Hens or Hen’s? Learn the Correct Plural of Hen.

The word “hen” is a staple in both everyday conversation and literature, often used to describe a female bird, particularly a domestic fowl. Understanding the plural of “hen” is not only crucial for accurate communication but also enriches one’s linguistic knowledge. This article delves into the plural form of “hen,” exploring its correct usage, common mistakes, and providing a deeper understanding of its application in the English language.

The Singular and Plural of Hen


The singular form of the word is “hen,” referring to a single female bird, primarily used for a female chicken. The plural form is “hens,” used when referring to more than one female bird. This transition from singular to plural is straightforward, following a regular pattern of pluralization in English where an ‘s’ is added to the end of the noun.

hens vs chickens

Understanding Hen

Definition of Hen

A "hen" is a mature female bird, particularly of the domestic fowl species. The term is most commonly associated with chickens but can be applied to other birds such as ducks, geese, and turkeys. In the context of chickens, hens are known for their role in laying eggs and are often central to discussions about poultry farming.

Usage of Hen

“Hen” is used both in agricultural and general contexts. In agriculture, it specifically refers to female chickens that are raised for egg production. In a broader sense, “hen” is used to describe any female bird, especially when the species is not specified.

Use of Hen in Sentences

  1. The farmer boasted about having over fifty hens in his coop, each laying an egg almost daily.
  2. During the bird-watching tour, we spotted several hens nurturing their chicks in the wild.
  3. The children at the farm were delighted to feed the hens and collect the eggs they had laid.
  4. In the fairy tale, the golden hen laid a single golden egg every morning.
  5. Conservation efforts have led to an increase in the population of wild hens in the region.

Common Mistakes and Confusions

One common mistake is the misuse of “hen” to refer to any bird, regardless of sex. It’s important to remember that “hen” specifically denotes a female bird. Another confusion arises in differentiating between “hen” and “chicken.” “Chicken” is a more general term that can refer to both male and female birds, while “hen” is exclusively female.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Q: Can “hen” be used for birds other than chickens?
    A: Yes, “hen” can refer to any mature female bird, not just chickens.
  • Q: Is there a different plural form for “hen” in different English dialects?
    A: No, the plural form “hens” is universally accepted across various English dialects.
  • Q: How do we differentiate between a singular and plural form in speech?
    A: The difference is primarily in the ‘s’ sound at the end of “hens,” which is distinctly audible, indicating plurality.
hen night image


The transition from “hen” to “hens” is a simple yet essential aspect of English grammar. Understanding this plural form enables effective communication and avoids common linguistic pitfalls. Whether discussing poultry farming, engaging in bird-watching, or simply broadening one’s vocabulary, the correct use of “hen” and “hens” plays a pivotal role in enriching language proficiency.


What is the plural form of hen?

The plural of hen is hens. This is the widely accepted and correct plural form of the word hen.

What is the difference between hens and chickens?

While all hens are chickens, not all chickens are hens. The term chicken refers to both male and female birds, while hen specifically refers to female birds.

Should I use an apostrophe when referring to the plural of hen?

No, the correct form is simply hens, without an apostrophe.

How is the plural of hen referred to in different English-speaking countries?

In the UK, the term “Hen Night” is widely accepted and used. In Australia, the term “Hen Night” can cause confusion due to pronunciation, but it is still recommended to write it as “Hen Night” in the singular form. Alternatively, in the United States, the term “bachelorette party” is commonly used.

What is the plural form of chicken when referring to food?

When referring to chicken as a food, it is considered an uncountable noun and remains the same in its plural form, i.e., chicken.

What is the plural form of chicken when referring to live animals?

The plural form of chicken is chickens when referring to live animals.

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