Chickens

 

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Range: Domesticated World Wide 

Habitat: Commercial production to back yard enthusiast

Natural Diet: The original jungle fowl stock was significantly more insectivores than the domestic chicken.  Various breeds of chickens eat a substantial amount of insect and plant matter as they free range on small family farms and in back yard aviaries.

Depending on the time of year you visit RainForest you may get to see chickens hatching in our nursery.  We actively breed several varieties of chickens throughout the year for young and old alike to marvel at the process of watching little chicks emerge from a hard shelled egg!

 

 

 The male (or Cock) Rhode Island Red is a spectacular bird.  The comb on the head is brilliant red with multiple fingers well defined.  

The Rhode Island Red first came onto the poultry scene in Little Compton, Rhode Island, beginning about 1820-1830. This breed was developed for both egg and meat production by combining the traits of several other varieties.

Rhode Island Reds were once such a popular bird in their name State that they became the official State bird!  In the early days of small family farms the Rhode Island Red was a staple bird, widely believed to have been one of the most common of all barnyard fowl.  With the migration to cities and smaller suburban homes the popularity of keeping this bird dwindled as did their numbers. 

Today they're making a comeback due to the massive resurgence in the hobby of back yard poultry in the very homes that once abandoned the process!  For the average back yard hobbyist this bird offers it all.  They're the do-everything bird: they lay exceptionally well, they're valued for their meat, they're extremely cold hardy, and hardy in general. In fact, if you're not certain what type of bird to raise in your climate, chances are, the Rhode Island Reds will do well.

Sadly, White Rhode Islands don't enjoy nearly the same popularity despite all their redeeming characteristics.

(Photo Credit ADL Photography)

 

 

 

A Silkie Chicken!

As the name would lead you to believe, the Silkie chicken is actually very silky to the touch.  These remarkable looking birds are ornamental, meaning they are not commercially gown for the use of food or egg production.

Originating from China these birds are considered to be one of the tamest and best suited for children due to their almost pet like nature. 

Also considered to be great "brooders" these birds are often used by enthusiasts to sit on the eggs of other chicken species that are much less inclined to sit on their own eggs. 

 

Some of the more interesting and strange facts about this odd looking bird are that they actually have five toes instead of the usual four and have black skin! 

 
 

 

 

 

 

   
   

Diet at Rain Forest: Prepared poultry diet supplemented with ground beef and other meat products.

Size: 1.5 to 15 pounds depending on variety. 

Keepers Notes: Rainforest Adventures has a variety of chickens at one time.   We currently have Rhode Island Red, Silky, and Americana Chickens in our outdoor aviary.

Status in Wild: Wild jungle fowl are now quite rare in most of the animals former range.  The worldwide estimated number of domestic chicken is well over 40 billion! 

 

 

 

RainForest Adventures zoo, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN