FERGUSON CHICKEN FARM

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is the difference between a bantam chicken and other breeds?  A bantam is a small variety of poultry, especially chickens.  The name bantam is derived from the city of Bantam, once a major seaport in Indonesia. European sailors restocking on live fowl for sea journeys found the small native breeds of chicken in Southeast Asia to be useful, and any such small poultry came to be known as a bantam.

Most large chicken breeds have a bantam counterpart, sometimes referred to as a miniature. Miniatures are usually one-fifth to one-quarter the size of the standard breed, but they are expected to exhibit all of the standard breed's characteristics. A true bantam has no large counterpart, and is naturally small.

What are the characteristics of a bantam chicken?  Bantams have become increasingly popular as pets as well as for show purposes because they are smaller and have more varied and exotic colors and feather patterns than other chickens. They are great for smaller backyards as they do not need as much space as other breeds. Bantam hens are also used as laying hens, although Bantam eggs are only about one-half to one-third the size of a regular hen egg. In contrast, the Bantam rooster is famous in rural areas throughout the United Kingdom and the United States for its aggressive, "
puffed-up" disposition that can be comedic in light of its diminutive stature. It is often called a "Banty" in the rural United States.

Does a hen need a rooster around to lay eggs?  NO, a rooster is not needed for a hen to lay an egg! Roosters are only needed in order for the egg to be FERTILIZED (to have a baby). Hens lay eggs with or without a rooster around.

I don't understand the purpose of the rooster and whether the eggs we eat are fertilized. The purpose of the rooster is to fertilize the eggs. An egg won't hatch into a baby chick unless the rooster mates with the hen. Most eggs in the store are unfertilized because the hens aren't kept around roosters. Yes the rooster does peck the hen on the head when they mate, but the pecking is not what fertilizing the hen. It's just to hold her down.

Do chickens lay eggs and then the eggs are fertilized by the male or do chickens mate to fertilize the eggs?  Roosters have nothing to do with egg-laying. Hens lay eggs no matter what. (When they are 6 months or older) Roosters do play a part in baby chicks though. If a hen doesn't mate with a rooster then the egg will just be an egg, and could never possibly be a baby chick. If a rooster mates with the hen, the egg the hen lays can be incubated or sat on, and it will hatch. Only when a rooster mates with a hen is there a baby chick in the egg the hen lays.

How long can newly hatched chicks live without food?  Just before the chicks hatch, they draw the nutrients from the egg into their abdomen.  Rich in food value and liquid, the yolk provides the newly-hatched chick with all it needs to eat and drink for over 3 days.  Just because this is true, it is best to make sure there is food and water around them after they are hatched.

Are the eggs we eat unfertilized? It depends, but usually the eggs that you buy at the store are not fertilized. Commerical poultry farmers keep the chickens in small wire cages usually with several other hens. They don't keep any roosters, because they are of no use, unless you need to hatch some baby chicks.


When a hen lays an egg which end comes out first? The large end.

What is the average lifespan of a chicken? 7 years.

What temperature does the incubator need to be for chicken eggs? Around 99 degrees.

How long does it take for a chick to hatch? Usually around 21 days, or 3 weeks.

How often do chickens lay eggs?  That depends on three main factors:

The breed of chicken. Some chickens are bred for meat production and lay few eggs; some are bred for egg production and can lay as often as once a day; some are bred as "dual purpose" and are good for both egg-laying and meat, although not optimal for either.

The hen's age. Hens start to lay at 4-5 months of age, and lay best during their first year. Each year after that their production decreases.

The season. In the winter (with fewer daylight hours), egg production drastically decreases. High laying season is summer.  A healthy, young hen bred for egg-laying can lay almost an egg a day