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what is a baby chicken called

what is a baby chicken called

what is a baby chicken called

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what is a baby chicken called
what is a baby chicken called

Baby chickens are most commonly referred to as “chicks.” This is a gender-neutral term that applies to both male and female chickens. Because it can be difficult to sex a chicken at birth, having a catch-all genderless term for the baby birds makes sense.

Informally, chicks are sometimes also called “peeps.” This term is used most commonly for freshly hatched chicks in the period between emerging from the egg and being moved to a brooder. They get this nickname because of the soft chirping or “peeping” noise they make while in the incubator. You know that you have successfully hatched a chick when you hear that noise.

Chicks, like most ground-dwelling birds, are born with a downy covering off soft fluffy feathers. This fluff is shed as adult feathers start to come in. A chicken will get all of its first full-size feathers by 3 months of age.

What Are Baby Female and Baby Male Chickens Called?

Between the ages of 3 and 12 months, chickens are still growing. Because they have their adult feathers at this stage, the sexual dimorphism becomes apparent, and it’s possible to tell male and female chickens apart. At this age, young female chickens are called “pullets,” and young males are called “cockerels.”

Once the chicken reaches maturity, females are called “hens,” and males are called “roosters.” Some people may still refer to their young females as hens rather than pullets. A “started pullet” is a hen that’s old enough to have begun laying eggs. This starts around the six-month mark.

Other Names for Chickens and Their Eggs

Collectively, chickens of any gender can be called chickens. Contrary to popular belief, “chicken” is a gender neutral term that can apply to any member of the chicken species regardless of age or sex.

There are also many informal names you may encounter when talking about chickens. Chicks, especially very young chicks, are sometimes called “peeps.” They get this name from the soft chirping noises they make immediately after hatching. Hearing a chirp or “peeping” noise from the incubator is a sure sign that a newly hatched chick is ready to move from the incubator and into a brooder.


what is a baby chicken called
what is a baby chicken called

“Chook” is a popular nickname for chickens. It’s especially common in Australia and parts of the United Kingdom. If you hear someone talking about their “chooks,” the odds are good that they have a few chickens of their own. Another term that’s grown somewhat old-fashioned is “biddy,” which refers to an older hen. Biddies may be mother hens or hens that are too old to keep laying.

A group of chickens is called a “flock.” A flock can refer to any group of chickens that live together; they do not have to be related to one another. If you keep multiple groups of chickens in separate enclosures, you have multiple flocks. It’s common for each flock to have just one rooster if any because roosters are very territorial.


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A group of eggs is called a clutch. A female chicken may sit on a clutch of eggs to brood over them all at once. You can also keep a clutch of eggs in an incubator. Once these eggs hatch, the chicks that grow up together are called a “brood.” Chickens don’t have to be related to one another to be in the same brood. A flock may have chickens from several different broods, especially if you added birds of different ages at different times.




What Is a Baby Chicken Called?

Baby chickens are most commonly referred to as “chicks.” This is a gender-neutral term that applies to both male and female chickens. Because it can be difficult to sex a chicken at birth, having a catch-all genderless term for the baby birds makes sense. Informally, chicks are sometimes also called “peeps.”

what is a baby chicken called
what is a baby chicken called

Baby chickens are called “Chicks”. This is, at least, until they are a little older and can be sexed. Then they are called either a “pullet” which is a young female, or a “cockerel” which is a young male chicken. They are also called “peeps”, although I hear this term used more often when there is more than one chick.

What Are Baby Chickens Called?

To sum up, baby chickens are called chicks, or peeps. If they are old enough to be categorized into male or female, then young female chickens are called pullets, where young male chickens are called cockerels.

Baby hens are called pullets and are distinguished from baby roosters, which are called cockerels, by the shape of their tail feathers when the chicks are approximately three months old. The saddle or tail feathers on a pullet are rounded, and cockerels have long pointy saddles.

BANTAM: A small domestic chicken that is often a miniature version of a larger breed. BIDDY: Another term for chicks or baby chickens. BROILER: A meat chicken processed at the age of 7-12 weeks when it reaches 2½ to 3½ pounds live weight. Historically Broilers were marketed as birds ranging 1 to 2½ lbs.

