hen

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Related to Hens: Cornish hens

hen

(hĕn)
n.
A female bird, especially the adult female chicken.

hen′nish adj.
hen′nish·ly adv.

hen

1. a mature, egg-laying bird, or bird of egg-laying age that is temporarily not laying eggs; in most cases a female bird more than 5 months old.
2. an adult, female bird.
References in classic literature ?
The secret is," said Phoebe, smiling, "that I have learned how to talk with hens and chickens.
After he had been overpowered by sleep, as on the former days, the mare and foal ran away and hid themselves in the royal hen house.
replied D'Artagnan; "if he is a Puritan we will inform him of the capture of the king, and in honor of the news he will kill for us his fatted hens.
There is quite a concert of noises; the great bull-dog, chained against the stables, is thrown into furious exasperation by the unwary approach of a cock too near the mouth of his kennel, and sends forth a thundering bark, which is answered by two fox- hounds shut up in the opposite cow-house; the old top-knotted hens, scratching with their chicks among the straw, set up a sympathetic croaking as the discomfited cock joins them; a sow with her brood, all very muddy as to the legs, and curled as to the tail, throws in some deep staccato notes; our friends the calves are bleating from the home croft; and, under all, a fine ear discerns the continuous hum of human voices.
There is but one solitary tenant in the chicken-coop, once a gay and dapper young cock, bearing him so bravely among the coy hens.
Thus the occurrence of a particular kind of grass was hailed as a proof that they could not be far from the bottoms of the Missouri; and they were rejoiced at putting up several prairie hens, a kind of grouse seldom found far in the interior.
When he awoke, the morning was advanced and the sun was filling his window, and he heard, outside of it, the clucking of hens.
It is true he was seventy odd, that his scabbarded sword ceased at the hilt; but he represented the authority of the Sahiba, and loaded wains, chattering servants, calves, dogs, hens, and the like, fetched a wide compass by those parts.
The body was made for it--the thumb to hold the hammer, the hand to pump the water and drive the horses, the legs to follow the plow, herd the cattle and chase the pigs from the cornfield, the ears to listen for strange noises from the stock, the eyes to watch for weeds and discover the lice on the hens, the mouth to yell the food call to the calves, the back to carry the bran.
For beasts, or birds, take chiefly such as are least subject to diseases, and multiply fastest; as swine, goats, cocks, hens, turkeys, geese, house-doves, and the like.
Because keeping hens is rather a mild amusement for a poacher?
Distracted hens in coops occupied spots where formerly stood chairs supporting sedate agriculturists.