Chicken Terminology

By JM Davis

Poultry, Terminology


Don’t get confused, get educated.

Chicken terminology is like another language, especially if you’ve never been around any animals. We add new terminology whenever something comes up. If you have questions about the terminology, please contact us . We will answer you.

Chicken Ages and Names

  • Baby Chick: Chicks which have just hatched until seven days old
  • Broiler or Fryer: Is a young chicken of either sex and between the ages of four to 8 weeks, which are butchered. They are usually a meat chicken breed, but it can be a layer breed as well.
  • Brooder: Is a sexually mature chicken that lays and broods or incubates its own chicks in a nest.
  • Layer: Is a generic term regarding a female bird kept for egg laying production, if it is laying eggs yet or not.
  • Roaster: Is a young chicken of either sex, and any breed which is butchered after eight weeks of age
  • Cockerel: Is a male chicken that has not yet reached sexual maturity.
  • Capon – A castrated male chicken or any age.
  • Pullet – Is a young hen that has not yet reached sexual maturity. They are usually between six weeks and one year of age.
  • Hen – Is a female chicken that has reached sexual maturity.
  • Juvenile: Is a young male or female chicken over seven days old.
  • Rooster: A male chicken that has become sexually mature.

Chicken Environment

  • Bedding or Litter: Hay, straw, or other material used to cover the ground in confined spaces.
  • Chicken Wire: Light wire netting with a hexagon mesh used for chicken coops, runs, and other projects.
  • Hardware Cloth: Is a sturdy mesh product made of metal or plastic used around a chicken coop to keep chickens safe.
  • Nesting Box: Is a cubicle area where a chicken can lay eggs in privacy. Use any material you choose for the box. Make sure you add hay or straw for the bedding in the box.
  • Brooder or Brooder Box For Incubation: If you are incubating chickens it is a heated enclosed area for raising baby chicks until they are feathered out and can handle the outside weather.
  • Brooder or Brooder Box For Brooding Chickens: If you are allowing or encouraging your chickens to lay their own eggs, incubate, and raise them, the Chicken needs a safe space to keep the eggs warm, while being able to eat.
  • A Roost: Is an area above ground where chickens can get off the ground and sit, roost or perch.
  • Roosting: Is a chicken or group of chickens that is resting on a roost or perch off the ground.
  • Chicken Tractor: Is A movable chicken coop without a floor to raise chickens on pasture. The chicken tractor is moved daily or more often as the chickens eat the pasture below, while being protected from the environment and predators.
  • Coop: Is a secure area which includes a building or an area for the chickens to get out of weather while being safe from predators. You can make the coop a permanent or mobile building.

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