The world of chickens is vast with a menu of names, terms, and terminologies to learn. Learning some of the common terms is essential as a poultry keeper as it helps you to describe these feathered pals with more precision. So, what is a young male chicken called? Well, a young male chicken can be called a chick or a cockerel depending on the age.
You see, when a male chicken is very young, then it’s basically a chick. When it becomes a juvenile, it’s called a cockerel and when it’s mature enough to start mating, it becomes a rooster.
Now, if you’re a newcomer to all things chickens, then these vocabularies can be confusing. Since you need to learn to communicate effectively with other chicken keepers, veterinarians, and chicken suppliers, this guide will explore the various terminologies that are used to describe a young male chicken.
What Are the Terms for Baby Chickens?
Unless you’re dealing with sex-links chickens, determining the gender of day-old chicks is quite difficult. For this reason, baby chicks are collectively referred to as chicks regardless of their gender. They’re also called peeps, though this is an informal name that refers to freshly hatched chicks.
The reason why they’re nicknamed peeps is due to the soft chirping sound they make when they hatch. This sound usually brings joy to most chicken keepers as it is an assurance that your chicks have hatched successfully. So, without wasting much time, let’s highlight some names that are used to refer to baby chicks.
- Sexed Chicks: This is a name given to chicks whose gender is already known.
- Chicks: This is a general name given to chicks regardless of their gender.
- Peeps: Peeps are chicks that have just hatched.
- Straight-Run Chicks: Some sellers will refer to their chicks as straight-run. This means the chicks are not sexed hence you’ll end up with a mix of males and females.
What Are the Terms for Male Chickens
Now, your male chick will reach maturity at the age of 4 – 5 months. During this time, he will develop physical features that are different from those of his female peers. So, are you searching for a male chicken name or term? Well, here are some options.
- Cockerel: This is a young male that’s less than a year old.
- Capon: A capon is a neutered or castrated rooster.
- Rooster: This is a mature male chicken.
What Are the Terms for Female Chickens?
Just like how we’ve described a young male chicken, the same applies to female chickens. In most cases, the physical features of female chickens are the opposite of their male brothers. That said, here are some names that can be used to describe female chickens.
- Pullet: A pullet is a young female chicken that’s less than a year old and has yet to start laying eggs.
- Point-of-Lay: This is a name given to pullets that are about to start laying eggs. Such chickens are usually at the age of 18 – 22 weeks.
- Hen: A hen is a mature female chicken that’s already laying eggs.
- Spent Hen: This is the name given to a hen that has reached its peak egg-laying potential. In commercial poultry farms, such chickens are taken to the meat market to create room for more productive layers.
- Broody: Lastly, we have broody hens. This is the name given to hens that are either incubating eggs or mothering newly hatched chicks.
What Are the Collective Nouns (Terms) for Chickens?
Just like humans and other animals, chickens have a collective noun or term that’s used to describe them. So, instead of just using one noun, you can make your English look advanced by using any of the five collective nouns we’re going to highlight.
- Flock: Now, chickens tend to flock around each other when getting ready to sleep. This word can serve as a great collective noun to refer to a group of chickens.
- Brood: The word brood can be used to refer to a group of baby chicks that were hatched together. Since they tend to flock together, the word brood can be used as a collective noun. Here, you can call them a brood of chickens.
- Peep: Peep is a word used to refer to the sound made by baby chicks and birds. The same word can be used to refer to a collection of chickens. Most literature texts and movies will often say a peep of chickens.
- Clutch: You’ve heard people say “a clutch of eggs” right? While this collective noun refers to a group of eggs underneath a broody hen, the same noun can be used to refer to chickens.
- Chattering: When chickens are together, they tend to murmur, chat and make low noises. These chatters, especially coop chatters at dusk, can be used to describe a group of chickens. You can consider describing them as a chattering of chickens.
