Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
The first chickens kept by man were the Red Jungle Fowl. These birds were related to the
pheasant family and some were cross bred with the Grey Jungle Fowl. It is found in South
India, where it is cross bred with domestic chickens. It is also found in Southern China,
Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, and certain islands of Hawaii, Christmas Islands and Mari-
ana Islands in the NW Pacific.
These chickens have been raised and kept by people for at least 5,000 years. They were
mainly kept for cock fighting and later for meat and eggs. Their domestication began in Asia
and spread around the world. In 3000 BC, the chicken was introduced to Europe, Ukraine,
Greece, Romania and Turkey. In 1000 BC, the chicken found its way to several parts of the
Middle East and Western Europe. Breeding was done extensively in Roman times but was
reduced in the middle ages. The Indian Red Jungle Fowl was bred at first for cock fights but
later started to be bred for meat and eggs. Selective breeding started in the Roman Empire
from which many domestic breeds are now seen.
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