feathers and prevents parasites like mites.

7. Varied Vocalizations: Chickens have a diverse repertoire of sounds, from clucking and cackling to purring and squawking. Each vocalization serves a specific purpose, such as signaling danger, calling for attention, or expressing contentment.

8. Egg Production Decline: As chickens age, their egg production typically declines. Younger hens are more prolific egg layers, with peak production occurring in their first year of laying. Factors such as breed, nutrition, and environmental conditions also influence egg production.


Let's elaborate a bit here about nutrition and environment.


    1. Protein: Chickens require a balanced diet with adequate protein to support egg production. Protein is essential for developing strong eggshells and promoting healthy reproductive functions in hens.
    2. Calcium: A sufficient supply of calcium is crucial for eggshell formation. Lack of calcium in the diet can lead to thin or brittle eggshells, affecting egg quality and increasing the risk of breakage.
    3. Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins such as vitamin D3 and minerals like phosphorus and magnesium are vital for overall health and reproductive performance in chickens. Deficiencies in these nutrients can impact egg laying and hatchability.


  • Lighting:Daylight hours and artificial lighting influence a chicken's internal clock and reproductive cycle. Hens typically lay eggs when daylight hours are longer, so providing consistent lighting patterns can help maintain egg production throughout the year.
  • Temperature and Ventilation: Extreme temperatures or poor ventilation in the coop can stress chickens, leading to decreased egg laying. Maintaining a comfortable and well-ventilated environment supports optimal egg production.
  • Nesting Boxes: Providing clean and comfortable nesting boxes encourages hens to lay eggs in designated areas, reducing the likelihood of eggs being laid in random locations or becoming dirty.
  • Stress and Predators: Stressful conditions, such as overcrowding, loud noises, or the presence of predators, can disrupt a chicken's laying cycle. Minimizing stressors and ensuring a safe environment promotes consistent egg laying.

By ensuring chickens receive a nutritionally balanced diet, appropriate environmental conditions, and adequate care, poultry keepers can support optimal egg production and maintain healthy, happy flocks.

Ok on to number 9

9. Feather Coloration: The color of a chicken's feathers can vary widely, ranging from solid colors like black, white, and red to intricate patterns and markings. Feather coloration is determined by genetics and serves both practical and aesthetic purposes.

10.Emotional Bonds: Chickens are capable of forming strong emotional bonds with humans and other animals. They can recognize familiar faces, respond to positive interactions, and show affectionate behaviors such as nesting close to trusted individuals.

Share your own surprising chicken fact or facts, and leave us a comment  with your experiences

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