Can chickens fly?

Domestic chickens can fly short distances, although they are too heavy for long bouts of flight. There’s a simple explanation for this, and it’s the process of their domestication. Originally bred from red jungle fowl native to south-east Asia around 8,000 years ago, these birds were bred selectively.

Modern chickens are less active and less aggressive than their wild ancestors. They were also bred to be heavier and able to produce eggs earlier in their lives. As the birds were bred to be larger, their ability to fly was hindered. Lighter chickens are significantly better fliers than heavy ones, and a young chicken’s natural instinct is to give their wings a try.


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