Just how smart are chickens? Pretty smart, it turns out! In fact, studies have shown that chickens have many cognitive attributes similar to that of mammals, even primates! Check out these amazing facts about chickens that you might not have known:
- Chickens have the capacity to demonstrate self-control and even to consider the future. For example, studies have shown that chickens can consciously choose to delay gratification, understanding that if they refused food initially they would receive a larger amount of food later.
- Chickens have great memories! They are able to remember and recognize more than 100 different individuals, including humans.
- Chickens understand object permanence. That is, they can understand that an object that is taken away and hidden from sight still continues to exist. They even have the capacity to recognize a whole object when it is partially hidden. Very few animals demonstrate this ability, including young human children!
- Like primates, chickens are socially complex creatures, forming organized communities and learning from one another. In fact, they even seem to adjust their behavior according to those around them! Chickens have strong personalities, form friendships and have a range of interests.
- Chickens have the capacity to empathize. For instance, some chickens are protective not only of their own chicks but also of chicks that are not related to them.
Image by Chris Bartow