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The Facts about "Bird Flu"

*Bird Flu is known as Avian Influenza (A1)

*Chicks are never born with A1. Even if the A1 virus were present in a breeder hen, the virus would not transmit through the fertile egg to the chick.

*Most breeder flocks are tested monthly for A1 and, if any are found positive, the flock would be depopulated. In addition to breeder flocks, many states monitor commercial flocks for A1 on a regular basis, and active A1 would never be allowed to remain in any flock.

*Most strains of A1 virus are species-specific and infect only one species. For instance, human influenza only infects people and avian influenza usually only infects avians - with the one documented exception being the Hong Kong strain of A1 responsible for the 1997 outbreak.

*It was purely coincidental that the first child to be found to have the A1 flu in Hong Kong had been in a classroom with chicks. The child was also suffering from another severe disease and thus had a severely compromised immune system. Clearly, there were other multiple opportunities for the child to be exposed to the virus.

*The A1 virus strain responsible for the 1997 Hong Kong problem is not present in the U.S. Thus, in reality, American children are not at risk from the strain of A1.

*THE BOTTOM LINE...The risk associated with newly-hatched chicks and A1 is essentially nonexistent for American children.

Information provided by:

David C. Kradel (M.S., M.P.H., D.V.M.)

Robert G. Elkin (B.S., M.S., Ph.D.)

R. Michael Hulet (B.S., M.S., Ph.D.)

Department of Poutry Science - College of Agricultural Sciences

Pennsylvania State University -University Park, PA


Baby Chick (poem)

Peck, peck, peck
On the warm, brown egg.
Out comes a neck.
Out comes a leg.

~Author Unknown

Chick Trivia!!!

*Most chickens live until they are between 8-10 years old.

*A chicken’s body temperature is approximately 107°F.

*A chicken takes between 12-36 breaths per minute.

*A chicken’s heart beats 250-450 beats per minute.

*The average hen lays between 280 and 325 eggs per year.

*In 1979, a Leghorn hen laid 371 eggs in 365 days – that’s more than one egg per day!

*The world’s heaviest chicken egg was laid by a Leghorn hen in 1956. It had two yolks, a double shell, and weighed 1 pound!

*The world’s biggest chicken was a rooster named Bruno from Scotland. He weighed 22 pounds and 1 ounce!

*The record for the most yolks ever found in one egg is nine!

*Chickens can run up to 25 miles per hour!

*A patent was granted for “chicken glasses” (to prevent pecking by other chickens) in 1903.

*The number of eggs laid in a year would circle the equator more than 760 times!

*A hen lays an egg approximately every 25 hours.

*Between 70-80% of all eggs are laid before noon.

*Humans have about 9,000 taste buds – chickens have 24.

*Chicken can make about 22 different sounds.

*Eyesight is the most developed sense in the chicken.

*There is no difference in taste or nutritional composition between brown and white eggs.

*Chickens with red earlobes lay brown eggs. Chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs. Since when did chickens have earlobes?!?!

*There are about 3.2 million laying hens in Illinois.


Fun For Kids! Embryology PowerPoint The University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Chicks!
Watch a hatching chick! Chicktionary! Fowl Words 2



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