A poussin held in the hand In Commonwealth countries, poussin (pronounced / ˈpuːsæn / and less commonly called coquelet) is a butcher’s term for a young chicken, less than 28 days old at slaughter and usually weighing 400–450 grams (14–16 oz) but not above 750 grams (26 oz).

Where to Get Baby Chickens

There are a number of ways to go about getting chickens! Most often, chicks can be bought locally in the spring, from farm supply stores or small farms themselves. These days, you can even go online to order chicks and get them shipped to your door (or local post office). Then there’s always the “ask a friend with chickens to hatch some for you” approach.

Purchasing Chicks

You can purchase chickens at several stages of development—it all depends on how long you’re willing to wait for eggs.

what is a baby chicken called
what is a baby chicken called
  • Day-old chicks are available from hatcheries. Most farm suppliers do one or two chick orders a year, so you can get your chickens where you plan to get your feed. They’re usually under $3 each. You’ll have to wait about 6 months for eggs.
  • Ready-to-lay pullets are 20 weeks old and just about to start laying. They’re more expensive than day-olds, but of course, you get your eggs sooner. They can go straight to the coop and are all females. These, too, can be ordered through your farm supplier from the hatchery.
  • Mature laying hens are harder to come by. Unless you have someone with a small flock nearby who wants to replace older hens and will sell their “old girls” to you, chances are, you’ll have to buy pullets or chicks. (“Battery hens” are not good candidates for a farm flock—they’re confined in tiny cages, debeaked, and made to produce so hard that they’re “laid out” at 2 to 3 years of age.)


Hatching Chicks

If you already have chickens (or know someone who does), there’s always the option of hatching your own chicks. Of course, you’ll also need a rooster to get fertile eggs. Check your zoning regulations; some places allow hens, but not roosters. Hens will lay perfectly well without one.

You’ll also need a broody hen. Broodiness—the instinct to sit on eggs until they hatch—has been bred out of a lot of chickens, but we always had one or two who would begin to sit tight on the nest and peck if we tried to remove their eggs. Bantams are famously broody, and a bantam hen will hatch other hens’ eggs.

You can hatch replacement chicks yourself with a home incubator. Eggs take 21 days to hatch. An incubator must be monitored diligently; chicks left too long after hatching will die of dehydration or picking. On the whole, we found it best to leave hatching to the hen.

(Did you know that there are best times for setting eggs under a hen or in an incubator? You can find out more about setting chicken eggs by the Moon’s Sign here.)

Raising Chicks

Tending baby chicks isn’t difficult, nor need it be elaborate. As well as chick starter feed and clean water, they need a draft-free brooder pen with a red brooder lamp on at all times. This keeps the temperature at 92°F (33°C) at 2 inches above the floor. (It also reduces picking and cannibalism among chicks.)

When the chicks have feathered out, reduce the temperature by 5°F per week until they are 6 weeks old, then switch their feed from chick starter to grower mash.


Tips for Keeping a Happy Chicken Coop
  • If you don’t yet have one, here’s how to build your own chicken coop.
  • Many sources say that you can’t keep a flock of mixed ages. We never had a problem with older chickens picking on younger ones or vice versa. Our hens raised their chicks happily in the flock. Most picking is the result of overcrowding. Give your chickens lots of space.
  • what is a baby chicken called
    what is a baby chicken called
  • Young chicks need to be close to water and food at all times. Spread a 4-inch layer of pine shavings on the floor, then lay several layers of newspaper over that. Scatter lots of chick feed on the paper and also have feeding troughs filled in the pen. Remove a layer of paper every day, and by the time the last layer is gone, the chicks will have found the feeding trough.
  • Always use red bulbs; injury doesn’t show under red light. Under white light, any bloody spot immediately attracts pecking. Chicks will cheerfully and efficiently peck each other to death.
  • Block corners of the pen with cardboard to make wider angles that are harder for chicks to pack up in. (You could also make a circular pen.) This prevents suffocation.


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