As typically seen, chickens can be sighted almost anywhere, from a small farm to a nearby park in your locality. They are quite fun to look at; their every move is entertaining, they bob their head and move them around in a jittery motion.
But what you must know is that there are some rare chickens trotting around in flocks that you may not know of. These chickens are known as albino chickens, and no, they’re not what you see daily. There’s a huge difference between a white chicken and an albino chicken.
Read on to understand what albinism in chicken means.
Albino chickens are extremely rare. Although they may look similar to solid white chickens, they are very different from one another. White chickens are regular chickens that you see every day, and albino chickens lack color; therefore, they have pink eyes, stale white beaks, and pink legs.
Every bird enthusiast has one thought: whether an albino chicken is the same as a regular white chicken. The answer to this question is no. Why? Because every white bird doesn’t have albinism, that’s biologically impossible.
So does that mean every albino bird is a white bird? The answer is yes because they’re visibly white in color and may resemble regular white chickens to many. If you’re not aware of how genetics and pigment distribution works, you may be a little confused about what albinism in chicken looks like.
To address your confusion, let’s say that albino chickens have a complete lack of pigment in all feathers and other soft parts. Their bill, legs, and eyes are visibly pink, which sets them apart from other solid white chickens.
Read on to find out answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Albino Chickens.
When you look at white chickens from a distance, you cannot tell whether one of those chickens is an albino or not, which is understandable considering how these chickens have a lot in common with regular chickens.
But one way you can tell them apart is by taking a closer look at their eyes. Albino chickens have red eyes, whereas solid white chickens have dark eyes.
In most cases of albinism, it is necessary that a chicken has reddish-pink eyes and a stale beak; otherwise, the chicken cannot be considered albino. They may also appear weaker than other chickens because they have a recessive gene passed down to them.
They’re roughly about 26 inches tall or maybe smaller depending on what chicken breed they belong to and have an average weight of 2 kgs.
Since they’re smaller and weaker than regular chickens, they have a hard time looking for a partner to mate with.
DID YOU KNOW?
Chickens can dream when they sleep.
Albino chickens are quite rare to spot because this color aberration is not often seen much—because it is a genetic condition that affects only a few chickens. However, since this gene rarely gets transferred to other offspring, it makes the condition very unique.
Although this condition is unique, it still has a few consequences that birds with albinism suffer from. For example, these birds are born weak and fragile; without much care, they would easily fall victim to a lurking predator and die instantly.
Only a minute portion of chickens are true albinos; the rest are just solid white chickens.
An Albino chicken’s diet is no different from a regular chicken’s. They both have similar preferences mainly because they’re the same species. Hence, albino chickens also peck on whatever they can find; they’re omnivores and can eat many things.
Their diet is not limited; they can eat anything from plants, seeds, veggies, grains, and leftovers to insects, worms, frogs, mice, etc., the list continues and isn’t short.
Albino chickens can be found in the same regions as regular chickens. However, in the wild, albino chickens do not survive that long because the lack of color from their bodies makes them vulnerable to predators lurking nearby.
They’re mostly found in yards and farms, which is their natural habitat; they can be seen walking about in open fields with tall grass and greenery in the wild.
Albino chickens, although rare, can be found in a flock of chickens or maybe newborn chicks on the farm. The probability of a chicken giving birth to an albino chicken is very low, but it is never zero.
Chickens have a great memory and can recognize more than 100 faces.
Albino chickens get along with turkeys and peacocks. This is one of the most common things observed in open fields where these birds are kept together. They’re peaceful and live in harmony side by side with one another.
Albino chickens and chickens best thrive in warm regions where there’s a lot of greenery, grass, and open fields. To make an albino chicken feel safe and secure, provide it with enough open space where it can run around and roam free.
Along with that, provide them with a suitable shelter to keep them safe from predators since albino chickens are most likely to fall prey to them. On top of that, they’re comparatively weaker and smaller, which makes them more vulnerable to potential predators.
Just like regular chickens, Albino Chickens prefer nesting in spaces that provide them with warmth, safety, darkness, and comfort. Hence, they prefer nesting in nest boxes provided by the owners of the farm or yard.
Although albino chickens’ nesting habits are the same as other chickens’ nesting habits, it is still rare for them to breed. Since they are weaker, suffer from blindness and hearing issues, they are likely to die before reaching the brooding stage.
Albinism, although very rare, may affect a chicken’s survivability out in the wild, where they have little to no protection against looming predators. They do not have colorful plumage to hide behind, so camouflage with all-white plumes is quite difficult.
Not only that, they are born with weaker eyesight compared to their counterparts. So even if they were trying their best to stay alive, they would still fall behind as their hindered vision actively intervenes in their day-to-day life and navigation abilities.
They are also born with a weakened sense of hearing, which means that other chickens are calling out to them often. Therefore, when chickens are panicking and making calls to alert others, they might not hear them.
Chickens will peck on anything, even a carcass of an animal.
Chickens both domesticated and wild can have an albino chicken among them. Their lifespan varies depending on the kind of situation they’re put in. Albino chickens can live for at least 7-10 years if they’re well cared for.
Otherwise, chances of survival for chickens with albinism are very low; they often die when they’re small chicks. This is so because of how their senses are affected by this mutation. Their vision is poor, they can’t see, and they are weaker too.
Chickens aren't entirely flightless; they can fly over a fence.
Although chickens are very common, especially since we consume them quite frequently, they still are very interesting to look into. Albino chickens may resemble regular white chickens, but they’re very different from them in terms of health and other functions.
Unfortunately, albino chickens are rare since their survival is a little difficult, considering how almost all of their senses are affected by this mutation. But on the brighter side, they’re still exquisite beings.
If you would like to read more about albino bird species and expand your knowledge, here’s an interesting post that you can explore about cardinals with albinism—a very common backyard bird!
My name is Inigo and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!
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