Do Chickens Have Tails?

Do Chickens Have Tails
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Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Pauline G. Carter

Most people ask “do chickens have tails”? The answer is yes; chickens have tails. Their tails are offshoots from their tailbones and bear tail feathers that help differentiate the male chickens from their female counterparts.

Uses of the Chickens Tail

Uses of the Chickens Tail

All birds have tails and these tails help them maneuver while in the air. Your chicken is no exception. Its tail helps provide support and balance for flying and landing. Oh wait, do chickens fly? Well yes, chickens fly but not as well as other birds. This is because their bones are heavier.


On the ground, the chickens’ tail helps it balance as it tries to walk or run. In some cases, the chicken may have bent or crooked tails that interfere with its balance. Such chickens are undesirable for breeding. 


Roosters have fancy tails that catch the attention of many humans. The fascination with the roosters’ tails has led to the selective breeding of chickens with long bright tails for aesthetic reasons.

Display of Dominance

You can spot which of your chicken leads the pecking order by its tail. Dominant roosters hold their tails upwards proudly. On the other hand, the other chickens that are low in the pecking order often hold their tails facing the ground in a show of submission.

What Is Wry Tail?

What Is Wry Tail

You may have heard the term chicken wry tail before and wondered. The term wry tail refers to a condition that causes the fowls tail to tilt more to one side of its body. Usually, a wry tail is caused by genetics and is a painless ailment.

So, if you have a chicken with a bent or wry tail, don’t worry yourself. Your chicken is not in any pain; however, you may want to kill the dreams of fancy chicken shows. Asides from that, there is no real disadvantage of having a chicken with a wry tail.

Why is My Chickens Tail Pointing Down?

Usually, your chickens’ tails should face upwards when they stand. So what does it mean when its tail tilts towards the ground instead? We can tell you this for free, a downward-facing tail in chickens is usually an indication that something may be wrong with your chicken.

Some reasons why your chickens’ tail faces downwards are:

It is Egg Bound

It is Egg Bound

The term egg bound refers to a hen with an egg stuck inside. In this instance, the egg becomes difficult to lay and causes the chicken untold pain. If nothing is done to resolve this, egg binding can result in the death of your chicken.

There are a few other ways you can confirm if your hen is egg-bound and solutions to rid them of the discomfort. But the tail pointing downwards is a fairly accurate sign.

Your Chicken is Submissive

Remember when we said roosters have more prominent tails than hens? The same goes for dominant and submissive chickens. If your hen is low in the pecking order, its tail will likely face downwards. Unless the hen is being bullied, the direction of its tail shouldn’t bother you so much.

Your Hen is ill

When your chickens’ tail is downwards, it may signify that the fowl is unhealthy. This is not always true but it is worth looking into. Other things to look out for are the color of their comb and wattle their feeding habits.

Can We Eat Chicken Tail?

Chicken tails are also known as parsons nose; it is perfectly safe to eat. However, the chicken tail is discarded in some parts of the world. As a result, it is rare to find them in supermarkets. Some people trash it because they feel it is too close to the chickens’ excretal system and others argue that it can cause cancer.

However, there is no truth in any of these claims. The chicken tail has a larger concentration of fat. So, it is probably not the best part to snack on if you are on a diet. 

Can I Differentiate Roosters from Female Chickens by The Tail?

You can tell a rooster from a female chicken by looking at its tail. Roosters (male chickens) have larger tails with more colorful tail feathers. Female hens, on the other hand, have smaller seats with feathers that are not as vibrant as their male counterparts.

However, size aside, the chickens’ tail serves the same primary purpose across the sexes.


Chickens have tails adorned with beautiful feathers. The tail feather differs in size across the chicken genders. You may not know this, but the chicken tail is perfectly safe for consumption and is high in fat.

However, this cut is not popular in supermarkets because of the erroneous assumption that it causes cancer and contains the chickens’ waste.

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