Other Names (Terms) for Chickens
- Bantam: These are miniature chickens that have small sizes than standard chicken varieties.
- Biddy: This is an informal word that refers to an adult female chicken.
- Broiler: These are chickens raised specifically for meat production.
- Dual-Purpose Breed: Dual-purpose breeds are those chickens that are raised for both meat and eggs.
- Fowl: This is a general name for domesticated birds. They can be chickens, turkeys, or waterfowl.
- Fryer: These are chickens raised for meat production. They’re usually 7 – 10 weeks old and weigh around 4.5 pounds at the time of slaughter.
- Hybrid: These are chickens bred from purebreds to increase production and temperament.
- Juvenile: Juvenile is a collective term that describes young chickens of both sexes. This includes both cockerels and pullets.
- Layer: These are female chickens that are purely bred for laying eggs.
- Ornamental Breed: Ornamentals are chicken breeds that are raised specifically for shows and exhibitions.
Few Funny Male Chicken Names
Despite not laying eggs, roosters can serve as great companions to your laying hens. Their presence speaks volumes as they are protectors of the flock. Based on their behaviors, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to give your rooster a male name. As for me, I have a young male chicken called Hercules. This name came after his authoritative strong nature and ability to defend the flock.
That said, this section will select several funny names based on famous comic people from movies, television shows, and politics among other areas.
- Colonel Sanders: You can name your rooster after the founder of the Kentucky fried chicken chain.
- Alarm Clock: Since roosters are known for crowing at dawn, perhaps you can name yours Alarm Clock.
- Cluck Norris: You can also name your rooster after the famous eatery that specializes in fried chickens.
- Wyatt Chirp: Some people might decide to call their roosters Wyatt Chirp to represent the chicken lawman who was the founder and leader of the Magnificent Seven.
- Russell Crowe: The second name “Crowe” can sometimes prompt you to name your rooster after this Hollywood actor and filmmaker.
- Larry Bird: Since chickens are birds, perhaps you can name your rooster after this professional basketballer from the USA.
- Noise Machine: Roosters are known for crowing and creating all sorts of noises. Naming them Noise Machines will definitely make some sense.
- Free Range: If your rooster is at the top of the pecking order, then nicknaming him Free Range will be great.
- Cornelius Rooster: Also known as Corny, this was a 1957 mascot that was used in marketing campaigns for cornflakes. Since the mascot was so famous at the time, the name would appear great to those keepers that are great fans of cornflakes and other breakfast cereals.
Hen vs Chicken vs Rooster
Now, the chicken is a familiar bird that serves as a popular domesticated fowl in the world. But, despite being a common bird, most keepers tend to confuse some of the terms thus using them interchangeably.
This has left most people asking about the difference between hens, chickens, and roosters. If you’re among these people, then here’s the difference between these three terminologies.
|Chicken is a general word that represents both sexes of male and female fowl||Hen is a specific word that means a mature female chicken that’s over a year old||A rooster is an adult male chicken that’s mature enough to mate and protect the flock|
|When it comes to age, some people can refer to cockerels and pullets as chickens||Here, the word hen is very specific and only refers to a mature hen and not a pullet.||Likewise, the word rooster refers to an adult male chicken and not a cockerel|
How Do You Tell a Chicken Is a Rooster?
If you happen to buy straight-run chicks from a hatchery, then you’ll have to separate the males from females at some point. This is important if you’re planning to raise a flock of egg-laying hens only or if your local laws don’t permit crowing roosters in the neighborhood.
In most cases, you’ll have to wait until 2 – 3 months before you can notice physical changes with your chickens. Some of the fail-safe areas you can explore include the comb and wattles, the feathers, the plumage, the size, and the behavior.
Starting with the comb and wattles, those of males will grow faster and will be larger and redder than those of female chickens.
If you look at the feathering, you’ll notice that your cockerels have hackle and saddle feathers that appear to be longer and pointier. Pullets don’t have saddle feathers and their hackle feathers are shorter.
