“What are you... Chicken?”  Why is this expression so totally wrong

“What’s wrong?” says the kid who just threw a dare at his friend….“Chicken?”

First off, the expression that someone is a chicken implies that they are afraid. 

Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to chickens in real life. 

 After having had a backyard coop, and having spent enough time observing them, it is my opinion that chickens are insanely brave birds. 

These are not guys that will just be pushed around.

On the contrary.  They are territorial and will pick a fight with any other animal intruder who will challenge them in their territory. A rooster will fiercely defend his harem of hens and will walk around the coop with his chest pumped up. 

Roosters like to showcase their manhood and have much pride in their stride.

Hens are no softer. I introduced a new chicken once and they immediately picked a fight with her. Needless to say, I had to make separate arrangements. 

Furthermore, chickens are quite smart and work well as a team within their own flock. If a predator is nearby they will make a lot of noise and warn each other of the threat.

A hidden predator will quickly have his cover blown. 

When threatened, they will peck, or even run towards the source of danger with their wings out, making themselves look bigger. Now, whether this actually fools predators isn’t always the case, but the point is that these guys are very brave. 

Mama hens are also fierce protectors of their own chicks. They will not let anyone even come close to their babies if they sense any danger.

So the next time someone says, are you chicken? You can safely say: “That’s right. I am.”

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