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Try this low-calorie chicken, butternut squash and artichoke traybake as an easy dinner during busy weekdays.

It takes just five minutes to prepare. Try this fragrant Mauritian chicken curry with potatoes. It's served with a spiced tomato side dish along with fluffy basmati rice and rotis Keep these nutty chicken satay strips in the fridge for a healthy choice when you're peckish.

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The chicken is served with cucumber and sweet chilli sauce Cater for a crowd with this easy, hearty chicken casserole that evokes summer in Provence using a fragrant selection of herbs, tomatoes, olives and artichokes. Serve this delicious chicken and chorizo ragu over rice or pasta as an easy midweek dinner for the family.

You can freeze any leftovers for another day. Spice up your Sunday roast with this African-inspired recipe where the chicken comes with jollof stuffing and a peanut butter and tomato sauce. Kids will love these chicken skewers hot off the griddle for a quick supper, or pack them in wraps with green salad and tzatziki to take on a picnic. Treat the family to this wholesome chicken casserole that delivers comfort while being low-fat.

And you can let a slow cooker do most of the work. Make our easy roast chicken as a feast for the family at the weekend. Serve this Sunday lunch favourite with seasonal veg, roast potatoes and gravy. This simple one-pot chicken uses the whole bird and poaching keeps it succulent.

Blast the skin with a blowtorch to make it golden and deliciously crisp. A satisfying chicken and mushroom one-pot that makes a great family supper or freeze leftovers for another day. It is not unknown for two or more hens to try to share the same nest at the same time. If the nest is small, or one of the hens is particularly determined, this may result in chickens trying to lay on top of each other. There is evidence that individual hens prefer to be either solitary or gregarious nesters. Under natural conditions, most birds lay only until a clutch is complete, and they will then incubate all the eggs.

Hens are then said to "go broody ". The broody hen will stop laying and instead will focus on the incubation of the eggs a full clutch is usually about 12 eggs. She will "sit" or "set" on the nest, protesting or pecking in defense if disturbed or removed, and she will rarely leave the nest to eat, drink, or dust-bathe.

While brooding, the hen maintains the nest at a constant temperature and humidity, as well as turning the eggs regularly during the first part of the incubation. To stimulate broodiness, owners may place several artificial eggs in the nest. To discourage it, they may place the hen in an elevated cage with an open wire floor.

Breeds artificially developed for egg production rarely go broody, and those that do often stop part-way through the incubation. However, other breeds, such as the Cochin , Cornish and Silkie , do regularly go broody, and they make excellent mothers, not only for chicken eggs but also for those of other species—even those with much smaller or larger eggs and different incubation periods, such as quail , pheasants , turkeys or geese.

Fertile chicken eggs hatch at the end of the incubation period, about 21 days. Before hatching, the hen can hear the chicks peeping inside the eggs, and will gently cluck to stimulate them to break out of their shells. The chick begins by "pipping"; pecking a breathing hole with its egg tooth towards the blunt end of the egg, usually on the upper side. The chick then rests for some hours, absorbing the remaining egg yolk and withdrawing the blood supply from the membrane beneath the shell used earlier for breathing through the shell. The chick then enlarges the hole, gradually turning round as it goes, and eventually severing the blunt end of the shell completely to make a lid.

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The chick crawls out of the remaining shell, and the wet down dries out in the warmth of the nest. Hens usually remain on the nest for about two days after the first chick hatches, and during this time the newly hatched chicks feed by absorbing the internal yolk sac. Some breeds sometimes start eating cracked eggs, which can become habitual.

She leads them to food and water and will call them toward edible items, but seldom feeds them directly. She continues to care for them until they are several weeks old. Chickens may occasionally gang up on a weak or inexperienced predator. At least one credible report exists of a young fox killed by hens. In , scientists researching the ancestry of birds "turned on" a chicken recessive gene , talpid2 , and found that the embryo jaws initiated formation of teeth, like those found in ancient bird fossils. John Fallon, the overseer of the project, stated that chickens have " Galliformes , the class of bird that chickens belong to, is directly linked to the survival of birds when all other dinosaurs went extinct.

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It was water or ground-dwelling fowl much like modern partridges that survived the fireball wiping out all tree-dwelling birds with the rest of the dinosaurs. They are descended primarily from the red junglefowl Gallus gallus and are scientifically classified as the same species. The traditional view is that chickens were first domesticated for cockfighting in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

According to one early study, a single domestication event which took place in what now is the country of Thailand gave rise to the modern chicken with minor transitions separating the modern breeds. It has been claimed based on paleoclimatic assumptions that chickens were domesticated in Southern China in BC. Instead, the origin could be the Harappan culture of the Indus Valley.

