Glossary Of Terms Every Backyard Chicken Keeper Needs To Know

Glossary Of Terms Every Backyard Chicken Keeper Needs To Know

While we’ve covered the terminology of backyard chicken keeping before, some of you might be wondering what all those strange words mean. To help you out, here’s a list of common terms used in the world of backyard chickens!


Broody hen: A hen that has started sitting on eggs to hatch them. Broody hens will not leave the nest for food or water and may stay there for several days, or even weeks. They can be a good mother if they have been properly imprinted from birth.

  • Broodiness is the tendency of some hens to want to sit on eggs, even when there are no fertile ones present (also referred as “false” or “phantom broodiness”). This trait can be inherited and is seen more commonly among specific breeds such as Silkies and Araucanas, but it can occasionally occur in other breeds as well. In these cases it usually lasts for only 1-2 weeks before the complete lack of an egg causes her hormones to return back down again and she returns back into laying mode.* The term broody has also been used to describe certain types of behavior exhibited by humans such as when someone becomes very protective over something or someone they care about; they might even become angry if someone tries taking their possession away without permission!


A bantam is a small breed of chicken, and they are generally not as large as standard breeds. Bantams are good for people who don’t have a lot of space for their chickens or those who want to show their chickens at fairs and poultry shows.

Bantams get their name from the fact that they were bred from smaller birds. They can be more aggressive than other types of chickens and should not be housed with other breeds unless you want to spend your time separating them constantly.


A chicken’s comb is the fleshy red protuberance on the top of the head. A comb is made up of two small fleshy lobes, one on each side of the head. The purpose of these combs is to help keep chickens cool as they cannot sweat or pant like dogs and other mammals do. If your chicks don’t have combs, you can rub a little olive oil into their feathers until they grow in!

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The rooster is the male chicken, which you can tell by the red comb and wattles on his head. He also has a darker shank and toes and a larger body than a hen, as well as a longer tail. The roosters’ crowing call is deeper than that of hens and their aggressive nature makes them less likely to be used for laying eggs.


A coop is a shelter for chickens, usually a small building or structure. It can be made of a variety of materials, including wood, metal and plastic. Coops can be portable or stationary.

If you’re raising chickens in your backyard as pets (not to produce eggs), you may be able to get away with just providing your birds with a run—a fenced-off area where they can roam freely outside of their coop during the day while being protected from predators at night. If you’re planning on raising meat chickens or egg-laying hens for farming purposes and need more space than just an outdoor run would provide, then it’s best to have both an indoor coop and outdoor pen area where your birds are protected from the sun during the warmer months and cold weather during wintertime months.


Coturnix: a type of chicken that originated in Asia. The coturnix is a breed of chicken that was originally bred in Asia, and it’s known for being good egg layers.

If you think setting up your own backyard hen house is overwhelming, we’re here to help! We’ve put together some articles that can help you get started with your new flock:

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Chicken Tractor

A chicken tractor is a mobile coop that you move around your garden to give the chickens fresh grass, bugs and worms. Many backyard chicken keepers use them to provide their birds with fresh food without having to build a permanent coop.

Cornish Cross

The Cornish Cross is a breed of chicken. It was created in the 1950s by crossing White Cornish, White Plymouth Rock, and New Hampshire chickens. This cross resulted in a fast-growing bird with a high meat yield. Today it’s known for its rapid growth rate and large size as well as being an efficient egg producer.

Hen Pen

A hen pen is a pen for hens. A hen can be kept in a chicken coop or with other chickens in a flock, but if you want one hen to live by herself, then you will need to build a separate enclosure. The hen pen should be large enough for her to move around and lay down comfortably, and it should also have enough space so she can eat and drink without being walked on by others.

Fertile Eggs

So you’ve got a rooster, and now you want to hatch chicks. But how do you know which eggs are fertile?

A fertile egg is one that has been fertilized by sperm and may develop into a chick if incubated under the right conditions. The most common way to obtain these magical little orbs is at a hatchery. Some hatcheries ship hatching eggs in the mail; others sell them at farmers’ markets or other local venues near you. They’re also sometimes sold individually on Craigslist or eBay (where they go for anywhere from $2–10 apiece).


A hatchery is a place that hatching eggs goes. Hatcheries are usually located in large cities, where the chickens are not raised. They take the hatching eggs and put them into special incubators until they hatch.

Because of their distance from the actual raising of chicken, hatcheries must be carefully monitored and automated so that they can produce as many chicks as possible in an efficient manner. This means that hatcheries have high labor costs and require more time than your average backyard chicken keeper has to invest in caring for his or her flock.

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Heat Lamp

A heat lamp is a light bulb that provides heat for the chicken coop. Heat lamps are most often used with chicks and young chickens, but they can also be beneficial for older birds who need supplemental warmth in cold weather, such as during winter or nighttime hours.

Heat lamps are not recommended for adult chickens, however. A hot lamp will cause stress to any bird that has not adjusted to indoor life; additionally, it will dry out your birds’ skin and feathers. The same goes for birds that are not used to being indoors—having them exposed directly under a heat lamp can be dangerous if they’re not accustomed to confinement and artificial light sources.

Hatching Eggs

Hatching eggs are those laid by hens you have selected for breeding purposes. These hens have been chosen because they are good mothers and will provide the best possible care to their chicks. They lay more eggs than usual, which means that if you want to hatch chickens, you’ll need more than just one hen!

Hatching eggs are fertilized within 24 hours of being laid. The fertile egg is then incubated under controlled conditions to ensure that it will develop into a healthy chick when it hatches.

hatching is when a chick emerges from an egg after 21 days in an incubator or under a broody hen.

Hatching is the process of emerging from an egg, which takes 21 days in an incubator or under a broody hen.

Hatching is when a chick emerges from an egg after 21 days in an incubator or under a broody hen.

hatching is when a chick emerges from an egg after 21 days in an incubator or under a broody hen.

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