CHICKNUM reports the number of chickens owned by the household. In some cases, the question referred to other domestic fowl, as well; see Comparability. The complementary variable CHICKYN indicates whether household owned any chickens.
The information in CHICKNUM is taken from the household record and applies to regular household residents, not temporary visitors. Researchers may wish to exclude visitors using the RESIDENT variable when women, children, or births are the unit of analysis, and using the HHRESIDENT variable when household members are the unit of analysis.