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Think chicken—think intelligent, caring and complex

Chickens are not as clueless or "bird-brained" as people believe them to be. They have distinct personalities and can outmaneuver one another. They know their place in the pecking order, and can reason by deduction, which ...

How strong is an egg?

Why does holding an egg between two hands and pressing along its long axis make it almost impossible to break? Professor Marc Andre Meyers was first puzzled by this as a child growing up in Brazil. He subsequently proposed ...

The environmental footprint of the egg industry

In recent years, egg production has been in the spotlight for animal welfare issues. While the number of European farms with free-range hens has increased, in Spain, 93 percent of laying hens are still caged. This also contributes ...

Origin of domesticated chicken identified

A very large international team of researchers has identified the origin of the domesticated chicken. In their paper published in the journal Cell Research, the group outlines the extensive genetic study they conducted and ...

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Chicken

Chicken : Cock or Rooster (m), Hen (f)

The chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird. Humans keep chickens primarily as a source of food, consuming both their meat and their eggs.

The traditional poultry farming view of the domestication of the chicken is stated in Encyclopaedia Britannica (2007): "Humans first domesticated chickens of Indian origin for the purpose of cockfighting in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Very little formal attention was given to egg or meat production... " Recent genetic studies have pointed to multiple maternal origins in Southeast, East, and South Asia, but with the clade found in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa originating in the Indian subcontinent. From India the domesticated fowl made its way to the Persianized kingdom of Lydia in western Asia Minor, and domestic fowl were imported to Greece by the fifth century BC. Fowl had been known in Egypt since the 18th Dynasty, with the "bird that lays every day" having come to Egypt from the land between Syria and Shinar, Babylonia, according to the annals of Tutmose III.

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