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Health points

4 (Heart.svgHeart.svg)


Solid surfaced blocks with a minimum of two block spaces above them
A 1/8 chance from a thrown chicken egg

First appearance

Alpha 1.0.14


  • Egg
    (1) randomly every 5–10 minutes while alive
Common drops

Kill Adult: 1–3
Breeding: 1–7

Sounds Idle
Network ID


Savegame ID


Chickens (also known as Ducks[1]) are passive mobs that supply feathers, raw chicken, and eggs. If killed by fire, they can drop cooked chicken instead of raw chicken.


Chickens have white feathers and wings, yellow beaks, yellow feet and red wattles. Their texture is somewhat checkered, in a similar fashion to wool. They are small enough to fit entirely within a block: 0.875 blocks tall, 0.5 blocks wide and 0.8125 blocks long. Like most other mobs with baby forms, their baby form has a smaller body, but the head is the same size as adults, and so appears disproportionately large.


  • Chickens appear to wander around aimlessly, without attempting to stay out of water or avoid falls.
    • When falling they will flap their wings quickly and fall slowly. They are immune to fall damage.
  • While in a loaded chunk, chickens will lay one egg every 5 to 10 minutes (6000 to 12000 ticks).
  • They share some behaviors with other "farm animals":
    • They are drawn to light when in a dark environment.
    • When struck, they run around quickly and aimlessly.
    • They can swim, visibly flapping their wings as they stay on the surface,
    • They can be led around by holding a seed, and are also able to breed with seeds.
    • They are attacked by wild ocelots


A chick with its parents.

Chickens can be bred like other farm animals, by feeding any two adult chickens with seeds (or beetroot seeds in Pocket Edition). After breeding, chickens will not accept any more food for about 5 minutes.

The growth of baby chickens can be slowly accelerated using seeds. Each use takes 10% off the remaining time to grow up.

Chicks can also be produced by breaking eggs. The eggs must be explicitly broken; eggs sitting around as items will not hatch, and will eventually despawn like other items.

When an egg is thrown (or shot from a dispenser), it will eventually hit a solid block or a mob, and break. It then has a 1/8 chance to spawn a baby chicken; if it does, there is a 1/32 chance of spawning 4 chicks instead of one. If the egg was thrown at a wall at certain angles, the chicken may spawn in the wall and either suffocate (opaque blocks) or pass through entirely (transparent blocks).

Hatching chickens by throwing eggs, and breeding them, can be done simultaneously to multiply them much more quickly than other mobs.


  • Chicks move faster than adult chickens.
  • Chicks follow adult chickens until they grow into an adult. If produced by breeding, they will follow one of their parents; if that chicken dies or they were produced from an egg, they will choose a nearby chicken as their "parent". Since they are faster, they are prone to pushing their parents around.
  • Chicks take exactly 20 minutes (24000 ticks) to fully mature.
    • The NBT tag which causes this is called "Age", and the integer value is in ticks. From spawning the value is -24000. As soon as it reaches 0, it changes to an adult.
      • An example of a way to force this behavior is /summon Chicken ~ ~ ~ {Age:-100} which summons a chick that grows up in exactly 5 seconds / 100 ticks.
  • Chicks do not lay eggs, and like other baby animals, they do not drop anything (including experience) if killed.
  • Due to their small size, chicks can pass through openings even smaller than a full block.
  • A chick's height is somewhere in between 0.51 of a block to 0.80 of a block.


Farming chickens is very useful, as it provides a renewable source of chicken eggs, chicken meat, feathers, and optionally experience points. As with other animals, you will want to keep them in an enclosed/fenced area, or a 2 block deep pit, so they cannot escape. Use of doors and fence gates is not recommended, as chickens may easily escape when they are opened.

Automatic chicken farms can be created by placing chickens in water arranged so as to support the chickens, while letting the eggs and drops fall into a collection area. The use of hoppers makes chicken farming much more convenient, allowing eggs and drops to be automatically collected into a chest, where they will not eventually despawn. Further, a dispenser driven by a redstone clock can be used to hatch eggs into chicks, which will create a fully cyclic farm.

Warning: careless use of automatic hatchers can produce a great amount of lag (and a lot of noise!), due to the large number of entities.



1.0.14 Added chickens.
1.0 Chickens can be made by throwing eggs.
1.8 Chickens now drop Raw Chicken. Before this, chickens dropped only feathers at death.
Chickens will run away when attacked.
Official release
1.0.0 Beta 1.9-pre2 Chickens can be bred with wheat.
Beta 1.9-pre3 Baby chickens were added, along with other baby mobs.
1.2.1 12w04a Ocelots attack chickens.
12w07a Chickens have new AI.
1.4.2 12w36a Chickens now use wheat seeds, melon seeds, pumpkin seeds and Nether wart instead of wheat to breed.
12w38a Added new step sounds.
1.7.4 13w49a Added Chicken Jockeys - baby zombies found riding Chickens.
1.8 14w02a Baby chicken growth can be accelerated using seeds.
1.8-pre1 Chickens can no longer be bred using melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, or nether wart.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.3.0 Added chickens.
0.6.0 Baby chickens now spawn randomly along with adult chickens.
0.8.0 Chickens follow the player if the player holds pumpkin seeds, melon seeds, beetroot seeds, or wheat seeds.
Thrown eggs can now spawn baby chickens.
Console Edition
TU1 Added chickens.
TU5 Chicken will run away when attacked.
TU7 Added baby chickens.
Chicken can now be bred with seeds.
TU14 Baby chickens can now be spawned by using Left trigger on an adult form of that mob using a spawn egg.


Issues relating to "Chicken" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • When a chicken is killed off a ledge, the corpse also falls more slowly than normal, and the wings still make a flapping animation.
  • If chicken eggs are thrown at a transparent block, the chick can spawn on the opposite side. This is more likely with thin transparent blocks such as glass panes or iron bars.
  • Chickens are the only animals that can be farmed from a single animal: the first chicken's eggs can be hatched to produce a second, and when that grows up, the pair can be bred as normal.
  • There is no texture for the underside of a chicken's head, allowing one to see through to the inside of the head.
    • In Pocket Edition, they have a black beard instead.
  • A baby chicken is small enough to fit through the gap of a stair block facing a full block.
  • Chickens are able to "hide" within hoppers due to their small size, protecting them from lava or water that might be directly on top of the hopper.
  • Chickens become invisible at a certain distance, with the chicks disappearing at a shorter distance.
  • When first released, chickens took fall damage like other mobs, and would drop leather if they died from it (a bug).
  • A few weeks before the end of Beta, Notch tweeted that he changed the chickens to ducks,[2] causing a turmoil on Twitter. A few days later, Jeb, still getting feedback on the idea, stated that it was just a joke.[3]
  • On the covers of Pocket Edition and the console editions, a chicken is shown carrying a Block of Diamond, even though chickens are not able to carry anything in any edition.
  • While you are loading/creating/exiting a world in the Xbox 360 Edition, the message that appears can say "Is it a Chicken, or a duck?". Also, the summary for the mobs avatars at the end says "... and a chicken... Or is it a duck?".
  • As a result of the chicken jockeys, chickens can now spawn in the Nether as well as the Overworld. This allows players to obtain raw chicken, eggs and feathers from the Nether without returning to the Overworld.
  • If a chicken is killed with a bow that has flame enchantment in it, it will automatically be a cooked chicken.
  • Despite chickens being birds, they give offspring immediately after being bred with seeds.


See also[edit]