Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Nitty Gritty

This post may be old news to you who have your own chickens,
but to you who do not....
well....
a little chicken education.
(and hopefully not as gross as the past two days, right?)

I thought today we might explore the digestive system of the chicken.
Fun, huh?

Did you know that chickens do not have a stomach.
No, siree, they do not.
They have two organs instead....
a crop 
and a gizzard.
(Personally, I have always loved the word "gizzard"!)

Most times you cannot see a bird's crop
(or gizzard for that matter)
because the crop is hidden under the breast feathers.

The crop is a sac that acts as a "doggie bag" for the chicken.
It allows the chicken to pick (or peck) up a large amount of food

and then take it with her to digest at a later time.
(Digestion is done in the gizzard.)

This sac lies at the base of the neck just at the top of the breast
to the right of the chicken's midline.

Ivanka was kind enough to show us her crop.
Fear not, there is nothing wrong with Ivanka.
She is a Transylvanian naked neck chicken.
You will notice that her crop is quite full.
She just finished stuffing herself with scratch...
a little treat of corn and oats that the hens get each day.

Slowly throughout the morning, the contents of her crop will pass
down into her muscular gizzard and be digested.
Digestive enzymes and grit will accomplish digestion
as the gizzard grinds away.

The grit is something that we give as a supplement to their diet.
Grit is nothing more than tiny pieces of limestone.

Thank goodness we humans have a stomach, and no need to eat stones!
Just imagine what that would do to our teeth!

Do chickens have teeth????????

3 comments:

Rural Revival said...

Interesting lesson, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Well???? Do chickens have teeth????
To Be Continued??

Katmom said...

um,,,the real question is...if chicken have teeth, how would they brush them! lol!
hugz

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