Domestic chicken in exhibit

Domestic Chicken

Scientific Name
Gallus domesticus
Domesticated around the world
Estimated Wild Population
Domestic chicken in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Not Listed Endangered Status Graph - Not Listed

More Information

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.

Did You Know?

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

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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Two Chilean flamingos in exhibit

Animals Depend On People Too

When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.

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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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African penguin eating a fish

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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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