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Eventually, the chicken moved to the Tarim basin of central Asia. Phoenicians spread chickens along the Mediterranean coasts as far as Iberia. Breeding increased under the Roman Empire , and was reduced in the Middle Ages. Middle East traces of chicken go back to a little earlier than BC, in Syria ; chickens went southward only in the 1st millennium BC. It was during the Hellenistic period 4th-2nd centuries BC , in the Southern Levant, that chickens began widely to be domesticated for food.

Domestic chicken in the Americas before Western contact is still an ongoing discussion, but blue-egged chickens, found only in the Americas and Asia, suggest an Asian origin for early American chickens. A lack of data from Thailand, Russia, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa makes it difficult to lay out a clear map of the spread of chickens in these areas; better description and genetic analysis of local breeds threatened by extinction may also help with research into this area.

An unusual variety of chicken that has its origins in South America is the araucana , bred in southern Chile by the Mapuche people. Araucanas, some of which are tailless and some of which have tufts of feathers around their ears, lay blue-green eggs. It has long been suggested that they pre-date the arrival of European chickens brought by the Spanish and are evidence of pre-Columbian trans-Pacific contacts between Asian or Pacific Oceanic peoples, particularly the Polynesians, and South America.

In , an international team of researchers reported the results of analysis of chicken bones found on the Arauco Peninsula in south-central Chile. Radiocarbon dating suggested that the chickens were Pre-Columbian, and DNA analysis showed that they were related to prehistoric populations of chickens in Polynesia. In contrast, sequences from two archaeological sites on Easter Island group with an uncommon haplogroup from Indonesia, Japan, and China and may represent a genetic signature of an early Polynesian dispersal.

Modeling of the potential marine carbon contribution to the Chilean archaeological specimen casts further doubt on claims for pre-Columbian chickens, and definitive proof will require further analyses of ancient DNA sequences and radiocarbon and stable isotope data from archaeological excavations within both Chile and Polynesia. The debate for and against a Polynesian origin for South American chickens continued with this paper and subsequent responses in PNAS.

More than 50 billion chickens are reared annually as a source of meat and eggs. The vast majority of poultry are raised in factory farms. According to the Worldwatch Institute , 74 percent of the world's poultry meat and 68 percent of eggs are produced this way. Friction between these two main methods has led to long-term issues of ethical consumerism. Opponents of intensive farming argue that it harms the environment, creates human health risks and is inhumane. Chickens farmed for meat are called broilers. Chickens will naturally live for six or more years, but broiler breeds typically take less than six weeks to reach slaughter size.

Chickens farmed primarily for eggs are called layer hens. In total, the UK alone consumes more than 34 million eggs per day. Hens, particularly from battery cage systems, are sometimes infirm or have lost a significant amount of their feathers, and their life expectancy has been reduced from around seven years to less than two years.

Some flocks may be force-moulted several times. Chickens are social, inquisitive, intelligent birds, and many find their behaviour entertaining.

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Incubation can successfully occur artificially in machines that provide the correct, controlled environment for the developing chick. Temperature regulation is the most critical factor for a successful hatch. Humidity is also important because the rate at which eggs lose water by evaporation depends on the ambient relative humidity. Evaporation can be assessed by candling, to view the size of the air sac, or by measuring weight loss.

Lower humidity is usual in the first 18 days to ensure adequate evaporation. The position of the eggs in the incubator can also influence hatch rates. For best results, eggs should be placed with the pointed ends down and turned regularly at least three times per day until one to three days before hatching.

If the eggs aren't turned, the embryo inside may stick to the shell and may hatch with physical defects. Adequate ventilation is necessary to provide the embryo with oxygen. Older eggs require increased ventilation. Many commercial incubators are industrial-sized with shelves holding tens of thousands of eggs at a time, with rotation of the eggs a fully automated process. Home incubators are boxes holding from 6 to 75 eggs; they are usually electrically powered, but in the past some were heated with an oil or paraffin lamp.

Chickens are susceptible to several parasites , including lice , mites , ticks , fleas , and intestinal worms , as well as other diseases. Despite the name, they are not affected by chickenpox , which is generally restricted to humans.

