As hard as it may be to believe, hens outnumber most other bird species by a factor of five and more; that’s staggering when you consider the fact that most if not all these hens are domesticated birds. As with every other species, the hen has its own life cycle where it begins its life as an egg and then quickly moves through the various other stages before it becomes an adult. Given the fact that eggs are an essential source of nutrients and various proteins and an essential part of the breakfast table, perhaps it is time that we took a closer look at hens and their life cycle.
- Egg: Once a hen has bred with a rooster, she lays an egg within a day, usually within 25 hours of contact. It should also be pointed out that an egg can be fertilized or it can also remain unfertilized and it depends on whether the hen in question favors the rooster. She lays an egg a day and continues to do so until she feels that she has sufficient eggs. Usually, most hens will be picky about their nest and would streamline it up with downy feather and make it soft and comfortable for the eggs. And the mother hen sits on top of them, to ensure that the eggs remain warm and at ambient temperature.
- Chick: After a period of 21 days, the eggs should start to hatch and little hatchlings or chicks should emerge. These chicks would appear wet at the start but would soon start to dry and are usually covered with a soft, downy coating of yellow feathers. It takes about a period of two to four months for these young chicks to develop actual feathers and in the process, they end up losing the puffed up appearance.
- Pullets: Young chicks often eat anything and as such are omnivores. Most farms often use special seeds, to help these young chicks mature faster, but usually, it would be a few months before these young ‘pullets’ become adult hens. It should take up to six months before the young pullet is ready to breed and start raising her own brood.
- Adult hen: Once it reaches adulthood, they breed with the roosters during the spring and summer months; soon after that, the hen goes into seclusion and starts laying eggs. And in a matter of three weeks, the eggs hatch and the life cycle begins all over again.
That’s the life cycle of a hen and here’s a little bit of factoid about the ‘bird’ – recent studies have revealed that the common hen had indeed evolved from dinosaurs and to be more specific, from a group called theropods. And yes, some of the dinosaurs did evolve to become the birds we see all around us today as did the common hen. So, the next time that you spot a hen on a farm, you may want to mull over the fact that you are looking at one of the last remnants of the dinosaurs.
Incoming search terms:
- life cycle of a hen
- a hen life
- hen nesting life cycle
- life cycle of hen
- life cycle of hens
- lifeccyle of a hen
- write up of life cycle of a hen