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Abdomen: The underside of the birds body from keel to vent.
Bloodspot: An egg defect, caused by the rupture of blood vessels in the chicken. They are unsightly but still edible.
Bantam:Technically the Bantam is a type of fowl that doesn\'t have a larger version. There are nine bantam breeds. Many small fowl are referred to as Bantams but are infact miniatures or a small version of a large breed.
Broody: The desire to want to sit and hatch eggs.
Chalazae: The cords that anchor the yolk to the shell in the egg.
Chicken: Technically the term to describe a bird, (male or female) of the current seasons breeding.
Cock: A male bird after the first moult generally at about a year and a half old.
Cockerel: A male bird of the current years breeding.
Comb: The red muscle on the head of most chickens.
Crest: The bunch of feathers on the head of some breeds.
Crop: Part of the pre-digestive system of the chicken. Food collects here at the base of the neck and is softened before going through the rest of the digestive process.
Cushion: The area of the back in front of the tail on the female
Cuticle: The last coat put on the egg in the vagina acting as a barrier to disease.
Drinker: Container for water for birds to drink from.
Dust bath: Chickens will use an area of dry dust, be that earth or sand, to remove mites and lice form their feathers.
Ear lobe: The fleshy bit just under the ears.
Face: The skin around the eyes.
Flight feathers: The biggest primary feathers on the final half of the wing.
Gizzard: The internal organ of the chicken that collects grit and grinds food down.
Grit: Insoluble stoney matter fed to chickens to allow their gizzard to grind their food up.
Gullet: The oesophagus. (The pipe between the throat and crop.)
Hen: A female after her first laying period, roughly a year and a half old.
Hybrid: Birds that have been genetically bred from two different breeds for good characteristics from both, such as laying well and having a good amount of meat.
Keel: The birds breast bone.
Nicholls, Simon: One of the four founder members of Omlet. Small but perfectly formed and fluent in west country.
Mash: A mixture of (wet or dry) coarse ground feed.
Meat spots: Bits found inside an egg caused by some foreign body or other passing into the oviduct as the eggs are forming.
Moult: The yearly shedding and replacement of feathers. Lasts for around 8 weeks.
Paul, Johannes: One of the four founder members of Omlet. In pursuit of the perfect piece of cake.
Pea comb: A comb that looks like three separate combs, the middle one being the largest.
Pellet: Pellets formed from a fine mash bonded together.
Point of lay: A young pullet about 18 weeks old, the age at which the bird could start laying. Your first egg could be four weeks after this though.
Primary feathers: The first ten feathers on the wing starting at the tip working towards the middle. Out of sight when the bird is resting.
Pullet: A female bird from the current year\'s breeding.
Pure breed: A breed that is pure, i.e. has had no crossing with other breeds or varieties within the same breed.
Rose comb: A wide flat comb nearly flat on top, covered with small nodules ending up with a spike. Size varies with breed.
Saddle: The area of the back in front of the tail on the male.
Scales: The horny tissue covering the toes and legs.
Shaft: The stem or base of the feather.
Single comb: A flat vertical comb with serrations along the edge.
Tuthill, James: One of the four founder members of Omlet. Has a beautiful singing voice.
Utility: Birds bred for meat or egg production rather than shows.
Variety: Birds of the same breed but of different colours.
Vent: The orifice at the rear end of the bird through which both eggs and faeces are ejected.
Wattles: The fleshy appendages hanging either side of the lower beak.
Windham, William: One of the four founder members of Omlet. Often mistaken for Brad Pitt.
Wing clipping: The practice of clipping, (cutting the end off) the primary and secondary feathers on one wing to prevent the bird from flying.

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Comments Leave a comment

Rosa, 25 August 2013

Can't wait for my chickens and Eglu Cube to arrive! Very useful information!

Sharon, 5 June 2013


Veronique, 20 September 2011

Great information! We've had hens for nearly a year now and they love to come in front of our glass sliding door. They will sit there in front of us, pruning their feathers and having a little nap. We have noticed that they have something on their back that protudes and they occasionally touch it with their beaks while cleaning themselves. What is it?

Carol, 7 August 2011

I am looking forward to owning and learning from my new friends when they arrive

Jane, 2 May 2011

I haven't yet managed to find a simple hen keeping book near where I live, so this guide is fantastic - not to mention adding the right amount of humour into it, I absolutely love it!