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Those who grew up in the countryside know the difference between chicken and hen well, they know what a hen is and do not confuse chicken and rooster. If you too have doubts about the difference between chicken, hen and rooster, do not worry, now we will clarify your ideas!
What is the difference between chicken and hen, what relationship there are with the rooster and what you should know to better understand nature, life on the farm and what you eat (or have decided not to eat, if you are a vegetarian!).
Difference between chicken and hens
Chicken, rooster and hen, are actually names used to identify the same species:Gallus gallus domesticusalso known asGallus sinae.
So why are there three names?
Because with the different names different states of development are identified.
Depending on age and weight, the Gallus sinae species is defined with these names, which you have surely already heard:
- Chick, from 3 to 5 months of age and a weight of 500 grams
- Wheat chicken, up to one year and one kg of weight
- chicken (sometimes pullet if it is female) up to maturity and about 1.5 kg in weight
- cockerel, this is the name of the young male of about 6 months
- free-range rooster, this is the name of the male up to 10 months old
- rooster, this is the name of the adult breeding male
- hen, with this name the reproductive female is identified, which lays eggs
So the real one difference between chicken and hen it is not sex, but the stage of development.
Chicken is nothing more than a hen that has reached six months of age but is not laying eggs yet!
When the hen not only lays eggs but is preparing to hatch and raise the chicks, it is calledhen.
The capon is a rooster that was castrated at the age of about two months. Its meats are softer than those of chicken and according to experts, they are also tastier.
Difference between chicken and rooster
At this point, the difference between chicken and rooster should be clear. The chicken is a young specimen while the rooster is a male "chicken" that has reached sexual maturity and can reproduce.
The name "chicken" comes from the Latinpollus what does it meanyoung animal. Its Latin root is not a coincidence since from maturity onwards, the chicken is named according to its sexhen(if it is female) ecock(if it is male).
How long does a hen live?
The speciesGallus gallusin nature it can live from 5 to 13 years of life, depending on the breed. Unfortunately, in intensive farming the fate of chickens and hens is very different.
Broilers are slaughtered at the age of 6 - 14 weeks (ie an industrialized chicken lives only a month and a half, when technically it would still be defined chick).
Thehensthey are kept only as long as they guarantee good egg production. How long does a hen live? In intensive farming only 12 months. After one year of age, laying hens begin to decrease their meat production and are then slaughtered.
Organic breeding of chickens and hens
Buyorganic eggsmeans to buy eggs ofhens raised outdoors. How much will not give you guarantees on the life span of the hen but can tell you that the farm in question respects the standards dictated by the legislation on organic farming.
Following food scandals such as that of the "dioxin chicken", it is advisable to inquire about the conditions in which the animal was raised. Be it for meat production (chicken) be it for egg production (hen).
Chickens raised organically, as well as organic eggs produced by hens raised in organic open air, would seem to be free of residues of hormones, antibiotics, allopathic medicines because they are not allowed in the organic method but massively widespread in intensive farming.
To maximize egg production, hens on industrial farms are kept massively in artificial light conditions. The legislation on organic farming requires a minimum of 8 hours of darkness to ensure a night's rest for the hens. This detail would seem obvious but… anyone who has ever visited an intensive farm knows well that the conditions in which the animals live are by no means "obvious / normal".
We still talk about animals. Do you know the difference between owl and owl?