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Red Jungle fowl

by ruchita last modified Jan 29, 2014 04:33 PM

Mar 15, 2013

Native Tract

Native to Southern and Southeast Asia and in India it is found in east Arunachal Pradesh, Orissa and the forests of Chhattisgarh. The red junglefowl inhabits  tropical and subtropical habitats throughout its extensive range, including mangroves, scrubland and plantations, although it seems to prefer flat or gently sloping terrain, forest edges and secondary forest. It is also found in the foothills of the Himalayas.


  • Average length:
    -Cock: 65 – 75 cm
    -Hen: 42 – 46 cm.
  • Average weight:
    -Cock: 672 – 1,450 gms
    -Hen: 485 – 1,050 gms.
  • The vibrant male has a long, golden-orange to deep-red crown and neck feathers, and a dark metallic-green tail with a white tuft at the base. The under parts are a dull black while the upperparts are a combination of glossy blue-green, rich dark red, maroon-red, fiery orange and blackish brown.
  • The colourful cock also has vivid scarlet-red facial skin, throat, two lappets and a heavily dented fleshy crest (comb), and red or white ear patches on the sides of the head.
  • The rather drab female is a dull brown-gold colour with a partly naked, pale red face and throat.
  • Hens produce four to seven, eggs per clutch, which are incubated for 18 to 20 days by the female only. At twelve weeks of age, the young are chased out of the social group by their mother, and go off to join another group or form their own. 


Cultural / Economic Significance

A tropical member of the Pheasant family, and is widely believed to be a direct ancestor of the domestic chicken. It was first raised in captivity at least several thousand years ago in the Indian subcontinent, and the domesticated form has been used  around the world as a productive food source for both meat and eggs.

The red junglefowl lives in small mixed flocks during the non-breeding season. These have a hierarchical social system in which there is a ‘pecking order’ for both males and females. In the spring, at the onset of the breeding season, each of the stronger cocks maintains a territory with three to five hens. Meanwhile, young cocks live isolated in twos and threes.

Red junglefowl forage on the ground for seeds, fruit and insects, using their feet to scratch away leaf-litter in search of food.

Junglefowl have been extensively used in medical research benefiting mankind.