Domestic chicken in exhibit

Domestic Chicken

Scientific Name

Gallus domesticus

Class

Aves

Order

Galliformes

Range

Domesticated around the world

Habitat

n/a

Estimated Wild Population

n/a
Domestic chicken in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Not Listed IUCN Conservation Status: Not Listed

More Information

Physical Description

Domestic chickens vary in appearance from breed to breed, though they share some common traits, including a squat stature, a rounded body, dense feathers, and wattles of flesh around the face. Adult males, called roosters, have distinct combs of red flesh on their head and striking plumage—notably, a flowing tail and shiny, pointed feathers. Wild chickens are omnivores, primarily eating insects, seeds, lizards, and young mice, while domesticated birds are fed simple, balanced diets of feed. Chickens can live about a decade, though birds raised for food are often slaughtered much earlier.

Interesting Fact 1

Contrary to their reputation, males are generous when it comes to food. They often allow chickens to eat first.

Interesting Fact 2

Males have spurs on their legs, which they employ in battles for territory and females.

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care. 

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Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.  

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Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

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