Welcome to Farm Gate Texas

Where the farm meets the city. Three generations working together, raising backyard chickens

Did you know.....

1. Did you know that a color of the chicken's ear will determine the color of the egg? There is a wide range of colored eggs ranging from white to blue/green to red. For instance, white earlobes generally indicate white eggs, and red earlobes usually indicate brown eggs. Different breeds lay different colored eggs, which is how our farm's mixed-breed flock is able to offer "rainbow eggs." Example? Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons, and Dominiques lay brown eggs, while Polish, Anconas, and Leghorns lay white eggs. Ameraucanas even lay green or blue-tinted eggs. However, the color of the egg shell does not affect the taste. The taste of an egg is based solely on the diet of the chicken.
2. Did you know that when a hen starts to go broody, that she will lay (gather in the case of multible hens using the same box) several eggs over several days before she starts sitting on them and that the eggs will all hatch within a day or so of each other?
3. Did you know that some chickens will start laying as young as 5 months old?. There are also chickens that will lay for more than 10 years. Those older chickens will slowly stop laying over time. The prime for most chickens to be productive is no more than 3-4 years, however, chickens can live to 20 years of age.
4. Did you know that chickens aren’t completely flightless? They can get airborne enough to make it over a fence or into a tree.
5. Did you know that chickens are not vegatarians only? These birds are omnivores. They’ll eat seeds and insects but also larger prey like small mice and lizards. If you have a grasshopper problem, get chickens. They will help take care of the problem if they are allowed to be pastured.
6. Did you know that With 25 billion chickens in the world, there are more of them than any other bird species?
7. Did you know that free-range pastured chickens produce healthier eggs than both caged and cage-free eggs? Here are some of the benefits of free-range pastured eggs over the other eggs available.
• 1/3 less cholesterol
• 1/4 less saturated fat
• 2/3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene
8. Did you know that baby chickens are called chicks? Female chickens are pullets until they’re old enough to lay eggs and become hens. Male chickens are called roosters, cocks or cockerels, depending on the country you’re in.
9. Did you know A rooster announces to a flock of chickens that he’s found food with a “took, took, took?” The hens don’t pay attention if they already know that there is food around.
10. Did you know that roosters perform a little dance called ‘tidbitting’ in which they make sounds (food calls) and move their head up and down, picking up and dropping a bit of food? Researchers have found that females prefer males that often perform tidbitting and have larger, brighter combs on top of their heads.
11. Did you know scientists think that the rooster’s wattle–the dangly bit beneath his beak–helps him to gain a hen’s attention when he is tidbitting.
12. Did you know that chickens know who’s boss? They form complex social structures known as “pecking orders" and every chicken knows his or her place on the social ladder. Young roosters will challenge older roosters and even humans to move up the ladder. The dominant male (cockerel) protects the females (hens) and they choose to feed close to him for safety.
13. Did you know that chickens can distinguish between more than 100 faces of their own species? They can also recognise humans. Looks like elephants aren’t the only ones who have a great memory.
14. Did you know that chickens like to sunbathe? Apparently everyone—humans, cats, dogs, and chickens all like to sunbathe! You can’t blame them, and they don’t even need sunscreen.
15. Did you know that chickens love to play in the dirt? Just like kids, they will cover their whole body in sand but for a different reason than why kids do it. Known as a "dust bath", it is necessary to clean the feathers and keep parasites off of their skin.
16. Did you know that chickens are real sleeping beauties? They experience rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which means they dream just like we do.
17. Did you know that hens defend their young from predators? Looks like calling someone a “chicken” is actually a compliment!
18. Did you know that chickens have more than 30 types of vocalizations to distinguish between threats.
19. Did you know that chickens are just like human mothers who talk to their babies in the womb—a mother hen begins to teach calls to her chicks before they even hatch.
20. Did you know that chickens can’t taste sweetness in foods? However, they can detect salt, and most choose to avoid it.
21. Did you know that chickens love to play? When given enough space, chickens will run, jump, spa and even sunbathe?
22. Did you know in the chicken capital of the world, Gainesville, Georgia, it is illegal to eat chicken with a fork?
23. Did you know that in Gainesville, Georgia, chicken must be eaten with the hands?
24. Did you know that in Quitman, Georgia, it is illegal for a chicken to cross the road?
25. Did you know that a mother hen turns it egg about 50 times each day? This is so the yoke does not stick to the egg shell.
26. Did you know that some chicken breeds have 5 toenails on each foot? Most have just 4 toenails.
28. Did you know that chickens make good teachers? Mother hens can show their babies what is good to eat and what is not. In tests, hens have taught their babies to stay away from color-coded grains that are bad for them.
30. Did you know that chickens are more docile at night? Chickens go into a passive, trancelike state when they sleep at night. Consequently, if you need to catch and handle a chicken that is not very tame, do it at night after the chicken has settled down to roost.
31. Did you know that chickens signal when they are ready to lay? Before a hen begins to lay, her comb will get larger and redder, and she may begin to squat submissively when you reach down to pet her.
32. Did you know that a female chick is born with thousands of tiny ova, which are undeveloped yolks? Once she reaches maturity, an ovum will be released into a canal called the oviduct and begin its journey of development. Thus, the hen is born with all the eggs (ova) that she will ever lay.
33. Did you know that a chicken does not need a rooster to lay an egg? Roosters are only needed to produce a fertile egg.
34. Did you know that a chicken can travel up to nine miles per hour?
35. Did you know that alektorophobia is the fear of chickens?
36. Did you know that researchers at NASA are testing a new jet fuel made from chicken fat?
37. Did you know you can tell whether an egg is fresh or stale by dropping it in water? A fresh egg will sink, but a stale one will float.
38. Did you know that eggs are good for your eyes because they contain lutein, which helps prevent age-related cataracts and muscle degeneration?
39. Did you know that researchers have found a way to turn chicken feathers into strong, plastic composites for products as varied as car dashboards and boat exteriors?
40. Did you know that chickens will lay fewer and fewer but larger and larger eggs as they grow older?
41. Did you that a chickens' body temperature normally runs at 102-103 degrees F?
42. Did you know that a rooster takes 18-20 breaths a minute, a hen 30-35?
43. Did you know a chicken can have 4 or 5 toes on each foot?
44. Did you know that grocery store chickens are 5-8 weeks old?
45. Did you know that Americans consume 8 billion chickens a year?
46. Did you know that it takes 4 lbs.+ of feed to make 1 dozen eggs?
47. Did you know that in 1925, hens laid an average of 100 eggs a year? In 1979, the World Record was set by a White Leghorn who laid 371 eggs in 364 days!!!
48. Did you know that chickens have more bones in their necks than giraffes? They have no teeth and swallow their food whole. Part of their stomach is used to grind their food up.
49. Did you know that the world record for the most eggs laid in one day is seven?
50. Did you know that Hooters restaurants sell 30 million pounds of chicken wings each year? That is enough to circle the earth at the equator
51. Did you know that a Chicken can run about 9 miles per hour, a human can usually manage 12-15 miles per hour?
52. Did you know a chicken's heart beats 300 times a minute (about 4-5 times more than a human)?
53. Did you know there are more chickens on earth than humans? In 2013, there were more than 25 billion chickens, compared to 7 Billion humans.
54. Did you know if all the chickens eaten at KFC were lined up end to end, they'd circle the Earth 11 times?
55. Did you know that there are 50 billion eggs produced each year in the United States and there are 8 billion chickens consumed in the United States each year?