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see poultrypoultry,
domesticated fowl kept primarily for meat and eggs; including birds of the order Galliformes, e.g., the chicken, turkey, guinea fowl, pheasant, quail, and peacock; and natatorial (swimming) birds, e.g., the duck and goose.
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a domestic bird of the order Galliformes. Descended from the wild jungle fowl, chickens are the most widely domesticated species of poultry. They are raised for their meat and eggs, and their feathers and down are also used.

Chickens are classified by their principal products into egg, dual-purpose (meat and eggs), and meat breeds. Each has specific anatomical and physiological characteristics. Laying hens are small, grow rapidly, and mature early. The meat and dual-purpose breeds are larger, have well-developed muscles, and mature later.

Roosters develop bony processes, spurs, on the lower part of the metatarsus. Both hens and roosters have crests, which come in such shapes as leaf (with several teeth), rose, and pea. Hens of egg breeds most commonly have leaf crests, which fall to the side at the second or third tooth. The beak is slightly curved. In most breeds, the beak and metatarsus are the same color: yellow, pale pink, black, and so on. Plumage color varies.

Hens of egg breeds weigh 1.8–2.2 kg and roosters, 2.7–3.0 kg; of dual-purpose breeds, 2.5–3.0 kg and 3.5–4.0 kg; and of meat breeds, 3.0–3.5 kg and 3.5–4.5 kg. Chicks at birth weigh 30–35 g. Chicks of dual-purpose breeds at 70–80 days usually weigh 20–30 percent more than those of egg breeds. Broilers attain a weight of 1.5–1.6 kg by 60–65 days of age. The white meat of broilers is a dietetic product; it contains over 20 percent complete proteins and only 5–7 percent fat.

Hens reach sexual maturity (age at the time of laying the first egg) at five or six months. Birds of egg breeds mature earlier than those of dual-purpose breeds. Annual production of layers is 200–220 eggs and at the best purebred farms, 220–250 (the record is 365). The highest egg production is found in crossbred and interlineal hybrid birds selected for egg productivity and egg quality. A hen’s early eggs weigh 40–50 g; by the age of one year she lays eggs weighing 55–65 g. Hens of dual-purpose breeds lay smaller eggs than those of laying breeds. Egg laying ceases in hens with the onset of molting, which in good layers lasts for two to three weeks and two months or more in poor ones. After molting, hens resume laying if feeding and maintenance conditions are good.

Hens are capable of laying eggs for approximately ten years. Commercial farms use hens only during the first year of egg laying for economic reasons: egg production decreases with age by 10–15 percent each year. On purebred farms they are used for two to three years, and only highly productive birds are kept for the second and third years. A purebred flock usually consists of 55–60 percent pullets, 30–35 percent two-year-olds, and 10 percent three-year-olds. Roosters are used up to two years (the more valuable ones three years). The sex ratio in a purebred flock is one rooster for eight to 12 hens.

Hens may be kept without roosters when only food eggs are desired. The instinct for brooding is poorly developed in the majority of cultivated breeds, and eggs are hatched in incubators. The period of embryonic development of a chick averages 21 days. Incubation of all eggs suitable for hatching will yield several dozen chicks from each hen.

Chickens are kept in poultry houses (on the floor or in cages). Rations include grain of two or three types—for example, corn and barley (65–70 percent of the weight of all dry fodders), oilcakes and grist (8–12 percent), and dry animal fodders—fish meal and meat-and-bone meal (3–5 percent), dried yeast (1–3 percent), edible roots and tubers, grass meal, mineral fodders, and vitamin supplements. In countries where poultry raising is well developed, the commercial feed industry manufactures ready-mixed formulas for all ages of chickens. Large specialized chicken and egg farms produce eggs and poultry meat on a commercial basis. The principal tasks of chicken breeding are developing specialized egg-laying and meat lines and testing them for matching and crossbreeding to obtain hybrid layers and broilers.


Fauna SSSR: Ptitsy, vol. 1, issue 4. Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Sel’skokhoziaistvennaia ptitsa. Edited by E. E. Penionzhkevich, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1962.
Smetnev, S. I. Ptitsevodstvo, 5th ed. Moscow, 1970.


(vertebrate zoology)
Galus galus. The common domestic fowl belonging to the order Galliformes.


slang insult used toward the timid. [Western Folklore: Jobes, 322]


indicates martinetish authority. [Military Slang: Wentworth, 98]


1. a domestic fowl bred for its flesh or eggs, esp a young one
2. any of various similar birds, such as a prairie chicken
3. Informal any of various, often dangerous, games or challenges in which the object is to make one's opponent lose his nerve


This flightless bird may be pointing to personal characteristics and needs that you may not necessarily want to look at. Consider the activities in the dream, as well as the mood, and then attempt to make a good interpretation. Chickens can represent cowardliness, gossip, excessive talking, and powerlessness. They are not known for their intelligence or beauty, and their presence in your dream could be an invitation to get more serious and better focused. The more positive suggestion in this dream is that chickens lay eggs. Eggs are symbolic of something new and fragile. They represent life and development in its earliest forms and as such, their possibilities are limitless.
References in periodicals archive ?
Murgh chadni chok head chef Sudha Shankar Saha and owner Aklasul Momin
The murgh (chicken) tikka was unlike any I'd tasted before and turned out to be marinated with cream and cheese.
If seafood is a struggle (it often is for me otherwise) then you could try the murgh malai kebab (Dh85), yet another creamy delight from the tandoor.
the Murgh Tikka Mirza Hasnu, served on a bed of broccoli puree, was really interesting in that it was marinated so well that the chicken almost melted in your mouth.
My multani murgh had pieces of tender chick-chicken tikka marinaded in medium spices with yoghurt and cream and a hint of citrus.
Likewise the murgh tikka chetinad - tandoori chicken in a paprika spiced coconut gravy - did little to raise my spirits.
At lunch, the menu changes to cold tomato soup, macchi do pyaza, murgh musallam and mutton korma , accompanied by chuqandar ka bharta ( beetroot mash), yakhni pulao and kofta biryani, and rounded off with sewain kheer or the more exotic kind made with cabbage.
Highlights include dum ka murgh (chicken braised in a rich curry of yoghurt and nuts), haleem (a 'porridge' of slow cooked lamb, wheat and lentils) and pathar ka gosht (lamb kebabs cooked on a hot stone).
Traditional favourites such as Kakori Kebab, Galouti Kebab, Hara Bhara Kebab, Tandoori Aloo Tuk along with contemporary delights like Tandoori Lobster, Murgh Chooza Sufyani and other meltA[degrees] inA[degrees]yourA[degrees]mouth signature dishes such as the Rn e Indus and Tandoori Quail also feature.
But meat lovers can't complain either, with the bun omlette, dhaba murgh roast and tawa mutton hitting all the right notes.
The menu includes tender and succulent delicacies such as Murgh Shahi Rolls -- diced chicken, capsicum and fresh spices wrapped in flour-based pancake, tempting Jhinga Chp -- marinated prawns dipped in crumbed masala, the enticing Rajwada Murgh Kebab -- chicken leg marinated with fresh herbs and spices, cooked in dry oven, and the delightful Nalli Ghost, which is lamb shanks braised and simmered in yogurt and saffron gravy.
Next out came the mix non-veg platter--a tantalizing assortment of Murgh Reshmi Kebab, Murgh Tikka, Nizami Sheekh Kebab, Tandoori Prawn and Tandoori Fish.