Sep 26, 2014

Capons, Chickens, Cockerels, Hens, and Roosters

A capon is a rooster or cockerel that has been castrated. This culinary practice existed in ancient China and Europe. Romans castrated roosters to double their size. Capon meat is more moist, tender, and flavorful than that of a cockerel or a hen and is less gamey tasting.

Chickens are a domesticated fowl, bred primarily as a source of food, including meat and eggs. In the UK and Ireland adult male chickens over the age of 12 months are primarily known as cocks. In the US, Australia, and Canada they are more commonly called roosters. Males less than a year old are cockerels.

Hens are female chickens over a year old and younger females are called pullets. In the egg-laying industry, a pullet becomes a hen when she begins to lay eggs at 16 to 20 weeks of age. Chicken eggs vary in color depending on the hen, ranging from bright white to shades of brown, blue, green, and purple.

Here is a quick summary. Roosters generally crow and hens generally cluck. All capons, cockerals, hens, and roosters are chicken. All capons, cockerals, and roosters are male. All hens and pullets are female. All cocks are not chicken, but also the male of other species, such as cock sparrows. "Roosting" is the action of perching to sleep and is done by both chicken sexes.

During the course of the 2014 Super Bowl, American consumers devoured a total of 1.25 billion chicken wingettes and drumettes (the wing tips were sent to Asia). There is a chicken sound app for smartphones that can be used as a ringtone, or just to irritate those around you.