"The seventy men eat chicken."
Translation:I settanta uomini mangiano il pollo.
The article rules apply to the word that follows, not necessarily the word the article applies to; so "gli uomini" but "i settanta".
I just thought that numbers are kind of "neutral" words. I hadn't realised that they need an article of their own. And why does "settanta" need "i"? Thanks for the help! :-)
Well, numbers can behave as nouns or adjectives: in "i settanta uomini" it's an adjective, if you were to call the noun you'd say "il settanta". In most cases it's used while intending a word left unsaid, e.g. "il settanta" can be the bus number 70, or the year 1970, while "i settanta" can mean the age 70-79, or the translators of the first Greek bible (and not the decade 1970-1979 as in English).
All that aside, I was merely pointing out that in "i settanta uomini" the article rules, i.e. the choice of "i" versus "gli", is based on the word following the article, settanta, rather that the word the article refers to, uomini; compare "gli anni settanta" (the seventies) versus "i settant'anni" (the seventy years).
Just going off of the English translation, nobody says "The men seventy eat chicken."
Why cant the chicken be plural? Generally when seventy men eat chicken, there is more than one.
Meat is uncountable, in both English and Italian (if countable, English does have a different plural, "chickens"): however Italian doesn't distinguish between an animal and its meat, so the given translation could be read both as seventy men eating the same chicken (kind of unlikely) and seventy mean eating chicken. An unambiguous translation would be "mangiano del pollo" / "mangiano pollo" (uncountable) or "mangiano un pollo" (countable, so a single chicken).