The hen, a domesticated of the common red junglefowl, was originally from Southeastern Asia, now known as China. In pre-domestic conditions, rooster or cock is slang for a male bird. A rooster is usually a single bird with its head slightly higher than its tail, except for the black-headed roosters which may have slightly larger heads than their tails. A male that has recently been castrated is often a capon.
Cocks and hens alike are members of the genus Aves. They differ in size and habits; cock is more robust and lighter than the hen, with a short neck, short blunt bill, and small feet. Hen has larger breasts, bigger thighs, and broader shoulders, with a long tail and heavier undercarriage. The chicken has slightly longer legs and a flatter abdomen.
Both breeds are prolific breeders; the hen will usually lay about five to ten eggs in a year. Cocker’s brood will usually be bigger than the hen’s brood, increasing to around twenty or thirty. The first egg the cocks take from the hen will stand erect on the end of its brood, called the cuckoo chute, while the hen will hide the first egg under leaves or brush, called the roost. When the second egg comes out, the cuckoo chute will have to be opened, so the hen can feed. The roost will then be covered with dirt, which is what causes the hen to scream when the cuckoo chute is opened.
Unlike chickens, whose white fur keeps them warm in winter, geese tend to lose their white color in the heat. Geese also have smaller feet and have weaker legs, so they cannot walk as quickly as hens. If hens are raised on a higher platform, they will not need to eat as much food because they can stay outdoors longer. A geese breeder will usually allow his hens to stay outdoors for a couple of days after laying their first egg. In general, geese need less feed because they are short-tempered and do not get along well with other animals or people.
Although hens are small in size when properly cared for they will build a coop that is several times bigger than their original cage. Like all birds, they require a nesting box to keep eggs and moisture protected. A nesting box is important because it provides protection from predators such as owls, eagles, and hawks. It also provides a place for the hens to lay their eggs, roosting area, and extra bedding. If the hens are allowed to free-range, they will construct nests for themselves in tree branches and tree trunks.
Because some hens are very aggressive, you should take care if you decide to buy a hen from an exotic breed. Some breeds can be very domineering, especially those that are considered fighters. If you have any doubt before you purchase a hen, ask the breeder to see how he raises the birds. If the breeder knows how he does it, he can answer your questions about raising the birds and whether or not the hen will be aggressive toward humans.
If you decide to get a hen because of its size, you may become frustrated at your inability to raise the hen. Hens have personalities just like wild birds and can become stubborn at times. They may also fight with other hens. If the hens are raised in captivity, they should be easier to deal with than wild hens.
If you want to raise a healthy hen, you should purchase the chicks from hatcheries that specialize in rearing hens. The chicks will be free to roam when they are around twelve days old. When you purchase chicks, you should purchase enough adult chickens to give them room to lay about three eggs. Before you start the chicks, you should remove all access tunnels. If you don’t do this, the hens could escape and die inside the cage.