The first stage of the chicken life cycle is the egg stage. Eggs are laid by female chickens, or hens, and take about 21 days to hatch. During this stage, the fertilized egg develops into a chick inside the eggshell.
The second stage of the chicken life cycle is the chick stage. After 21 days of incubation, the chick hatches from the egg. At this stage, the chick is covered in soft down feathers and is entirely dependent on its mother for food, warmth, and protection. The chick grows very quickly during this stage and can double in size within a week.
The third stage of the chicken life cycle is the pullet/hen stage. Pullet refers to a young female chicken, while a hen refers to a mature female chicken. At around six to eight weeks old, the chick begins to develop adult feathers and grows into a pullet. Once the pullet reaches maturity, usually around six months of age, it becomes a hen. Hens can lay eggs and are typically kept for egg production.
The fourth stage of the chicken life cycle is the rooster stage. Roosters are mature male chickens and can begin to develop distinguishing physical characteristics, such as a larger comb and wattles, and longer tail feathers at around four to five months old. Roosters are kept for breeding purposes and can fertilize the eggs laid by the hens.
Understanding the life cycle of a chicken is important for farmers and poultry enthusiasts to properly care for and raise their chickens. It can also be a fascinating subject for children to learn about and observe the different stages of development of a living creature.