How do hens fly?

World of Animals - - Animal Answers -

Any­one who has ever seen a hen fran­ti­cally take to the air when it is star­tled could be for­given for think­ing that chick­ens have lost the power of flight. In­deed, by se­lec­tively breed­ing chick­ens to pro­duce meat, hu­mans have made it harder for these birds to get off the ground. Yet even the wild jun­gle fowl from which do­mes­ti­cated chick­ens are de­scended can only fly short dis­tances at a time.

Due to their small wings rel­a­tive to their body size, hens need to put in a real ef­fort just to take off. Hence, they beat their wings rapidly to pro­duce lift. Once they are air­borne, how­ever, they don’t have enough en­ergy left to go far and their lack of en­durance means that they can­not flap fast enough or for long enough to stay up. Most of the time this doesn’t mat­ter, be­cause as ground feed­ers hens have evolved to be able to fly up just far enough to reach a low-grow­ing tree branch when threat­ened. From there they can look down on preda­tors, in­clud­ing hun­gry hu­mans.

Se­lec­tive breed­ing has helped to make henslook like poor fly­ers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.