All creatures, whether birds, animals, or humans have unique descriptive words that are used to refer to them depending on their age, group, or gender. Sometimes, these words are used correctly, while at other times they’re used interchangeably. So, one of the common questions people ask is what is a group of chickens called?
Now, chickens are the most common type of poultry. They’re the most domesticated birds due to their gregarious and sociable temperament. They’re also raised for meat and eggs and are very sociable and easy to interact with.
But, other than adding a group of chickens to your backyard, learning a few collective words won’t hurt at all. For that reason, this short guide will discuss some of the common collective nouns and chicken terminologies that are widely used by experts.
Chicken Terminology and Group of Chickens Collective Noun
Now, the name used to refer to a group of chickens is a flock. Interestingly, a flock is a common word used to refer to a group of sheep or other animals. In chickens, a flock is used to refer to both male and female chickens when they’re mixed in a group.
However, if you’re referring to a group of hens, roosters, or chicks, then there are specific words to use. So, in this section, we’ll list some collective names you can use to refer to a group of chickens based on age and gender. We’ll also list some common chicken terminology you’ll expect to see when it comes to chickens.
|Flock||A group of both male and female chickens|
|Brood||A group of hens|
|Clutch/Peep||Refers to a group of chicks|
|Clutch||Clutch also refers to a group of eggs|
|Flock||It can also refer to a group of roosters|
|Rooster||A name given to a mature male chicken|
|Hen||Name given to a mature female chicken|
|Cockerel||A young rooster|
|Pullet||A young hen|
|Juvenile||A group of young chickens (both male and female)|
|Chick||Refers to a baby chicken|
|Chook||An Australian slang term that refers to a hen|
|Biddy||A term used to refer to older hens|
|Capon||Refers to a castrated rooster to improve its meat quality|
|Brooder||Used to refer to a broody hen|
|Point Of Lay||Refers to a pullet that’s ready to start laying eggs|
|Poultry||A collective word that refers to domesticated birds|
|Chicken Run||An enclosed predator-safe space inside the coop|
|Coop||A chicken house|
|Broiler Chicken||Female chickens that are raised for meat|
|Bantam||Refers to a breed of chickens that are small in size|
|Layer Breeds||Female chickens raised specifically for laying eggs|
|Hybrids||A chicken that’s a mixed breed of two breeds|
Reasons for Chickens Flock Together
Now, there are many reasons why chickens flock together. One of the main reasons is the fact that chickens are domesticated birds. So, in the process of domestication, humans have forced chickens to become sociable birds.
But, other than being forced by humans, chickens prefer to flock together to reproduce. So, whether it’s at home or in the wild, chickens prefer to live in groups in the ratio of one rooster to 5-10 hens. Such a ratio promotes a strong reproductive hierarchy that consists of a high birth rate and reduced chaos.
Lastly, a flock of chickens is a huge plus if you wish them to survive the cold weather. Chickens stay warm when they’re together and they’re safer in huge numbers in case of predators.
Time of Chickens Flocking Together
A group of chickens has something called pecking order. So, whether it’s in the wild or in your backyard, new chickens can’t just come and join an existing flock. That said, if you’re looking to add a few chickens to your existing flock, there’s a procedure you must follow to avoid creating a chaotic scene in your backyard.
So, to avoid unnecessary trouble and fighting, you need to introduce new chickens slowly. Here, you can consider placing the new chickens in their own pen that’s close to that of the existing flock. This way, your existing flock will see the new chickens, and probably get used to them without having a chance to harm them.
After a successful quarantine period of about a week or so, you can now physically introduce your new chickens to the flock. During the introduction, your existing flock will “greet” the new chickens by scraping and jostling them to establish the pecking order.
In case the jostling gets intense and your new chickens are injured in the process, you can separate them and try again tomorrow. Continue with the introduction process until the flock settles down.
Understanding Chickens Societies
Just like other animals, chickens have a pecking order, which is regarded as a hierarchy that determines how resources are shared. In most cases, pecking orders differ depending on whether the flock is a hen only or if there are roosters.
If the flock has roosters present, then the alpha rooster will have the chance to choose 10-15 hens of their choice to mate. To ensure pecking order is followed, cockerels and new roosters in the flock are not allowed to mate with hens preserved for the alpha rooster. In fact, the head rooster may sometimes kill male offspring to protect his position from any potential challenger.
In a flock that contains hens only, the strongest and healthiest hens assume top positions in the hierarchy. Here, they enjoy benefits such as accessing food, water, and dust-bathing areas while sleeping in the best spots in the coop.
