How execute chickens eat there is no teeth and also why don’t they have actually teeth? The answer relates to your unfortunate status as food animals. Being close to the bottom of the food chain, chickens occurred a dine-and-dash system of eating to prevent being eaten themselves by predators. The result is a unique digestive process that enables them come eat quickly, digest quickly, and also fly far to safety.

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Illustration by Bethany A. Caskey
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I’LL TAKE the TO-GO!

When a chicken picks up food with its beak, the tongue pushes it to the earlier of the mouth into its esophagus, i beg your pardon acts choose a water slide from the mouth to the crop. A chicken’s cropserves as a short-lived food storage pouch; it’s located slightly to the next of its best breast muscle.


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In a conversation through poultry nutritionist, Dr. Biggs, he explained that when in the crop, food mixes with tiny amounts of useful bacteria and lactic acid prior to moving on come the proventriculus, which is considered the “true stomach.” while in the proventriculus, acids and also pepsin (an enzyme) are added to the food mixture.

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The following stop…teeth! not really, however a solid muscle well-known as the gizzard go the job-related of teeth for chickens by grinding down any type of remaining large food particles with the assistance of grit. Grit have the right to be little stones, granite, oyster shells, or sand consumed by a chicken. Chicken that eat just crumbles or pellets carry out not need grit since the feed dissolves v water and digestive enzymes. Chickens that spend time outdoors naturally pick increase grit in your travels if they need it (like as soon as they find a leggy frog. Gah!)


Branching off the little intestine are two dead-end streets recognized as ceca whose task is to recycle water and also ferment any food not previously damaged down. This is the resource of the at sight stinky poop deposited by chicken intermittently transparent the day. You know the stuff- it’s gained the consistency the cafeteria pudding and also stinks come High Heaven. Cecal poop can selection in shade from yellow come black.


The digestive tract end at the cloaca wherein the contents from the intestines incorporate with solid waste native the chicken’s urinary tract well-known as urates. Chickens don’t have actually a bladder- the weight of a full bladder would certainly pose problems for paris prey. Urates are visible on peak of chicken poop as a white topper. Finally, chicken waste exits the bird v the cloaca- and so execute eggs. #truestory

Fun facts: Abnormal droppings might signal illness, worms, or have the right to be caused by other the chicken ate. Too lot protein in the diet can cause diarrhea. The usage of big amounts the water causes watery droppings, which is regular in hot weather, however not otherwise. Black-oil sunflower seed can cause black poop, purple cabbage reasons blue poop, etc. Learn more about normal and also abnormal chicken poop here!