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Do Chickens Have Tongues?

Do Chickens Have Tongues?

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Have you ever asked yourself for a minute what a chicken looks like inside? Or have you been asking yourself questions like, do chickens have tongues or teeth?

We all love eating chicken. Growing up, we learned how a chicken evolves from an egg to a full-grown chicken. Either a cock or a hen.

Apart from features like a colorful quill, pointed beaks, skinny legs, loose wings, the combs, and the wattles easily visible, how do chickens appear inside?

If at one time you have asked yourself whether chickens have tongues or rather if they have teeth, then you are at the right place. Chickens have tongues the same as human beings.

However, their tongues are much shorter, unlike those of human beings. Some people presume chickens taste with their feet, but that is wrong.

The Appearance of a Chicken Tongue

Compared to most other kinds, the chicken tongue has an uncommon aspect. It is relatively tiny and sharp.

It can be very challenging to explain how the chicken tongue appears because it differs from other animals’ tongues.

The chicken tongue is triangle-shaped with a pointy end at the base of their beaks. If the chicken is dried up, it might hold to the base of the beak, appearing part and parcel of the beak.


The outside of the tongue has a small-grained sandpaper feel. It is enclosed in small prickles. The surface of the chicken tongue is similar to that of a cat’s tongue, which is a bit uneven and competent in holding onto something unusually well.


The tongue of a chicken is usually a light pink shade, but the shade can range from breed to breed. The rest of the chicken’s mouth is the same as other birds’ mouths in terms of shape and purpose.

A chicken’s tongue can differ in color compared to the rest of the mouth, but it often tones with it.


Chickens have small tongues because they have small mouths. We hardly recognize their tongues because they can’t be noticeable like mammals and other animals.

Although there are various types of chickens, they all have similar tongues and the same size, with birds having more space for sizable tongues than small ones.

Their tongues are tiny, looking like their beaks in both size and shape.

The Uses of the Chicken Tongue

Chickens can not survive without their tongues because they can’t feed or do everyday purposes. Both humans and chickens use their tongues to discover the taste of their meal.

For the chicken, their tongues aid in picking up insects and worms, assist them in controlling the food in the mouth, and produce particular chicken sounds.

Flavor, eating, and making contact are the three foremost purposes of a chicken’s tongue.

Used for Tasting

The taste of a goblet on a chicken’s tongue is the same as that of a human being, proving they can taste the food being eaten.

There aren’t so many taste goblets in a chicken compared to humans and other animals. Nevertheless, they can differentiate between wholesome food and not before consuming it.

The oral skill consists of most of the chicken’s taste goblets. Because their tongues are tiny, it allows their taste buds to be more spacious.

Chickens can determine the sugariness in food but not spicy food. That is why they contentedly consume peppers even though they are hot as they are.

As much as chickens have taste buds, they are not censorious for their durability.

Used for Eating

Chickens feed by hitting at their meal. They feed on what is dispersed on the floor or worms immediately below the soil’s surface.

Their beak helps bite and uphold some type of food on the floor, yet the tongue takes charge when it’s in the beak.

The tongue is important in handling food inside the chicken’s mouth. It smoothens the food motion from the rear end of the throat.

The tongue’s spurs aid in managing the food in the mouth and ensuring it is all forced back before consumption.

The tongue is an essential component of the feeding procedure of a chicken. It is used to shift the food they lift up from the floor and force it down their throats.

Do chickens have tongues

Used for Communicating

A few birds can converse with each other and other species, humans included. Unfortunately, chickens cannot communicate out loud with others in the flock. However, they do make noises.

Although a chicken’s tongue helps generate some definite noises, it is neither flexible nor huge enough to give a diversity of noises.

A parrot’s malleable and long tongue enables it to develop a wide range of sounds and communicate.

Furthermore, the tongue helps a chicken’s potential to communicate with each other through making noise.

The Chicken’s Taste Buds

Now that we have a small understanding of a chicken’s tongue, it is safe to say that they have taste buds, contrary to the belief that chickens cannot taste.

The human tongue has about 8,000 up to 10,000 taste buds. On the other hand, Chickens have less than 350 taste buds, which is exceedingly low compared to humans or cows.

In humans, a lot of taste buds are placed on the tongue. In contrast to chickens, only 2 % of their taste goblets are on the tongue.

The other taste buds are in the oral cavity. Even though they have fewer taste buds, they can still taste everything, such as humans and other animals.

A lot of people consider chickens tasteless because of their lesser taste buds. The number of tastes further differs according to gender, age, and breed. Roosters have more taste buds compared to hens.

do chickens have tongues

The nail tip on the chicken’s tongue

The nail end, also called the Lingual nail, is a notable feature of a chicken tongue. The keratinization procedure shapes the lingual nail.

Keratin, a protein in cells, configures the chicken’s compound parts, for instance, the nails and the feathers.

The chicken’s lingual nail helps in raising meals and other chicken treats. It acts as a spoon that gathers up the food from the ground and quickly raises it into the chicken’s beaks.

The lingual nail enables the chicken feeding to have more food simultaneously and easily lift more food.

Health Issues Affecting the Chicken Tongue

Just like cats, chickens hide signs of sickness. As a result, checking their tongues may not reveal much about their health. Here are a few health issues related to a chicken’s tongue

Black Tongue

If you realize your chicken is starting to have a black tongue, this can signify Niacin deficiency. Nevertheless, a black tongue in chickens can also indicate acute respiratory disease.

The blackness comes up by the decrease of the tongue’s end when it is breathing through the mouth, making it dehydrate and blacken at the end.

Fowl Pox

Fowlpox is a terrible infection in chickens that originated from a virus. It is usually spread if your flock is bitten by a bug or mosquito that can infect the rest if not attended to.

Fowlpox appears in the chicken’s mouth and resembles light-skinned legions or white inflated lesions on the tongue. This ailment also causes black inflammations seen on the other parts of the body like combs, wattles, or legs.

Abnormalities of the Chicken Tongue

It can be rare to find deformities of a chicken’s tongue, although they sometimes occur. Generally, this deformity will accompany other deformities like curved beaks.

Some chicken beaks don’t suit each other. Alternatively, they curve in different directions. Surgery for a deformed tongue is attainable if one can get a veterinarian acquainted with chickens and the distortion is fixable.

How Chicken Tastes Food

Like most other animals, backyard chickens can taste nearly the same flavors as humans. They can taste salty, sour, and bitter flavors yet aren’t attracted to them.

However, because they have a shortage of sweet taste sense organs, what tastes sweet to us will not taste the same to them.

They also lack a sense organ for spicy foods to swallow hot peppers and other plants having capsaicin without feeling the heat.

How Chicken Drink Water

Chickens drink water without at all using their tongues. They alternatively drink water by continuously lifting and lowering their mouth, confining liquids in their beaks, and later swallowing the water by inclining their heads back.

This drinking method is standard in birds but not in animals. It’s a unique way of swallowing water and looks correct for chickens.


Backyard chickens, like other birds, have tongues for feeding. They eat, taste, and communicate using their tongues.

Contrary to the belief, chickens can taste food despite having fewer taste buds than other animals. Their taste in buds is hugely in the oral cavity, with only a number on the tongue’s surface.

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