Life Cycle of a Chicken: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:00 A Chicken's Life Cycle & Eggs
  • 1:33 Chicks and Chickens
  • 2:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Michelle Madden
In this lesson, you will learn about the life cycle of some of the most popular birds on the planet - chickens! At the end of the lesson, test your knowledge with a quiz.

A Chicken's Life Cycle and Eggs

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? You may have heard that question before, and everyone has an opinion on how chickens came to be. However, there are several real stages of life that all chickens go through in their lifetimes.

A chicken's life cycle actually begins before it hatches from an egg. After fertilization, which is the joining of cells from a hen (a girl chicken) and a rooster (a boy chicken), a new life is created inside of a hen's body. The new life is called an embryo, which is a very young and underdeveloped life form that cannot survive on its own. The embryo is encased in a shell, and it contains nutrients that will help the embryo grow into a chick. After a hen lays the egg that contains the embryo, it must fully develop into a chick before it can hatch from the egg and live on its own.

Once a hen lays an egg, the embryo inside will continue to grow for several weeks while it completes its development into a chick. This process is called incubation. During incubation, the hen sits on her eggs to keep them warm, dry, and protected from predators and other things that may cause harm to them. The incubation process usually takes about 3 weeks, or 21 days. During that time, the hen is dedicated to the eggs and stays with them, and even turns the eggs from time to time to make sure they are forming correctly.

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