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5 Chicken Breeds that Have 5 Toes

Salmon Faverolle Chicken

Most chickens have four toes on each foot. Of the chicken breeds found in the United States, five breeds typically have five toes on each foot. The condition is technically known as polydactylism — from the Greek words poly meaning many, and daktylos meaning a finger or toe. The trait of having five toes represents […]

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Chicken Breeds that Are Exceptional Foragers

Foraging Chicken Breeds

Some chicken breeds thrive better on forage compared to others. Breeds that have been kept in confinement for many generations generally forage less aggressively than breeds that have continued to exercise their foraging instinct. If you want a low-maintenance flock, and you have space for them to roam, consider these chicken breeds that are exceptional […]

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Breed Spotlight: Lovely Longtail Chickens

Longtail Chicken Breeds

A longtail chicken is one of several breeds selectively bred for growing particularly long tail feathers. The roosters have two specialized genes that allow their tails to grow longer than those of other breeds. One is a nonmolting gene that causes some of their tail feathers to not molt. The other gene produces rapid tail-feather […]

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Chicken Embryology Video Series Offered on YouTube

Photo Credit: The Livestock Conservancy

Because of school closures during the pandemic, elementary school embryology programs are not presented in classrooms. To fill the gap, The Livestock Conservancy, of which Cackle Hatchery® is a member, has teamed up with North Carolina 4-H Extension to develop a virtual learning experience. The series is called “From Embryo to Chick” and is offered […]

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Mini Glossary of Chicken Terminology

One of the great benefits of keeping chickens is that it gives you an opportunity to expand your vocabulary. The world of chicken keeping is full of odd or potentially confusing words and phrases, like those in this mini glossary of chicken terminology. Bloom: The moist, protective coating on a freshly laid egg that dries […]

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4 Ways to Tell Male and Female Chicks Apart

Four traditional methods are used to tell male and female chicks apart. Which method is most appropriate for any specific batch of chicks depends on their breed and variety, their age, and the skill of the observer. Vent Sexing Vent sexing, also called cloacal sexing, is a method of determining a hatchling’s gender by examining […]

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What Kind of Music Do Chickens Like?

What Kind of Music Do Chickens Like?

British farmer Glenn Haggart is the latest to discover that playing music for laying hens reduces anxiety and stress, creating a safer environment for the chickens. After four years of playing music for his layers, he’s become a strong advocate. But what kind of music do chickens like? Music and Chicks Let’s start with embryos […]

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Breed Spotlight: Frizzle, Frazzle, and Sizzle Chickens

Frizzle chickens are fun and funny, but are they a breed? The answer is yes and no. In Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and United Kingdom Frizzles are classified as a pure breed. In the United States they are considered to be a plumage variety in any breed. Frizzle Chickens Frizzling is a genetic condition […]

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Why Does a Rooster Have Wattles?

A rooster’s wattles come in flexible pairs that dangle beneath the beak, while its comb is a single structure prominently affixed to the top of the head. Researchers have determined that hens base their choice of mates, in part, on characteristics of the comb. But when it comes to wattles, they scratch their scholarly heads […]

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The Origin of Modern Chickens

Since the 1800s humans have believed chickens were domesticated from red jungle fowl of Southeast Asia. The main reasons for this assumption are that red jungle fowl (pictured above) look similar and can interbreed with modern chickens. However, we had no real proof of the origin of modern chickens until the advent of gene sequencing. […]

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