Chickens have been in my life for quite some time now. When my sister and I were younger, one of our responsibilities on our family farm was to collect eggs from our laying hens, provide them with feed and water, and muck out their coop when needed. We had laying hens for a few years, and after a brief hiatus, my dad, uncle and grandfather built a large-scale chicken barn as a new addition to the crops we grow on our farm.
Just for some context, an average crop of birds in our chicken barn includes roughly 35, 000 of them. It’s a two-story barn, and the birds are broilers, meaning they’re intended for meat consumption and they don’t lay eggs.
I find chickens to be quite quirky creatures, and I thought would be interesting to share some facts about them with all of you. This information comes from four-paws.org.
- “Chickens love to play, run, skip and flap their wings. They also enjoy sunbathing.
- Hens teach sounds to their chicks while they are still in the egg.
- Chickens have a profound memory and are able to distinguish between more than 100 faces of their species. They can also recognise people.
- Chickens are able to distinguish colours. They also see ultraviolet light and iridescent hues. Their world looks more colourful than ours.
- Chickens demonstrate REM (Rapid Eye Movement) when sleeping. So they are capable of dreaming, just like us human beings.
- Chickens make friends. Some bonds are so close that grief at the death of another member of their species can be so strong that the chicken left behind will die soon afterwards.
- The cognitive skills of chickens are similarly high to those of a dog or cat.
- Chickens have pain receptors, which means that they are able to feel pain and suffering.
- They can taste salt but not perceive sweet tastes.
- Chickens understand that when an object is taken away and hidden, it still exists,” the article explains.