Species Period Country
Chicken 5400 BC
2500 to 2100 BC
China – cishan culture,but, the
contribution of these birds to modern
From harappan culture of indus valley ;
Geese and mallard ducks 2500 BC
Egypt – separately domesticated ; in
west,mallard duck was not
till middle ages
Ring necked pheasants 1300 BC Greece
Turkeys 200 BC to 700 AD Mexico
muscovy ducks 16th century Columbia , peru
Japanese quail 11th century Japan,china korea
Guinea fowl West African birds introduced to
by Portuguese explorers
Effects of domestication
▶ Seed/grass eating species are preferred.
▶Reproduction in captivity : reproduction became less
dependant on climatic and environmental factors.
▶ Ability to imprint
▶ Development of social order
▶ Increase in bone length
▶ Noticeable changes in plumage
▶Alterations to the limbs involving length ,muscle
attachments and joint structure .
▶Changes in skin covering ,muscling, fat deposition and
brain size ; these were accomplished at a later stage.
Purpose and utilization of domestic
▶ Initially used primarily for cultural needs
(religion,superstition),decorative arts and entertainment.
▶ Later used as human food
▶In ancient rome ; geese were sacred initially & later on became a table
▶ In spain ,turkeys – cultural activities
▶ Japanese quails – song birds
Domestication – chicken or domestic
▶ Only 3 fossils of Gallus species have been recorded .
▶ Two of them from UK and one from Greece & Black sea
▶ Fossil from UK is coracoid bone resembling Gallus gallus
▶ Assigned to new species gallus europaeus.
▶ Fossil from Greece and Black sea region is tarsometatarsus
bone similar to Gallus gallus & coracoid bone much longer.
▶ Assigned to new species Gallus aesculapi.
▶ Totally 4 species are known to modern ornithology .
▶ Kingdom: Animalia
▶ Phylum : chordate
▶ Class : aves
▶ Order : Galliformes
▶ sub order : Galli
▶ Family : phasianidae
▶ Sub family : phasianinae
▶ Tribe : phasianini
▶ Genus : Gallus
Wild Gallus species
▶4 recognised species under genus Gallus
▶G.gallus – Red Jungle Fowl ,RJF
▶G.sonneratti -grey or sonnerats
▶G .lafayetti – old name G.stanleyi, in Ceylon
▶G.varius –green, old name G.furcatus
▶ 5 Subspecies in males
▶ G.g.gallus –Cochin – Chinese RJF
▶ G.g.spadiceus – Burmese RJF
▶ G.g.jabouillei – T
▶ G.g.murghi – Indian RJF
▶ G.g.bankiva – Javan RJF
▶ These differ in
▶ Color of ear lobes ( white to red )
▶ Shape and neck hackle feathers in males &
▶ Shade of red plumage in males (golden yellow to mahogany)
Origin of modern poultry
▶ Not clear
▶ Might have begun in Burma
▶ In Harappan culture (2500 -2100 BC ) of the indus valley reared chicken
and later on diffused westward to other parts of the world at a rate of 1.5-
3 km /year.
▶ Except for Egypt ,diffusion of chicken into Africa is unknown.
▶ India is likely to be source leads to well developed trade between India &
Gallus gallus (red jungle fowl )
▶ Comb is single upright ,serrated blade; a pair of wattles.
▶ Male exhibit spectacular coloring whereas females have drab color
but feathers have identical morphology in both the sexes .
Gallus lafayetti[Ceylon jungle fowl]
▶ Male plumage is similar to RJF
except that breast feathers are
pointed and fringed .males have
a peculiar patch of bluish purple
feathers on the upper breast.
▶ Plumage of the females is similar
to those of RJF
Gallus sonneratti [grey jungle fowl
▶ Male plumage is different from other species
▶ “sealing wax” spots on rachis ;those that are
▶ subterminal being white
▶ terminal spots being shredded and yellow.
▶ Occurs in neck hackle ,saddle, and wing coverts.
▶ Body feathers are black with a white shaft and a
▶ Wing and tail feathers are black ; bird appears
▶ Female plumage differs from RJF
▶ in breast feathers which are white with broad
Gallus varius[green jungle fowl]
▶ Most primitive of four species
▶ Plumage consists of 16 tail feathers rather
than 14 in other species.
▶ Short truncate neck hackle feathers in males.
▶ Male plumage is glossy black , but hackle and
saddle feathers are edged with bronze and
yellow imparting a distinctly green coloration
to the bird.
▶ In females feathers of the back and rump are
penciled (similar to dark Cornish),
▶ upper breast feathers have dark edging ,
▶ lower breast feathers are pale and
▶ rest of the plumage has irregular barring.
Gallus gallus Gallus sonneratti Gallus lafayetti Gallus varius
Males, g 800 -1360 790-1136 790-1140 454-795
Females ,g 485 – 740 705-790 510-625 454 -795
Age at sexual maturity
in captivity (years)
1-2 2 2 1-2
Clutch size 4-8 4-8 2-4 6-10
Egg size,mm 45.3 *34.4 46*36.5 46.3*34.5 44.5*34.5
Egg shell color White – rosy
White – rosy buff Pinkish to
Incubation period ,d 19-21 20-21 20-21 21
Eclipse plumage Most of the males molt after breeding season Molt involves only cervical feather tract of
(molting) ,and habitat the neck ;long pointed hackles of males
replaced by around short feathers similar to
female;this plumage persists only for a few
Prefer forest habitat and forest clearings
weeks followed by complete annual molt
involving all feather tracts.
Prefer sea shore and rocky scrub land
bordering cultivated land
General Sedentary,omnivorous,behaviour similar to domestic chicken with different vocalizations
Distribution Pakistan to China West & South Restricted to Sri lanka Java and on the chain of islands eastwards
,Hainan and in East India;sympatric with ;sympatric with RJF in java but occupying
India ,Burma,Indo RJF at boundaries of different habitats
China,Islands of its range
Period Diffusion and sailent features
Chicken used for sport
1500 BC Aryans invaded India;included chicken in their culture but not as food
Chicken had religious significance but forbidden as food ;fighting cocks reached
Persians carried westward to Mesopotamia and Asia Minor ; by 700 BC reached
was primarily used for sport and poor folk as food .
Plato and Aristotle distinguished between high and low bred chicken ;egg prod
bred chicken being poor.two breeds were recognised from Tangare[ near modern
for fighting and other was black with crest and wattles.
200 BC Bearded chicken reported .chicken reached Egypt and got firmly established .
100 BC Chicken reached Romans who knew about force feeding,hybrid vigor,caponizing
competition etc.adopted chicken as food source and employed for cock fighting
purposes ,superstition and divination.
Dawn of Christian era -1300 AD Chicken probably reached Europe and then to Russia .main diffusion through Eu
during the Neolithic and early Bronze age . Due to fall of Roman empire importa
reduced in Europe and became farmyard scavengers
Spanish conquest brought chickens to America and rapidly spread to south and
.later, English ,Dutch and French brought them to east and north America
Sub class Order Family Genus Species Common name
(ducks and geese)
Grey legged goose
White legged goose
nea fowl of
African origin and
Red jungle fowl
Ceylon jungle fowl
Grey jungle fowl
Javan jungle fowl
Ring necked pheasant
Ring wattled G.fowl
Blue wattled G.fowl
s (Pigeons and
Columbiformidae Columba streptopelia C.Livea
Strunthiformes Strunthionidae (
North African ostrich
South African ostrich
Rheiformes rheidae Rhea R.Americana abbscens Rhea
Casuriformes Dromoiidae Dromaui