Albumen – commonly known as egg white. It’s clear in raw eggs and turns white when cooked or fried.   

Anti-coccidiostat (ACS) – a food additive to help protecting your birds against Coccidiosis. 

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

Bedding – can either be shavings of wood, straw, hay or shredded paper that are scattered on the floor of the coop and the run. The bedding will absorb any moisture and when cleaned regularly keeps the odour of the chicken poop at bay. Used in the nest box it also provides as cushion for eggs.  

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

Broodiness – a hen’s desire to incubate her eggs – unfertilized or fertilized. A broody hen will sit on eggs to keep them warm until they hatch. She will be a bit moody when she is manifesting broodiness – those hormones I tell you!! 

Candling – is a procedure wherein a candle or a light bulb is used to let 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 castrated rooster chicken ark / chicken tractor

Chicken ark - see chicken tractor

Chicken tractor - is a portable chicken coop usually without a floor. Can be moved to various places so chicken can scratch the ground for food and different areas can be fertilized.


Clutch – fertilized egg groups that hens tend to incubate. 

Coccidiosis – a parasitic protozoal infestation usually occurring in damp or unclean coops. 

Cock – a rooster. Male chickens are called rooster or cock after their first moult (at about one year or older) 

Cockerel – a young rooster under one year old. 

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.  

Coop – a chicken house 

Crop – a pouch at the base of a chicken’s neck. Food is stored there before it goes into the stomach. 

Crop impaction – can happen when food gets stuck in the crop. The chicken can’t swallow anymore. If the crop feels hard, it could be impacted. 

Droppings Tray or board – a unit placed underneath the perch to collect chicken droppings for easy disposal. 

Dust bath – natural chicken behaviour wherein they dig a hole in the ground and ‘bath’ their bodies in the loose soil. Bathing in dust helps to protect chickens from lice and mites that may invade their feathers and feed on their blood.  

Feeder – a container that delivers and holds feeds  

Feed trough – a shallow container that holds feed. Also known as a hopper. 

Gizzard – an organ that holds grit for grinding grain and plant fibre. 

Grit – consists of crushed rock and sand. Chickens eat this to aid the food grinding process. Grit is stored in the gizzard. 

Hackles – chicken’s neck feathers. 

Hen house – also known as chicken coop 

Hybrid – in chicken terms: a chicken with parents from different breeds. That is done with the purpose to combine the best characteristics of both breeds.

Layer – a hen in the process of producing eggs 

Laying cycle – the time between when the hen starts laying and when she moults. 

Litter – see bedding - can either be shavings of wood, straw, hay or shredded paper that are scattered on the floor of the coop and the run. The bedding will absorb any moisture and when cleaned regularly keeps the odour of the chicken poop at bay. Used in the nest box it also provides as cushion for eggs.  

Moult – happens once a year and lasts about eight weeks. The chickens shed their feathers during the moulting period and grow new ones. Sorry – hens will not lay eggs during this time. 

Nest box – a wooden or plastic box that is designed to encourage hens to lay their eggs in. It should have easy access for you to collect the bounty. You need one nesting box for about 4 to 5 hens 

Non-setter – this is a kind of chicken breed that don’t have any desire to care for their chicks, if they have one, or never wanted to incubate or hatch fertilized eggs. 

Ornamental breed – these breeds are the ones that are often seen in fairs and poultry shows. They are appreciated because of their stunning stature and appearance.  

Perch – usually round horizontal pole on which chicken go to sleep.  

Poultry show – is where all kinds of chicken breeds are shown and judged.  

Production breed – are the kind of breeds that are used for mass production of eggs. 

Pullet – a young hen under one year old that has not started laying yet. 

Point of lay – about to start laying, usually between 18 to 22 weeks, sometimes later. 

Roost – the time when chickens are resting on the perch to sleep.  

Rooster – a male chicken.                               Rooster

Roosting pole – see perch. It can be constructed and put inside the coop. 

Rumples – a chicken breed that does not have feathers on their tails. 

Run – an area connected to the coop where chickens can roam around freely. 

Scratch – a kind of chicken feed composed of different grains. Also refers to the chicken’s habit to dig up either worms, bugs, rocks, and tiny little insects that are inside the ground. 

Sexing – determining the sex of a chicken. 

Shanks – part of the chicken’s leg between the claw and the first joint. 

Sickles – what is called to the rooster’s tail feathers.  

Spur – a sharp pointed protrusion that is seen on the back of a rooster’s shanks.  

Started pullet – a hen that has just started laying eggs  

Starter feed – it’s the complete feed that is formulated and made especially for baby chicks. 

Vent – an opening at the chicken’s rear where eggs, poop and other waste matters pass.  

Waterer – delivers and holds the water supply. 

Wattles – it’s similar to a chicken’s comb: red and rubber-like, but found under the neck of the chicken.  

Wheezer – in colloquial terms, it’s what they call a chicken’s butt. 

Wormer – a medicine to protect against or get rid of internal parasites like worms. 




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