When studied in their natural environments chickens are intelligent, brave birds, with social hierarchies as sophisticated as those formed by dogs and other mammals.
Did You Know?
Chickens in a flock recognize each other by facial features, remembering more than 100 chickens. They prefer to avoid unfamiliar birds.
Chickens are able to understand that an object hidden does not cease to exist.
Hens have an innate need to nest. The largest source of frustration for caged hens is not having any access to nesting materials.
A mother hen begins bonding with her offspring long before they have hatched, turning the eggs more than five times an hour and clucking to the unborn chicks.
Chicks learn everything from their mothers, and will often huddle together at night until they are able to roost on their own.
Chickens will emit a different alarm call if a predator travels by air than by land.
A mother hen will threaten any other hen who comes within 20 feet of her chicks, and even fight off foxes and eagles to protect their kind, proving that chickens are far from “chicken.”
Chickens live in social groups of up to thirty members, and establish strict “pecking orders.”
The flock coordinates its activities so each chicken bathes, eats, and nests together.
The sensitive beaks of chickens are much like our hands, used to feed, to pick up items, and to explore their environments.
A single chicken will forage for food up to 10,000 times a day.