Fun Grey Junglefowl Facts For Kids

Georgia Stone
Aug 30, 2023 By Georgia Stone
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Read about some grey junglefowl facts that might surprise you.

Fowls are the birds most familiar to humans as a domestic fowl is a typical food to so many humans. The grey jungle fowl is one such chicken species which is found in peninsular India.

They live in forest undergrowth and thickets in the wild. Endemic to South India, these grey junglefowl are also the ancestors of the domestic chicken. They live in groups with one dominant rooster and other subordinate chickens.

The males and females have major differences in their appearance. The female has a dull and dark body whereas the male has colorful feathers, a black cape with golden and yellow blotches, and a grayish-brown finely patterned plumage.

It has red fleshy caruncles with spurs on their head and the bill. The males cast off their colorful neck feathers in summer after breeding. The female lays about four to seven off-white-colored eggs which are incubated for 21 days.

The eggs are reared for nine weeks and then abandoned by females. The male jungle fowl does all the duties of a good father.

For more relatable content, check out these Indian peafowl facts and guinea fowl facts for kids.

Grey Junglefowl Interesting Facts

What type of animal is grey junglefowl?

A grey jungle fowl is a type of bird species that are like domestic chickens but these are found in the wild southern range of India. It is also referred to as Sonnerat's junglefowl.

This bird occupies the thickets and other regions of dense undergrowth in South India. Studies suggest that the grey jungle fowl shares a common ancestry with the domestic fowl and red junglefowl. All the domestic fowl breeds have a yellow pigment in different body parts which is found to be inherited from the grey jungle fowl.

The male has a diverse and vibrant plumage which makes it the more preferable mate amongst females. The feathers on the tail give it a sickle-shaped appearance.

What class of animal does grey junglefowl belong to?

The Sonnerat's junglefowl is a bird belonging to the class of Aves of the animal kingdom.

How many grey junglefowl are there in the world?

The grey junglefowl (Gallus sonneratii) is abundantly found across the southern range of India. This species is plentiful with a stable population. However, they are often hunted down for their meat and eggs. There are over 12 billion chickens present all over the world, but, their exploitation might lead to a population decline.

Where does grey junglefowl live?

A grey jungle fowl lives in deciduous evergreen forests of central and southern India. It occupies its place amongst the dense undergrowth of the forest and the forest ground covered with shrubs. This species is endemic to India, found in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.

What is a grey junglefowl's habitat?

The grey junglefowl (Gallus sonneratii) lives in thickets of forests and they live on forest ground rich in scrubs. They typically remain on the ground, however they can also fly to the trees to sleep.

Who do grey junglefowl live with?

This species of birds are fairly social. They live in groups which have a dominating male rooster and other birds.

How long does grey junglefowl live?

There is no exact research available on their life span, however birds belonging to the genus Gallus can live up to 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

The grey junglefowl (Gallus sonneratii) breeds in the months between February to May. The female chooses a male which has a more vibrant plumage and flamboyant neck feathers with bright yellow spots on the black cape.

The female lays around four to seven eggs which follows an incubation period of 21 days. The females abandon the eggs to the males and go on to incubate other fertile eggs. The males shred their neck feathers once the breeding is over.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this species of gray birds is of Least Concern as listed by the IUCN.

Grey Junglefowl Fun Facts

What do grey junglefowls look like?

These birds have a body full of colors from dark gray to bright red. The female species has a dull appearance which is a common trait found in almost all birds. The male has a black cape with finely arranged golden or yellow spots.

The red and grey junglefowl have combs and wattles hanging from their neck. The gray Sonnerat's wattles are however not as strongly developed as in red junglefowl.

The legs of the male are red with spurs but a female does not have spurs. They have elongated, dark neck feathers and long central tail feathers. The females have yellow legs and their underparts are dark black and white-colored.

How cute are they?

From domestic chickens to grey house junglefowl, cuteness is a rare factor in these fowls. Their distinct colors might make them worth noticing but there is hardly anything special about these wild fowls.

How do they communicate?

This bird is pretty vocal and produces loud calls which can be heard in the morning. Unlike the domestic fowl, these birds do not flap their wings before producing the calls.

How big is grey junglefowl?

A grey jungle fowl is 15-29.5 in (38-75 cm) in length and weighs around 2.2-5.5 lb (0.5-2.5 kg). These birds are thrice as big as chipping sparrows.

How fast can a grey junglefowl move?

These birds are pretty good when it comes to running. They can even compete with dogs, covering a distance of 15 yd (14 m) per hour which is nearly a speed of 0.01 mph (0.02 kph).

How much does grey junglefowl weigh?

A grey junglefowl weighs around 2.2-5.5 lb (0.5-2.5 kg). A green peafowl is two times bigger than them.

What are the male and female names of the species?

No particular names are assigned to them based on their sex. They are called by the same names.

What would you call a baby grey junglefowl?

Like other chickens, you can call a baby grey junglefowl chick. An immature fowl can be called a cockerel.

What do they eat?

These birds are voracious hunters, and they eat both plants and animals. They feed on insects, small vertebrates like, spiders, termites, hookworms, beetles, seeds, grass, berries, ant larvae, and moths. They generally stay on the ground but they can also fly up to trees to sleep. Sometimes, they eat any insect larvae they find there.

Are they dangerous?

They can be dangerous if provoked. They can attack you with their beaks and scare you with the loud calls they make. They might also cause skin infections as they house a lot of germs in them.

Would they make a good pet?

They are wild animals so it is not appropriate to have them as pets.

Did you know...

The grey junglefowl are possibly one of the sources of all domestic chickens.

These jungle fowls be very cautious around humans.

They can fight with no physical contact by just jumping on the ground until one of them accepts defeat.

What are grey junglefowls eggs like?

The colors of their eggs are pale white or creamy. These are rich sources of protein.

What is a a grey and red junglefowl hybrid called?

The hybridization between grey and red junglefowls has contributed to diversifying the domestic chicken species. The domestic chicken has been the most domesticated of birds, the records of its ancestry have been long buried and not much is known about their parent species.

However, it is documented that their genome is related to the red and grey junglefowl.

The name of the grey and red junglefowl hybrid also got lost in the enormous population and no one knows why they are called this. Galliformes is one other species in which hybridization is commonly seen.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our vulturine guineafowl facts and turkey facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable grey junglefowl coloring pages.

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Written by Georgia Stone

Bachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

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Georgia StoneBachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.

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