Digestive System of a Chicken

Digestive System of a Chicken. Digestive System Digestive System of a Chicken

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Digestive System

Digestive System of a Chicken

Digestive System of a Chicken

Parts of the Digestive System

Mouth:  A chicken has no teeth. A chicken can’t physically stick out her tongue or say “Ahh,” so you may never see the inside of a chicken’s mouth. If you have, you probably noticed the gaping hole in the roof of the mouth that connects with the nasal passages

Esophagus: This is the tube that connects the mouth to the crop

Crop: Chickens don’t have teeth, so they can’t chew food in their mouths. A chicken picks up food in her beak and swallows it with the help of her tongue. The food travels down the esophagus to the crop (which is really just a bulge in the esophagus), where the chicken stores the food until she can digest it at her leisure.

Proventriculus: this is where digestion really gets rolling with the addition of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes.

Gizzard: is also known as the ventriculus. This muscular organ acts as the bird’s teeth to grind the food and mix it with digestive juices, with the help of several small stones that have been hanging out inside the gizzard

Important/ Facts

If a chicken eats a small sharp object, like a staple or a bit of wire, it’s likely to get stuck in the gizzard. With all the grinding going on, the sharp object can eventually wear a hole through the gizzard, slowly killing the chicken. Be careful to keep your coop and yard free of small, sharp metal objects, or broken glass.

Key Words





EatingCabbage and Peas IsGood


1. List the order by which feed enters the digestive system of the chicken. Starting at the mouth/beak

2. What is the function of the crop in the chicken digestive system

3. Chickens has no teeth, therefore, what mechanism is used by chickens for grinding the feed into smaller particles so it can be can be absorbed by the small intestines

4. Why is it important that litter (shavings and sawdust) are free from wire nails and metal objects?

Digestive System of a Chicken

Digestive System of a Chicken




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Chicken Reproductive System

OVARY - containing immature and mature follicles.  The mature follicles consist of the egg "yolk" and the unfertilized ovum.

  INFUNDIBULUM - yolk  with attached ovum is snatched up by the

infundibulum.  It is at this point in the reproductive tract that the ovum is fertilized if the hen has been mated with a cockerel.  Spermatozoa from the cockerel are stored in "sperm nests" located within the infundibulum and are capable of fertilizing ova for up to 30 days after mating.

MAGNUM -  while traveling through this part of the oviduct, the albumin or egg white is formed.

UTERUS - also referred to as the "shell gland", this is where the egg shell is formed.  Most of the transit time from ovulation until the egg is laid is spent in the uterus.

VAGINA - the egg travels through the vagina into the cloaca, from which it is "laid.“

CLOACA - this is the common external opening from which the contents of the urinary tract (urates), the intestinal tract (feces) and the reproductive tract (eggs) exit the hen.

Parts of the Egg

Fertile egg Infertile egg

Candling of Eggs

Candling of eggs is done to determine if an egg is fertile or infertile

Fertile eggs or hatching eggs usually has an embryo or germinal disc attached to the yolk

Infertile eggs or table eggs do not have any embryo or germinal disc attached to the yolk

Examples of Egg Candlers

Infertile Eggs

Fertile Eggs

A hen is capable of producing an egg every 25 hours. Eggs are produced and laid regardless of whether the hen has

been mated and the eggs are fertile or not.

A hen is capable of laying approximately 270 eggs per year. The embryo in a cracked fertile egg will not develop.

Incubation and hatching of fertile egg Humidity & temperature control are important factors in the

hatchability of fertilized eggs.

Chicken -- eggs incubate 21 days; spend 1 day in hen; 22 days from fertilization to birth of chick

Turkey, duck -- eggs incubate 28 days for a total of 29 days from fertilization to birth.