Have chicken feelings

Behavior of the chickens

The chicken is still one of the "unknown beings" today. Just like the dinosaurs did about their ancestors, we still know far too little about what is going on inside them. Do chickens have feelings?Can they love, are they smart or rather stupid and how is their intelligence otherwise?

For a long time, not many scientists have bothered to get a little closer to the depths of the chicken brain. No wonder, because very few people have ever thought that our hard-working egg and meat suppliers have far different qualities. It is therefore astonishing what findings the scientists have come to so far and many a chicken farmer will surely share one or the other knowledge with a smile on their faces.

Every chicken is an individual

The fact that chickens are interesting and very curious animals should hardly come as a surprise to any chicken farmer. Even newcomers to chicken breeding quickly suspect that there is more to the feathered yard and garden dweller than just a cackling little animal that spends most of the day searching for food and fighting for a rank or two.

At least since the ban on laying hens in cages, it should also be clear to the toughest ones that chickens need to be kept in a species-appropriate manner. And why? Because they Feelings and it is now assumed that they are just as intelligent as Waldi, Minka and some primates.

They close Friendshipscan recognize each other love their children and spend the whole day doing the things they enjoy - provided they have the opportunity to do so in the most natural way possible. Every chicken has a more or less distinctive personality that is visible to humans. Some chickens are particularly cheeky, while some are more reserved and shy, the others are brave and reckless, even aggressive and there are even chickens who like music and really enjoy the company of their humans.

Especially when the mother hen is rearing chicks, it can be clearly seen how much the mother hen loves each individual chick. If the chicks are in danger, the mother hen attacks dogs or cats to protect the chicks.

Chickens are real beasts of intelligence

What scientists have discovered about the intelligence of chickens in recent years should come as a surprise to most. Your cognitive skills even exceed that of a toddler and are thus similar to that of dogs and cats. The Australian animal behavior researcher Dr. Chris Evans, for example, found that chickens understand very well that hidden objects are still there and are by no means gone, just because they are currently out of sight.

In terms of communication, too, Evans came across amazing things. Chickens can talk to each other and even meaningfully - a skill that otherwise only primates display. The Australian found out that chickens have feeding points inform each other, just like primates handle it. To do this, use up to twenty different tones for one type of feed. The “cackling” when changing food sounds very different from the “cackling” when it comes to normal food.

Take the cackling test yourself

Feed your chickens regular chicken feed and record the cackling with your smartphone. Then offer them a special snack such as mealworms, fruit or boiled potatoes and record the cackling again. Now compare the sounds. You can see for yourself how they differ.

Chickens are very social

Numerous scientists have already dealt with the social behavior of chickens and made interesting discoveries in the process. This is how Dr. Joy Mench of the University of California found that chickens are very social behaviors. It is already well known that the picking order serves the social ranking, but that chickens are more than recognize a hundred other chickens and even remembering them should be new to most chicken keepers.

Not only the picking order is used to clarify the order of precedence, more than thirty different communication sounds help the chickens to differentiate between their conspecifics. depth Friendship relationships with other chickens are not uncommon.

Some bonds are so close that when the beloved "friend" dies, the Sadness so great is that the abandoned chicken itself dies a short time later as well. Emotions such as jealousy are also often seen in chickens. This quickly becomes apparent when a rooster takes care of its favorite hen and another hen draws its attention with loud cackles.

Especially when the flock of chickens is growing by adult hens, the bickering is big at the beginning. Some hens even go so far that they completely stop laying eggs during this time. Sacrifice for one's own children is also a gift that chickens were given by nature. They take care of the offspring and guide them safely through all the adversities of (chicken) life.

British biologist Joanne Edgar also attested that chickens had the ability to develop genuine compassion. So far, this behavior has only been known from the ravens, who are considered very intelligent. She made this evident in an experiment with a chuckling hen. The scientist put the hen and one of her chicks in a cage, separated only by a plexiglass pane annoyed either hen or chick with harmless puffs of air. Even without the chick uttering stressful cries, the mother bird got into the same state of stress when her chick was bullied as when she was hit by the airflow. Her reaction was clear evidence that she sympathized with her chick.