I thought my Italian teacher said that pollo more commonly refers to cooked chicken. Perhaps not though. Anyone have ideas?
Your teacher is right, but you are confusing "more commonly" with "exclusively". Here's an explanation:
Gallina is the female (hen)
Gallo is the male (cock/rooster)
Pulcino is the newborn (chick)
Galleto is a young male ('teen' / not yet a full rooster)
Chioccia is while the hen is brooding or is taking care of its chicks
Pollo is for the species name (chicken) or for males reaching maturity (which is the moment when they are slaughtered thus leading to "chicken meat" – carne di pollo – in the supermarket), for females reaching maturity it's pollastra (though you only use this if you really want to make such distinction).
And it's common to say gallina to call the species instead of pollo when they are alive because it's always dozens of hens with a single rooster.
I wondered the same. It's definitely like that in spanish and in that case "pollo" is meat, not really a bird anymore.. We don't say that beef is an animal.
You can use pollo for a live chicken also. Il pulcino is the chick (newly hatched), il pollo is the chicken, la gallina means hen and il gallo means rooster.
In Italian they say double Ls just like in English, unlike Spaish which sounds like a Y. Of course the accents are different....
"Hen" is specifically a female chicken. (Much like "rooster", which is specifically male.) The word "chicken" itself can mean any chicken, whether hen or rooster.
I said the "chook" is a bird and was marked wrong. "Chook" is a good Australian short-cut word for "chicken". If we can have our biscuits instead of the American cookies, we should be allowed to have our chooks.
Is there a different word for the chicken (hen) when it is alive? I think of "pollo" as what is on the plate, not what is walking around.