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Since antiquity chickens have been, and still are, a sacred animal in some cultures [68] and deeply embedded within belief systems and religious worship. The term "Persian bird" for the rooster appears to have been given by the Greeks after Persian contact "because of his great importance and his religious use among the Persians". In Indonesia the chicken has great significance during the Hindu cremation ceremony. A chicken is considered a channel for evil spirits which may be present during the ceremony. A chicken is tethered by the leg and kept present at the ceremony for its duration to ensure that any evil spirits present go into the chicken and not the family members.

The chicken is then taken home and returns to its normal life. In ancient Greece , the chicken was not normally used for sacrifices, perhaps because it was still considered an exotic animal. Because of its valor, the cock is found as an attribute of Ares , Heracles , and Athena.

The alleged last words of Socrates as he died from hemlock poisoning, as recounted by Plato , were " Crito , I owe a cock to Asclepius ; will you remember to pay the debt? The Greeks believed that even lions were afraid of roosters. Several of Aesop's Fables reference this belief. In the New Testament , Jesus prophesied the betrayal by Peter : "Jesus answered, 'I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me. This made the rooster a symbol for both vigilance and betrayal. Earlier, Jesus compares himself to a mother hen when talking about Jerusalem : "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.

In the sixth century, Pope Gregory I declared the rooster the emblem of Christianity [73] and another Papal enactment of the ninth century by Pope Nicholas I [68] ordered the figure of the rooster to be placed on every church steeple. In many Central European folk tales , the devil is believed to flee at the first crowing of a rooster. In traditional Jewish practice, a kosher animal is swung around the head and then slaughtered on the afternoon before Yom Kippur , the Day of Atonement, in a ritual called kapparos ; it is now common practice to cradle the bird and move it around the head.

A chicken or fish is typically used because it is commonly available and small enough to hold. The sacrifice of the animal is to receive atonement, for the animal symbolically takes on all the person's sins in kapparos. The meat is then donated to the poor. A woman brings a hen for the ceremony, while a man brings a rooster. Although not a sacrifice in the biblical sense, the death of the animal reminds the penitent sinner that his or her life is in God's hands.

The Talmud speaks of learning "courtesy toward one's mate" from the rooster. A rooster might also come to the aid of a hen if she is attacked. The Talmud likewise provides us with the statement "Had the Torah not been given to us, we would have learned modesty from cats, honest toil from ants, chastity from doves and gallantry from cocks", [76] [77] which may be further understood as to that of the gallantry of cocks being taken in the context of a religious instilling vessel of "a girt one of the loins" Young's Literal Translation that which is "stately in his stride" and "move with stately bearing" in the Book of Proverbs as referenced by Michael V.

The chicken is one of the symbols of the Chinese Zodiac. In Chinese folk religion , a cooked chicken as a religious offering is usually limited to ancestor veneration and worship of village deities. Vegetarian deities such as the Buddha are not recipients of such offerings. Under some observations, an offering of chicken is presented with "serious" prayer while roasted pork is offered during a joyous celebration.

In Confucian Chinese weddings, a chicken can be used as a substitute for one who is seriously ill or not available e. However, this practice is rare today. A cockatrice was supposed to have been born from an egg laid by a rooster, as well as killed by a rooster's call. Chickens, together with dogs and pigs, were the domestic animals of the Lapita culture, [79] the first Neolithic culture of Oceania.

The first pictures of chickens in Europe are found on Corinthian pottery of the 7th century BC. Pictures of chickens are found on Greek red figure and black-figure pottery. In ancient Greece, chickens were still rare and were a rather prestigious food for symposia.

After the attacks of Aria people these fowls spred from Sindh to Balakh and Iran. Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into allegations that top poultry processors colluded to keep prices artificially high. The probe came to light after federal attorneys sought to intervene in a long-running lawsuit in which customers accused chicken processors, including Tyson Foods Inc. SAFM 1. The processors have denied the accusations. The government asked a federal judge in Illinois to halt evidence-collection in the suit for six months to protect a grand jury investigation into the matter, lawyers from the department wrote in a motion filed Friday in Chicago.

A ruling is expected Thursday. Shares of Tyson fell 1. Plaintiffs ranging from independent restaurateurs to Walmart Inc. Meat companies have denied claims that they cooperated to boost prices, attributing higher prices to stronger demand and reduced production after a tough period for the U. Department of Agriculture began estimating national prices. More broadly, prices for chicken, pork and beef products have fallen over the past five years as low grain prices helped the U. Mexico and China levied tariffs on U. Department of Agriculture. Restaurants and retailers now face the prospect of higher prices.

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