Little Zak’s Killara

Our Biggest Little Idea

The Life Cycle of a Chicken

Did you know that chickens are Earth’s most common birds? There are about seven chickens for every person living in the world! People have raised chickens for thousands of years for their meat and eggs.

The children at Killara wanted to know what came first, the chicken or the egg? So we created a project called the ‘Life Cycle of a Chicken’ to find out.

Fun Fact about Chickens

Chickens are social animals that live in groups called flocks. Each flock is made up of roosters, hens, and chicks. Roosters are male chickens, while hens are female chickens. Chicks are their babies.

Did you know these facts about chickens?

Chickens are domestic or farm birds with a life span of about 10 to 15 years. The male is larger and more brightly colored than the female. This is a common feature in birds. The males show off their colourful feathers to attract the females.

A chicken has a comb on the head and two wattles under the neck. The male has a larger comb compared to the female. The male is called a rooster. The female is called a hen while the young are called chicks. The female is usually ready to lay her first eggs when she is around six months old.

The morning call your hear on the farm every morning is actually the rooster crowing “cock-a-doodle-doo”. The female is called a hen and she goes “cluck-cluck”. The young are called chicks and they go “chick-chick”.

Do you know what chickens eat?

Chickens eat worms, insects, seeds, grains, snails, slugs, fruits, vegetables and many other foods. The gizzard is a part of the stomach which contains tiny stones to help grind up the food.

Who are the chicken’s enemies?

Animals like the hawks, bobcats, snakes, skunks, owls, raccoons, foxes and possums prey on chickens.

The life-cycle of a chicken

Each chicken started its life by hatching from an egg. Chicks grow and change over time, becoming chickens and having babies of their own. The different stages of life that an animal passes through are called its life cycle. A chicken’s life cycle begins even before it hatches. Let’s learn more about the life cycle of a chicken!

Every chicken came from an egg. However, not every egg contains a chicken.

When a hen is six months old, she begins laying eggs. She lays one egg every day. If no rooster is around, these eggs will never hatch into baby chickens. Instead, these are the eggs you buy at a supermarket or farmer’s market. People use these eggs to make omelettes, cakes, and other foods. No matter how warm you keep them or how well you care for them, these eggs cannot produce chicks.

The hen does not need a rooster to lay eggs. However, if the eggs are to hatch, the hen will need the help of a rooster to fertilise them. Fertilised eggs look like unfertilised eggs at first. But there is one big difference: with the proper care, the fertilised egg will grow a baby chick inside!

How long does it take for a chicken egg to hatch?

A hen lays an average of 300 eggs per year. The hen will sit on her eggs to keep them warm so that they will hatch into chicks. A fertilised egg starts developing into a chicken when its temperature reaches 86 degrees farenheight. A chicken takes 21 days to hatch.

So now we know about the life cycle of the chicken, but have we answered our question of which comes first, the chicken or the egg? What do you think?

Please scroll down to see our full presentation!