But, other than enjoying these benefits, the alpha chickens have roles to play in a group of chickens. For instance, they’re the ones responsible for watching out for predators, sniffing out food sources, and calling the rest of the flock to eat while they stand guard.
Do Chickens Families Have Social Bond?
Yes, they do. Just like humans, chickens form strong social bonds that help them to stay together happily. Imagine raising a single chicken in a coop? Well, there’s a high chance he/she will feel lonely, as there’s no one else to socialize with.
Therefore, to stay happy and productive, chickens prefer to live as a flock. Chickens roost together and warm each other during cold nights. They also share brooding and rearing duties without any harm or aggression.
Now, some people might ask whether chickens recognize each other. The simple answer is yes. Chickens can recognize up to 100 different members of their flock. To do this, it’s believed that chickens recognize the shape of the head and the combs of their flock mates.
What Is a Group of Roosters Called?
What do you call a group of chickens? A group of chickens is a flock. What about a group of roosters? Well, to be honest, there’s no collective name for a group of roosters. You see, roosters don’t usually form a group. Therefore, it’s rare to see a group of chickens made purely of males. Since roosters are territorial and protective, they will compete over mating rights and hence fight a lot.
For this reason, a collective name for a group of roosters is a flock. If you’re raising chickens in your backyard, experts recommend that you pair at least one rooster with 10-15 hens. This will ensure that you don’t create chaos in your backyard.
What Do You Call a Group of Hens?
If you’re a farmer dealing with egg-laying hens only, then a group of female chickens is referred to as a brood. Now, some people will refer to it as a flock of chickens, which is correct. However, a flock is a general word referring to both male and female chickens. Therefore, the correct collective word is a brood.
Are Chickens Aggressive?
Well, this will depend on the breed. Some chicken breeds such as Silkie, Plymouth Rock, and Sussex are very calm. These breeds are raised for a variety of reasons such as for egg production and as pets. However, there are other breeds that are considered aggressive and very brutal. Breeds such as the Asil, Old English Game, Cornish, Modern Game, Oriental Game, and the Malay are considered very aggressive. Due to their brutal temperament, these breeds are widely raised for cockfighting.
How Many Chickens Are in a Clutch?
Now, hens produce at least an egg every 24-27 hours. The eggs are mostly collected daily. But, assuming you don’t collect the eggs? Well, your hen will collect the eggs herself and put them on her nest. Here, the size of the clutch is anywhere from 12 to 15 eggs.
Once she has set the eggs, the mother hen will cover them comfortably for incubation, which lasts for around 21 days. In case you’re collecting the eggs for your chicken, you should give her a clutch she can comfortably raise without struggling.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How Many Chickens Are in a Flock?
Now, the least number of chickens you can have as a flock is three. However, raising 6-10 birds is considered ideal, as they’re easy to manage. You see, chickens are social animals that enjoy staying together. Since they have a flock-oriented instinct from their wild ancestors, raising them together helps them to thrive.
However, a group of chickens that can form a flock depends on two main factors—your budget and the available space.
Q2. Are Chickens Social?
Yes, they are. Chickens are docile and gregarious animals that enjoy the company of fellow chickens as well as humans. We’ve discussed the hierarchy in a flock and the role played by the alpha chickens. Since chickens have this ‘wild’ instinct, they prefer living together as a flock to stay warm and to have each other’s back in case of danger.
Q3. Do Chickens Get Lonely?
Yes, they do. Chickens are social animals that thrive when staying together as a flock. When they’re alone, they become nervous, stressed, and frightened. So, to relieve them from this solitary life, you should add them to a flock for them to enjoy some companionship.
Q4. What Is a Group of Baby Chickens Called?
If you’re asking what is a group of baby chickens called, then it’s a brood or a peep of chicks. The reason why it’s called a peep of chicks is because of how they peep from the shells when hatching.
Q5. What Is a Pair of Chickens Called?
Unfortunately, there’s no collective word for a pair of chickens. That’s because chickens prefer to live in large flocks to warm each other up and protect themselves from predators.
As you can see, there are numerous English words and other terminologies associated with chickens. Thankfully, this guide has listed most of these collective words to help you talk fluently in the chicken language.
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Hello, I am John Reid. I have been raising chickens for the last 15 years. I have got my experience from my father. My father is the owner of a large chicken farm. This is our family business that has been continuing for over 35 years. I am very interested in backyard chickens and I know how to take care of them. You can learn more About Us here. Happy Reading!!