What Is a Baby Chicken Called?

baby-chicken-called Credit: David Goehring/CC-BY 2.0

A baby chicken is called a chick. While adults are referred to as chicken in the United States, in some countries like Australia and New Zealand, only the meat that is eaten is called chicken while birds are all called chicks.

Baby chickens are called chicks, biddies, cockerels, pullets and broilers. Chick and biddy are interchangeable terms for any baby chicken, while cockerel and pullet refer to specific genders. Broilers bred for meat are harvested between nine and 12 weeks of age.

Cockerels and young roosters are male chickens under the age of one. Pullets are female chickens under the age of one. Once chickens are a year old, the females are called hens and the males are called old roosters or cocks. Layers are hens that are kept for laying eggs, and brood hens are layers that sit on and hatch their own eggs.

Chickens are one of the few flightless birds commonly found on farms. Some light chickens can fly for very short distances. Chickens provide food in the form of chicken meat and eggs that they lay. Most of their diet is similar to other birds, which consists mainly of seeds and small insects. They have been known to eat small lizards or snakes.