|Red Jungle Fowl
gallus. It is believed that the domestic
chicken was initially bred from this wild
species. The exact time of its domestication is
unknown, but there are some Asiatic records of it
dating back more than 3,000 years.
The plumage is gold, red,
brown, dark maroon, and orange, with hints of
metallic green and gray. There are two white
patches on either side of the head, which
distinguishes this species from other fowl, as do
its grayish feet. The cock has fleshy appendages,
comb and lappets on his head, and is stouter than
The red jungle fowl is native
to Southern Asia, particularly the jungles of
India, southern China and the Indonesian islands
(except for Borneo). It lives in thick secondary
forest, and feeds in adjacent open areas.
Breeding can occur at any time
of the year, but is usually confined to the rainy
season. Unmated males challenge the established
cocks by crowing and clapping their wings over
their backs. When fights break out they are
fierce and serious injury is not uncommon. The
victor courts the hen by waltzing around her with
one wing lowered to the ground, and rubbing the
primary feathers of that wing with the nearest
foot to produce a rasping sound.
Two to four eggs are laid, one
per day, into a hollow scraped into the ground,
and incubated for 19 to 21 days. Chicks are fully
feathered by four to five weeks of age, are
chased out of the nest at about 12 weeks, and
reach sexual maturity at about five months.
Red jungle fowl live in small
flocks of one cock with two to five hens. They
roost 15 to 20 feet up in the bamboos, coming out
in the morning to feed and drink.
Food consists of just about
anything that can be found in the leaf litter and
soil of the forest floor, including green plants,
seeds, berries, earthworms, insects, and other
small animals. Like other fowl, Gallus gallus
scratch at the ground violently with their strong
toes and then step back to search for anything
edible that may have been uncovered.
genus & species Gallus gallus
Animal Diversity Web http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Gallus_gallus/
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