Friday, June 1, 2007

building nests and beaks as hands

Interesting chicken trivia from the US Humane Society web site. I'm astounded to learn that chickens peck more than 10,000 times a day. Then again, a chicken heart beats an average of 250 times a minute, so they must be used to doing things quickly.

Chickens use their sensitive beaks like we use our hands—for exploring their surroundings, picking up items, feeding, and more. They forage (search for food) by scratching with their claws and pecking with their beaks more than 10,000 times in a single day.


Hens, or female chickens, have a strong need to nest. In nature, a hen follows an intricate process to build her nest. She first scratches a shallow hole in the earth and then reaches out to pick up twigs and leaves, which she drops onto her back. Then she settles back into the hole she dug and lets the materials fall off around the rim. She continues collecting and depositing twigs and leaves until her nest is complete.

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