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1A female bird, especially of a domestic fowl.
- ‘The 5 bantam hens and one California white hen provide excellent grasshopper and slug control.’
- ‘My mother kept chickens until all four hens and the three cockerels were stolen just over two weeks ago by the local kids.’
- ‘Certified organic poultry - including laying hens, broilers, and turkeys - showed even higher rates of growth during this period.’
- ‘Breeding hens and young chicks eat a greater proportion of animal matter than the rest of the population.’
- ‘Male and female birds are very similar, with the hens distinguished only by their brighter, pinkish-red irides.’
- ‘Well before the cock is over the nest, the hen rises and approaches him from below, turns over almost upside down and catches the prey as he drops it.’
- ‘If you have - as I do - a yard full of hens and roosters, you learn quickly how emotional these birds are.’
- ‘The female red junglefowl is leaner than tame hens.’
- ‘In early spring the turkey hen began to lay and when she had 12-15 eggs laid around St. Patrick's Day they began to hatch.’
- ‘I couldn't believe how many types of hens there are and how tame they are.’
- ‘Displaying to the hen, the flame and gold crest features of the male are fully exposed.’
- ‘The hen usually lays two eggs, which she incubates for about 24 days until they hatch.’
- ‘Chickens raised for meat are dumped into sheds housing thousands of birds, while hens raised for their eggs are stuffed into cages and after they churn out hundreds of eggs, they, too, are slaughtered.’
- ‘Tragically it's beyond them to understand the instinct that will make even a domestic hen attack anyone coming between her and her chicks.’
- ‘In adults, the cock has a crimson crown while the hen's cap is dull white; the young of both sexes usually show touches of red on the crown.’
- ‘Usually the hen bird would fly off and work her way through the undergrowth in rather a flurry as one approached the nest, so this usually served as a warning to tread carefully.’
- ‘He hid near nests of black woodpeckers, kingfishers, northern hazel hens and Eurasian sparrow hawks.’
- ‘They're sort of like cardinals - the males are all scarlet and beautiful, and the females are little brown hens.’
- ‘International cuisine uses the eggs of other birds, including ducks, geese, sparrows, quails and ostriches, but it is the hen that has been universally domesticated.’
- ‘Clare's free-range hens are lucky birds; for breakfast she feeds them organic porridge with apple and sultanas, and uses suncream when it gets hot.’
- 1.1hens Domestic fowls of either sex.
- ‘Male hens which are hatched are usually killed the instant they are born as they are of no use whatsoever to the battery farm industry.’
- ‘The only things living were a sow, her piglets, and some hens scratching in the dirt.’
- ‘Shot over a five-year period, the programme reveals secret glimpses into the ordinary, everyday life of cattle, sheep, hens and wildlife on the Cotswold slopes.’
- ‘Now the European Union is in the process of overhauling many practices involving farm animals like hens, calves and pigs.’
- ‘Children will also delight in the baby piglets, kittens, ducks, and hens that roam free.’
- 1.2 Used in names of birds, especially waterbirds of the rail family, e.g., moorhen.
- ‘Incubating common eider hens were caught on the nest with hand-nets on selected islands in the study area.’
- ‘Pan-roasted guinea hen, golden as the duck, is sparked by a sauce of tomato and lovage.’
- 1.3 A female lobster, crab, or salmon.
- ‘Down below me in a shallow margin I watched a ragged hen salmon, bursting with eggs, preparing to spawn with a huge cock fish that had a kype like a fist and a tail like a shovel.’
- ‘It went into the ‘fish bank’ - a cage in the river where the best hens are kept for breeding at the end of the season.’
Old English henn, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hen and German Henne.
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