The first time we started looking at getting chickens, we had NO idea what to choose! First, you don’t just buy “chickens”, you have to choose which chicken breed is right for your needs. (Who knew, right?) Then, we found all these crazy chicken terms were WAY over our heads! Straight run, pullets, NPIP — wwhhhhat? Whether you are just learning about chickens or have had chickens for a while, you are going to come across terms that you don’t know the meaning of. To help keep some of that overwhelming feeling at bay, we have put together a short list of “need to know chicken terminology”.
Here is your need to know chicken terminology:
1) Straight run – this refers to chicks that are not sexed, meaning they could be boys or girls.
2) Pullet – this refers to a young female chicken.
3) Hen – this refers to a mature female chicken.
4) Rooster – this refers to a mature male chicken.
5) Spurs – these are sharp growths that roosters have on their legs.
6) Comb & Wattles – combs are the growths on top of a chickens head. Wattles are the growths on the sides of a chickens beak.
7) Vent – this is found on a chickens backside and is where they use the bathroom as well as lay their eggs from.
8) NPIP & AI – these are testings that you can do to ensure that your flock is clean from pullorum and avian influenza.
9) Brooder – this is the area or container that holds baby chicks until they are big enough to go outside to a coop.
10) Broody – this refers to a hen that is sitting on eggs (or sometimes still sits even if eggs are removed) in an attempt to hatch them.
11) Candling – this is the act of using a high power flash light to check to see if an egg has a developing chick inside.
12) Pasty Butt – this is the build up of poop that sometimes happens over a young chicks vent.
13) Saddle Feathers– these are pointy, colorful feathers that roosters get over their back by their tail.
14) Incubating– this is the act of keeping fertilized eggs at a temperature and humidity in order to hatch chicks.
15) Frizzle chicken – a chicken with an almost crinkled texture feather. Like a cartoon’s hair after touching a light socket.
16) Bantam chicken – a small or miniature breed of chicken