I do not like PETA, I think they are an activist group that has taken their charter WAY TOO FAR. I believe it is conceivable to get behind "causes" with tact, shrewdness and effectiveness. PETA has taken their cause to a level of unnecessary shock, lewdness and division. This is no way to sway thoughts or beliefs and usually galvanizes people against them.
A chicken could figure this out.
Why the PETA comments, because much of the information on livestock, poultry and household pets comes from organizations like PETA. When I say information - I mean "learnings" things which are going to teach you about the creature. Since becoming a Backyard Chicken Farmer, I have jumped into the deep end and wanted to learn everything there is; based on my preconceived notions that chickens are dumb, of which my chickens are not helping my notion. Since they appear to be "cute", I thought I would research this a bit and lo and behold lookie here! Chickens are smart. Simply stated, they have personality therefore they must have some vein of intelligence somewhere. Well here is what I found out.
"Leading animal behavior scientists from across the globe now tell us that chickens are inquisitive and interesting animals whose cognitive abilities are more advanced than those of cats, dogs, and even some primates. Chickens understand sophisticated intellectual concepts, learn from watching each other, demonstrate self-control, worry about the future, and even have cultural knowledge that is passed from generation to generation. Dr. Chris Evans, who studies animal behavior and communication at Macquarie University in Australia, says, "As a trick at conferences, I sometimes list these attributes, without mentioning chickens, and people think I am talking about monkeys.""
Chickens comprehend cause-and-effect relationships and understand that objects still exist even after they are hidden from view.(2) This puts the cognitive abilities of chickens above those of small human children(3). Scientists are so impressed with what we now know about the intellect of chickens and other birds that a group of international experts recently called for a new naming system to reflect the complex, mammal-like structure of avian brains.(4) Dr. Christine Nicol, who studies chicken intelligence, reflected, "They may be "bird brains" but we need to redefine what we mean by "bird brains" Chickens have shown us they can do things people didn't think they could do. There are hidden depths to chickens, definitely"(5)
When in their natural surroundings, not on factory farms, chickens form complex social hierarchies, also known as "pecking orders" and every chicken knows his or her place on the social ladder and remembers the faces and ranks of more than 100 other birds. People who have spent time with chickens know that each bird has a different personality that often relates to his or her place in the pecking order, some are gregarious and fearless, while others are more shy and watchful; some chickens enjoy human company, while others are standoffish, shy, or even a bit aggressive. Just like dogs, cats, and humans, each chicken is an individual with a distinct personality."(6)
Attribution for this article is here -
1 William Grimes, If Chickens Are So Smart, Why Aren't They Eating Us? The New York Times 12 Jan. 2003, late ed..
4 Rick Weiss, Bird Brains Get Some New Names, and New Respect, The Washington Post 1 Feb. 2005: A10.
5 Ananova, Chickens Not Just Bird Brains, 2005.
6 Michael Specter, The Extremist, The New Yorker 14 Apr. 2003.
More to come