Gallus gallus domesticusBantam chicken

Family

  • Phasianidae

Lifespan

  • Up to 20 years in captivity

Size

  • Height: 4-7 inches
  • Weight:  16-25 ounces

Origin

  • Domestic chickens are bred in many places
  • All domestic chickens are descendents of the Red Jungle Fowl

Habitat

  • Domestic breed only, not found in the wild

Diet

  • Zoo:  Mazuri brand Gamebird chow and greens

Reproduction

  • Chickens lay eggs like all birds.
  • Chickens reach sexual maturity around 18 months.
  • Clutch size can vary depending on breed, age, health, and nutrition.
    • After 21-30 days the chicks will make their way out of the shell.
    • Newly hatched chicks are moist and covered in downy feathers.
    • Within 4-5 weeks the chicks should be fully feathered.
    • Chicks will flock near their mother for protection until reaching adult size.

Special adaptationsBantam Chicken and rooster

  • Chickens have a comb and waddle, red skin flaps on the top of their head and under their beak, which help dissipate heat
  • Roosters will have a larger comb and waddle which are a form of ornamentation.  Roosters with larger combs and waddles tend to appear more attractive to hens
  • Some bantam chicken breeds are considered a "fancy chicken" and will have ornamental feathers surrounding their feet

Facts/info

  • Domestic chickens are too large to fly, but can glide and perch on tall objects
  • Chickens love the occasional worm or bug and will scratch at the ground in hopes of uncovering a tasty treat
  • Today bantam chickens are mostly used for show or kept as a hobby
  • True bantams are breeds that do not have a full size counterpart
  • There are several color variations (breeds) of Bantam Chickens.  At the zoo we have a bantam Leghorn, bantam Porcelain Mille Fleure Barbu D'Uccle, and bantam Sebright

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Not Evaluated
  • CITES: Not Listed
  • As a domestic species, the chicken is not listed under protective status

Sources

  1. Henderson, John R. Henderson’s Handy Dandy Chicken Chart. Accessed November 29, 2009 http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
  2. Gallus gallus (Linnaeus, 1758). Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed November 29, 2009 http://www.eol.org/pages/1049263
  3. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  4. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org