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Red Jungle Fowl

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 @ 12:07 PM
Author: Karen Hood

The Red Junglefowl is a tropical bird thought to be ancestral to the domestic chicken. The Red Junglefowl was first domesticated at least five thousand years ago in Asia, then taken around the world, and the domestic form is kept globally as a very productive food source of both meat and eggs. The range of the wild form stretches from Tamil Nadu, South India eastwards across southern China and into Malaysia, The Philippines and Indonesia. They are omnivorous and feed on insects, seeds and fruits including those that are cultivated such as those of the oil palm. Flight in these birds is almost purely confined to reaching their roosting areas at sunset in trees or any other high and relatively safe places free from ground predators, and for escape from immediate danger through the day.

Males make a food-related display called ‘tidbitting’, performed upon finding food in the presence of a female. The display is composed of coaxing, cluck-like calls and eye-catching bobbing and twitching motions of the head and neck. During the performance, the male repeatedly picks up and drops the food item with his beak. The display usually ends when the hen takes the food item either from the ground or directly from the male’s beak and is associated with copulations and more offspring.

Purebred Red Junglefowl are thought to be facing a serious threat of extinction because of hybridization at the edge of forests where domesticated free ranging chickens are common. The Red Jungle Fowl is just one of the many unique and beautiful birds you can see at Spokane’s premiere Petting Farm, brought to you by Mountain Valley View Farm.

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