For centuries, chickens have been an integral part of people’s diets, and they are just as important to our healthy eating habits as balancing fruits and vegetables. However, there are many surprising facts about chicken that everyone should know about. This way, we will be able to understand how smart of creatures they are, being able to really appreciate chickens as we’ve learned to appreciate other animals, like dogs, pigs, dolphins, and many others. These are nine surprising facts about chicken everyone should know about.
- Chickens can distinguish faces. We tend to think about elephants as animals with a great memory, and they are not alone. Chickens can distinguish between more than 100 faces of their own species. Therefore, they are able to develop complex social structures.
- Chickens identify social leaders. Also known as pecking orders, groups of chicken consist of complex social structures. This means that each bird in the group clearly understands their place on the social ladder.
- Chickens aren’t color blind. One of the biggest misconceptions regarding chickens is that they are color-blind and poor-sighted. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as they have a great vision, even better than that of humans.
- Chickens like to sunbathe. There are many animals that enjoy sunbathing just like humans do. This includes snakes, turtles, penguins, hippos, and chickens. Many experts have noticed this unlikely behavior and determined that sunbathing is actually quite common in chickens.
- Chickens can dream just like humans do. Enjoying sunbathing isn’t the only similarity between humans and chickens since research has found that birds experience rapid eye movement, also known as REM sleep. This means that chickens dream just like we do.
- Chickens feel pain and distress. Also, chickens have pain receptors that allow them to feel both pain and distress. Since they are sentient beings, they can also count and even show some level of self-awareness.
- Chickens defend their young ones. Calling someone a chicken tends to be used as an offense, being used as a synonym of cowardice and lack of bravery. This is another common misconception since hens defend their young ones from predators.
- Chickens have more than 30 types of vocalizations. Another surprising fact about chicken is that they have more than 30 types of vocalizations. They use this complex system to distinguish between threats and alert their pecking order of any possible danger.
- Chickens talk to their babies. Just like human mothers do, hens talk to their babies even before they hatch. They do this in order to teach their chicks different calls and vocalizations they will need once they hatch.