are chickens considered flightless birds

What is a Flightless Bird?

There are only about 60 species of flightless birds on Earth, making them relatively uncommon. The ostrich, one of the most famous flightless birds, is the largest bird and can run as fast as 40 mph (64 km/h). 37 kph). Therefore, even though the ostrich didn’t win the flying superpower, its run still counts.

Using their 2-inch-diameter eyes, these enormous runners from Africa keep an eye out for potential threats like lions, leopards, and hyena packs.

While it might not be clear when these incredible birds lost their ability to fly, there is evolutionary precedent for this. Ostriches are ratite, which is described in detail by Britannica:

The tuxedo-wearing creature, the penguin, is right up there with the ostrich as the most recognizable of all the birds without wings. Unlike ostriches, penguins are not ratites. They have a keel on their sternum, which is where their wings are attached.

Penguins have evolved to explore underwater, and while volant birds use their wings for flight, penguins use their wings as fins to help them navigate the waters where their food is found.

Because of this adaptation, penguins could be viewed as volant birds that, compared to most other volant birds, happen to fly through a very different environment.

So where does this leave us with pet chickens?

Large breast muscles and fat thighs have led to such excess bulk that many common breeds now have difficulty taking to the air. Nevertheless, smaller breeds, such as bantams, the featherweights of the chicken coop, are still able to get past a lot of low fences. The world record for the longest chicken flight, which lasted 92 meters, is currently 13 seconds. That’s one giant leap for chicken kind!.

Why Have Domesticated Chickens Lost This Ability?

Eggs and meat are the two main purposes for which chickens are bred. White meat is a muscle, and our ancestors preferred white meat. Our chickens’ chest muscles have grown to their maximum size thanks to selective breeding for meat.

In theory, this should make chickens fantastic fliers. In reality, however, this is counterproductive. Birds need light bodies with strong enough muscles to support their own weight in order to fly.

A lean, nearly sinewy body that is both powerful enough to lift off the ground and light enough to stay in the air characterizes the perfect flier. Sustained flight also requires endurance. Human-bred chickens are seldom bred for strength, leanness, and endurance.

Modern flightless chickens, in contrast to ostriches and penguins, are not bound to the planet because they lack the ability to fly, but rather because this ability has been bred out of them. Stated differently, we have bred our birds to be too big to have much flying ability. The typical chicken can soar up to 10 feet in the air and as high as that.

Being similar in flight skills to game birds, chickens were never the greatest fliers. They lack the skills for sustained flight, but they have been known to fly for as long as 13 seconds and a distance of 301.5 feet. It might be a short flight, but it likely is plenty enough to get the chickens away from danger.


Are chickens naturally flightless?

It’s a common misconception that chickens are truly flightless. In fact, anatomically, they can fly like any other flying bird. It is uncommon to see a chicken fly due to the extra weight on their legs and breasts due to farming and breeding programmes for meat.

Do chickens fly yes or no?

Yes, chickens can fly but not for long distances. Unlike other birds, chickens are not bred to fly. Most domesticated chickens are bred for food, not flight, according to BBC Wildlife Magazine. Domesticated chickens descend from red junglefowl of southeast Asia.

Why does chicken not fly?

Chickens can fly, but low and short distance only, such as from ground up to a tree branch or house roof. The reasons they can’t fly high and glide or stay in the air for a long time is mainly due to the heavier weight and the bigger built of their body than most bird species.

Is hen a flightless bird?

Chickens can’t fly in the way that pigeons can fly – but that doesn’t mean they’re completely flightless. A healthy hen can easily flap over a metre-high fence, and with a chicken coop roof or other elevated object to launch herself from, she can make it over higher obstacles.