Are Chickens Mammals or Birds? All You Need To Know


Are Chickens Mammals or Birds?

Well, there’s confusion among people thinking about whether Chickens should be considered mammals or birds. Most people found chickens as birds and some found them as mammals. Well, Mammals have a whole different personality and we can say chickens are mammals. So, let’s find out this by understanding the characteristics of mammals and then birds.

What are Mammals and their characteristics?

Mammals are species with different personalities and intelligence. They are the group of vertebrate animals having mammary glands in the female ones through which the young one gets nourished with milk. They are some specific characteristics of mammals:

1. All mammals have hair or fur

Mammals have hair and fur over their body. Some mammals don’t have hair but they do have some or little when they are born. This feature is also present in some chickens. But this one is a common aspect which is rare.

2. All Mammals can give birth to a live baby and can produce milk and feed their young ones

Their babies are raised by their mother and consume the food which their mother feeds them but they don’t drink milk from their mother because chickens can’t produce milk. They lay hard-shelled eggs.

3. They are warm-blooded vertebrates

Mammals are warm-blooded creatures and have the capability of staying warm in cool temperatures. This protects them from the cold environment. Chickens are also warm-blooded and can produce heat from their body.

They can keep their body warm by adjusting their metabolism which is a general feature that comes in the category of Animal Aves. Chickens have higher body temperature than mammals and this is what birds have. It is because of their fast metabolism and small size, which means that they expend more energy.

4. All mammals have the feature of one-time tooth replacement

Mammals can grow teeth as they get older. When the baby is born they come with the milk teeth that come with the skin of the jaw. Talking about a tooth then chickens have an egg tooth and Mammals do not have egg teeth.

5. All mammals have mammary glands and birds don’t have

Mammals have mammary glands which are there to produce milk for feeding their young ones. And chickens don’t have that which makes them distinct from mammal species.

All these above-mentioned characteristics are if mammals and chickens do not have all the characteristics of Mammals but they do have some. But this doesn’t make chickens into mammals. They are considered birds. It can be explained easily by understanding the features and aspects of a chicken.

Characteristics of Chickens 


1. Feathers ( Facets like birds)

Chickens have different aspects related to their genetic structure which generally depend on their parents and their genes. They have different patterns and colors related to their genes. The Male ones can have different patterns and feather colors from the female ones. Their feather differences change with their growth. Males have longer tail feathers than female ones. 

2. Feet and claws

All the other significant features which a chicken has are feet and claws which generally are features of a bird. They not only use their feet to crawl for walking but also help them to protect themselves. They use their feet and claws for fighting and protection. Their free claws also help them to find food.

3. Comb and wattles

These features of chickens are noticeable and remarkable. They can be noticed easily as they are the red ones and stand out. It is found on the upper body parts of the chickens, in their heads. Chickens are warm-blooded species that comb and wattles are there to cool their blood, this serves as a temperature moderator.

4. Beaks

This one particular feature is an essential part of the bird, these chickens are the birds that are why they also have beaks which have many purposes and functions in chickens. Beaks serve functions like teeth that help them to break down things, before swallowing, the mouth can intake food. They also help them to protect by scaring away the predators as well as serving as a weapon in the fight.

5. Birds don’t give birth or produce milk

This is one where it becomes totally easy to define chickens as a bird and not mammals. As mentioned before Mammals give birth to a baby and they produce milk after giving birth to a baby. This process is generally known as lactation. This is what chickens can’t do. They lay an egg and do not give birth to a live baby. Thus they also don’t produce milk.

Why Do Some People Think of Chickens as Mammals? 

Chickens do have some characteristics related to Mammals. They are raised on a farm just like other animals and they take care of their young ones in the same way. Secondly, they have features like warm-blooded which help them to keep warm in cold surroundings.

This is also a facet of mammals. These all are the things that confuse people to think that they are mammals.  But chickens are more like birds which have all the aspects of them.

However, the chickens come in a category of animal class eves. There are specific features of the Animal Class Aves.

  • High metabolism
  • Feathers 
  • Evolved muscles for a flight
  • Toothless beaked jaws
  • Features of laying eggs 


Some also confuse chickens to be in the category of reptiles as some features of the match with chickens but not all. Reptiles can lay eggs the same as chickens. Reptiles also have an egg tooth like a chicken. But they are not warm-blooded like mammals and birds. Birds have more warm blood than mammals, which is a feature of birds.

So now it has been understood that Chickens are birds and not Mammals. They do have some characteristics like being warm-blooded or having hair and are much more related to mammals but that doesn’t make them one. Their features are more like a bird with facets of Animal Aves. That is why it is concluded that Basically, they are birds under the Animal Aves.

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