Chickens are domestic birds that cannot fly. There are over 150 different breeds of chicken and they come in various shapes, sizes and colors. The male chicken, known as a rooster, is larger and more brightly colored colored than the hen, a female chicken.
Chickens have cones on their heads and two wattles under their necks. Roosters have larger combs compared to the females. Roosters make a very loud crowing sound usually very early in the morning but they can crow anytime of the day. Their loud shrill is a territorial sign to other roosters. They can also be quite aggressive birds.
Chickens are omnivores and will feed on small seeds, herbs and leaves, grubs, insects and even small mammals like mice, if they can catch them. Domesticated chickens may eat a feed made up of a protein source as well as grains.
Chickens usually live together as a flock and work hand-in-hand to to the incubation of eggs and raising of offspring called chicks. Individual chickens in a flock will dominate others, establishing a ‘pecking order’, with dominant individuals having priority for access to food and nesting locations.
A young rooster may court his mate by clucking in a high pitch as well as picking up and dropping his food for her. When a hen becomes familiar coming to his ‘call’ the rooster may mate with the hen and fertilize her egg.