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What Is A Group Of Chickens Called? (Why & Interesting Facts)

What is a group of chickens called?

Names for groups of animals can be quite unique; a group of ants is called an army, and a group of rhinos is called a crash. But what is a group of chickens called?

The common names for a group of chickens are peep, brood, and herd. Continue reading to learn about the different collective nouns for chickens, if wild chickens flock together, and more!


What Is A Group Of Chickens Called?

Unlike other birds, chickens aren’t given different names depending on their behavior or where they’re located. Instead, the primary term for a group of chickens is a herd.

Chickens are very social birds. In fact, they’re known to grow depressed and anxious if kept on their own or with only one other bird. Therefore, they prefer to live in groups that have 3 hens or more.

If you would like to have your chickens reproduce, 1 rooster should be incorporated into a herd of 5 to 15 hens. Additionally, most chicken breeds will share the duty of sitting on each other’s eggs and caring for the young chicks. Additional names for a group of chickens include clutch, flock, and herd.


Why Is It Called A Herd?

A herd is a group of chickens of mixed age. This group will live together, most likely in a coop, and will have an established pecking order.

However, herds don’t develop right away if you’re introducing chickens to each other, no matter if it’s all new chickens or if you’re trying to add new birds to an already existing flock.

Chickens have to be together for some time first before a pecking order and herd forms.

Related: Can chickens fly?

Other collective nouns that are used for groups of chickens include:

  • Flock
  • Clutch
  • Peep
  • Brood

The word “flock” is used for most groups of birds, with some exceptions. Chickens are not a part of the exceptions and are commonly called a flock. It’s definitely a broadened term. It doesn’t take age differences or relations between chickens within a group into account.

The clutch is a term used to describe a group of chicken eggs. Hens will lay a new egg every day until the clutch reaches a size of anywhere from 12 to 15 eggs. Once all eggs are laid, the hen will sit on the eggs and incubate them.

A group of baby chickens that have just hatched is called a peep. This is because they “peep” out of their eggs, and they make a “peep” sound. This sound is a quiet chirp.

Interestingly, a group of young chickens that were all born at the same time is called a brood. This is a common term for a lot of young birds, not just chickens. You may have heard the phrase a hen and her brood of chicks.


© Marilyn Peddle


Do Wild Chicken Flock Together Too?

Wild chickens flock together as well. Wild chickens will form social groups similar to domestic chickens, which involve a dominant rooster, several hens, and subordinate roosters.

Related: Turkey vs Chicken

Pecking order dictates the order in which birds are allowed to access dust-bathing sections, water, and food. Additionally, it decides who gets the best areas on the roosting bar and the most comfortable nesting boxes. The good news is that chickens that hatch and are raised together have minor skirmishes since the pecking order is put in place early on.

The top chicken has a unique role in the herd. This is because they’re the healthiest and strongest bird; they are responsible for always watching for predators and escorting others to safety when a weird sound is heard in the bushes nearby, or a circling hawk appears.

The chicken at the top is also expected to be the most skillful at finding sources of food, such as kitchen scraps that were dropped or tasty grubs nesting under a fallen log.

Even though the chicken at the top of the pecking order has the right to eat first, they’ll usually let the other chickens feed while keeping an eye out for threats and will dine only after everyone else is done.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a flock of chickens called?

A group of chickens is called a flock. Additional names for a group of chickens include peep, brood, clutch, and herd.

Is it a herd or flock of chickens?

Both! A group of chickens is called a variety of terms, but the most common terms for a group of chickens are herd and flock.

How social are chickens?

Chickens are very social birds. They’ve been known to get lonely if left by themselves or if they’re not in a large enough group. Chickens flock together for comfort, warmth, and company when frightened or stressed. However, single chickens have been known to harm themselves by picking at their feathers.

About the Author

Brianna Goulet

Brianna loves to get outdoors for everything creative and fun. She has a passion for birds and is a hobbyist wildlife photographer based in Central Florida. Her goal is to share everything you need to know about birds so you can get out there, explore, and identify confidently!

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