The Jungle-Fowl in all essential particulars closely resemble our domestic fowls. Three species are found within the limits of this work. One is peculiar to Ceylon, another to the southern half of India, and the third is widely distributed over Northern India and the whole of the Indo-Burmese countries.
The males of the Jungle-Fowl are furnished with a large fleshy comb and a pair of wattles. The throat and, with the exception of the ears, the whole of the sides of the head are naked. The plumage is of brilliant colours, and the feathers are mostly hackled, or long and pointed. There is a strong spur on each leg. The tail is composed of fourteen feathers, of which the middle ones are long and curved. The tail is divided into two halves which are compressed together, back to back.
The females are of plain plumage. They have no wattles, and the comb is only indicated by a slight roughness on the front part of the crown, just above the bill. Only the feathers of the mantle are hackled. The tail is short but, as in the male, compressed and divided into two halves which are folded together. In dried specimens of females of this group, the tail generally presents a flat appearance. In the female of the Grey Jungle-Fowl, the whole head is feathered except a space round the eye. In the females of the other two species a great part of the throat and of the sides of the head is naked, or scantily clothed with plumelets and bristles.
Jungle-Fowl go about in flocks and are polygamous.
The males undergo a partial moult at the commencement of the rains, when they lose the long hackles of the neck and the longer tail-feathers. At the usual autumn moult these are regained.