Glossary of Chicken Terms: Types of Chickens | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Glossary of Chicken Terms

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A vigilant Rooster keeps an eye out for predators.

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Types of Chickens: Hens Vs. Roosters

Martha White
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Can you tell the difference between a hen and a rooster? What is a pullet? We’ve compiled a list of chicken terms every owner needs to know.

Terms for Types of Chickens

  • Bantam: A diminutive breed of domestic fowl. Find out more about other chicken breeds.
  • Boiler: A chicken 6 to 9 months old.
  • Broiler: A cockerel of 2 or 3 pounds, at 8 to 12 weeks old.
  • Cock: A male chicken, also called a rooster.
  • Cockerel: A young rooster, under 1 year old.
  • Fryer: A chicken of 3 to 4 pounds, at 12 to 14 weeks old.
  • Hen: A female chicken.
  • Nest Egg: Literally, a china or wooden egg placed into the nest to encourage laying; figuratively, something set aside as security. Learn more about egg production in your chicken coop.
  • Point-of-lay Pullet: A young female, just about to lay, near 5 months old.
  • Pullet: A young female chicken, under 1 year old.
  • Roaster: A chicken of 4 to 6 pounds, over 12 to 14 weeks old.
  • Rooster: A male chicken; also called a cock.
  • Sexed Chicks: Separated into pullets only or only cockerels
  • Straight Run: Pullets and cockerels, mixed (unsexed or “as hatched.”)

Are you interested in raising chickens? Find out how to get started!

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