Familiarize yourself with these terms to get a hold of chicken raising.

Bantam – chicken variety that is about half the size of the standard breed of chickens. These breeds are usually bred for ornamental reasons.

Bedding – can either be shavings of wood, haystack pile, or newspaper that are added to the floor of the coop and inside a nest box. The purpose of this is for absorption of droppings and odor of chicken poop. It also provides as cushion for eggs to be safely ejected from its mother without the worry of breaking it.

Brood – this could either mean the hens incubating their chicks or a flock of baby chickens.

Broodiness – a chicken’s desire to incubate their babies – unfertilized or fertilized. Broodiness can make an egg hatch or spoil it. There are a lot of factors that may arise in being broody. And the mother is a bit moody when she is manifesting broodiness.

Candling – is a procedure wherein a candle or a light bulb is used. It is the process letting light shine through an egg to determine if it is fertilized or not. Candling can be useful especially if you are planning to separate the eggs with growing embryo and those that you wanted to sell.

Capon – a rooster that has been castrated.

Clutch – fertilized egg groups that hens tend to incubate.

Cockerel – a juvenile or young rooster.

Comb – this is the rubbery, red flat piece of flesh hanging on top of a chicken’s head. Roosters have a more prominent comb than hens. Some who are engaged in cock fighting preferred to cut the rooster’s comb so as not to interfere with the fight.

Coop – house of chickens.

Crop – Part of a chicken’s digestive system that can be found in the esophagus wherein food is first digested before entering the stomach.

Droppings Tray – a tray that collects chicken droppings, which is located under poles for quick disposal.

Dust bath – A pattern of chicken behavior wherein they dig a hole in the ground and immerse their bodies in earth that has been loosened. They will get down and dirty until they get satisfied. Bathing in dust is a kind of defense mechanism to protect chickens from lice and mites that may invade their feathers and feed on their blood. A dust bath can either be natural or artificial.

Feeder – a container that delivers and holds feeds for chickens.

Fertilized egg – an egg that came from mating of a rooster and a hen and is destined to become a baby.

Grit – bits of rock or sand bits that chickens tend to eat and is stored in the crop that is important for good digestion.

Hackles – chicken’s neck feathers.

Hen – female chicken.

Incubation – process of egg hatching in which application of heat is required. The eggs that are incubated are those that are already fertilized. Constant heat, usual turning, and an environment that is humid are the essential needs of an egg that also comes in with the period. Incubation takes about 21 days before the eggs are expected to hatch.

Layer feed – a feed that is complete and is made for the sake of laying hens.

Molt or molting – this is the process of feather shedding and re-growing which happens once a year. When molting season comes, laying season is suspended.