The chicken genome is relatively poorly studied at the molecular level. The karyotype 2n = 78 is divided into three main chromosomal sub-groups: the macrochromosomes (six pairs), the intermediate microchromosomes (four pairs) and the microchromosomes (29 pairs). Whilst the microchromosome group comprise only 25% of the DNA, increasing evidence is proving that this is disproportionate to their gene content. This paper demonstrates the utility of cosmid sequence scanning as a potential method for analysing the chicken genome, providing an economical method for the production of a molecular map. The GC content, gene density and repeat distribution are analysed relative to chromosomal origin. Results indicate that gene density is higher on the microchromosomes. During the scanning process an example of conserved linkage between chicken and human (12q34.2) has been demonstrated.