If you observe the behavior, you’ll notice that your young boys will appear to be rowdier, vocal, and quite aggressive than pullets. Finally, roosters will appear to have brighter and more beautiful plumage than that of pullets.
What Is a Straight Run Chicken?
If you’re buying chicks from a hatchery, then there are some terminologies you need to learn. One of them is “straight-run chickens”. In definition, straight-run chickens are those chicks that are unsexed. So, here you can’t determine the sex meaning you’ll end up with a mix of males and females.
The chickens can be from any breed and must be baby chicks. So, here, you can’t refer to adult chickens as straight-runs as they’re already old enough to reference their sex. So, what are some of the pros and cons of buying straight-run chickens from hatcheries?
- Affordable: The first benefit of buying straight-run chickens is that they’re affordable. Here, hatcheries will not have to go through the long process of sexing the chicks.
- Variety: If you’re raising a flock in rural remote areas with large backyard spaces, then getting straight-run chicks means that you’ll have a flock that contains both hens and roosters. While hens will lay eggs and go broody, the roosters will fertilize the eggs, produce meat, and protect the free-ranging flock.
- No Guarantee: Since the chicks are not sexed, it’s hard to determine the ratio of males to females. So, if you’re planning to raise egg-laying hens, then you’ll have to wait until they’re around 3 months to separate them.
Group of Chickens Called
Earlier on, we discussed the various collective nouns that are used to describe a group of chickens. Some of the nouns we listed include flock, clutch, brood, and peep. Although these terms correctly describe a group of chickens, they can sometimes change depending on the age of the chickens.
For instance, the term brood describes a group of chicks in a brooder. Clutch refers to a group of eggs, mostly 12 – 15 eggs. A peep refers to a group of very young chicks that have just hatched.
So, here, we’re left with just one term, which is “a flock”. The term flock refers to a group of chickens regardless of their age and gender. So, whether they’re chicks, juveniles, or adults, the correct collective noun that describes a group of chickens is a flock.
Male Chicken vs Female Chicken
Although hens and roosters are both considered chickens, there are many noticeable differences between them that range from size, color, and plumage to disposition. So, in this section, we’re going to present a table that will highlight some of the major differences between hens and roosters.
|Taller, upright, and larger bodies||Slender bodies and slightly lighter in weight|
|Larger and redder comb and wattles||The comb and wattles are smaller|
|Feathers are longer, pointy, and puffy||Hens’ feathers are short and rounded|
|Roosters are loud, aggressive, and territorial||Hens are more docile and calmer|
|Thick legs that develop sharp spurs||Legs are slender and don’t develop spurs|
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What Are Other Terms for a Chicken?
In the world of chickens, there are many terms that are used to describe them. But, have you ever thought of another name for chicken? Well, to make it easier to communicate with hatcheries both locally and online, chickens can be referred to as poultry, domestic fowls, feathered friends, juveniles, pullets, roosters, hens, capons, and cockerels among others. Most of these names will depend on the age and gender of the flock you’re raising.
Q2. What’s the Difference Between a Rooster and a Cockerel?
|Over one year old||Less than a year old|
|Large and brighter comb and wattles||Bright but smaller comb and wattles|
|Longer, larger, and thicker legs||The legs are smaller and thinner|
|The saddle, hackle, and tail feathers are more prominent||Feathers are a bit shorter and rounded|
|Spurs are longer and sharper||Spurs appear to be small|
So, are you curious to learn a few names and terms that are used to refer to chickens? Well, this guide has offered you everything you need to know. Here, we’ve explained the various terms that are used to refer to chicks, juveniles, and adult chickens. For instance, we’ve learned that a young male chicken is called a cockerel while a young female hen is a pullet.
We’ve also listed some common collective nouns that are used to refer to chickens as well as added a few funny male names that can be used to name your roosters depending on their behavior.
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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!!