Chickens are dumb…right?

Contrary to popular belief, chickens may not be just mindless, anxious remnants of once mighty and fearsome prehistoric predators. Lori Marino (2017) driven by curiosity, went on a mission to find out more about the intellectual potential of the modern domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus). Her findings will surprise some as, it has been found for example, that besides the obvious physical changes modern farm chickens present, that much of the instinctive behavioural repertoire of their ancestors has been preserved. Among these, the fear of predation. This as opposed to other domesticated animals like dogs and cats, who show significantly less prey related behaviours. It was also found that their sensory spectrum is far greater than some think. The beak for example, a seemingly hard, lifeless extension of the anatomy, appears to have extensive sensory capability and can be highly sensitive. The article also outlines chickens’ ability to interpret space and time, anticipating where meals will be at a certain time of day. They furthermore have been found to show uniquely individual characteristics, and are not always inclined to just mimic their peers.