Chickens are fascinating – the more scientists look into these birds, the more interesting and complex they seem. For example, would it ever occur to you that the color of chicken eggs sometimes coincides with the color of their earlobes? Or that there are more chickens on this Earth than there are humans? Surprising as it may seem, we actually share some intriguing similarities with these domesticated birds. For one – is that chickens, no different from humans, actually prefer attractive human faces over those not so genetically-gifted. Scroll down below to see the full list of things, that you may not have known about chickens until now.
#1 They Have A Preference For Attractive Human Faces
For the study, the scientists trained four hens to react to photos of an average female face but not an average male face, and vice versa for their male counterparts. Then, the chickens were shown pictures of faces with exaggeratedly masculine and feminine traits. As a result, the chickens pecked more at screens that showed symmetrical faces – revealing the same preferences for faces that humans have. These results suggest, that our natural inclination towards symmetry is rooted in the nervous system, contrary to the previous belief that it is so because of our cultural influences.
Image credits: Steven Depolo
#2 They Can Count Up To Five
Christine Nicol is a professor of animal welfare at Bristol University, who says that chickens have “many hidden depths.” She has found out and published in her paper, that the bird is capable of distinguishing numbers up to five and is familiar the logic that, if A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, then A is greater than C.
Image credits: Meryl
#3 They Are Able To Recognize Up To 30 Other Individual Chickens
These birds can recognize up to 30 other individual chickens, whereas chicks imprint the image of their mother between 24 to 36 hours of hatching.
Image credits: Justin Leonard
#4 The Color Of Chicken Eggs Usually Coincides With The Color Of Their Earlobes
Ear lobe color seems to be related to egg color most of the time. Breeds with white earlobes usually lay white eggs (except for Penedesencas and Empordanesas). Chickens with red earlobes usually lay eggs in shades of brown (except for breeds and varieties like Easter Eggers, Ameraucanas, and Araucanas, which lay blue or green eggs)
Image credits: unitedsoybean
#5 There Are More Chickens On This Earth Than There Are Humans
In addition to this, with 25 billion chickens in the world, there are more of them than any other bird species.
Image credits: Ian
#6 They Appear To Have A Basic Understanding Of Physics
In experiments conducted, the domestic birds showed more interest in realistic diagrams than those that defied the laws of physics.
Image credits: DurhamDundee
#7 They Have All Descended From The Red Jungle Fowl
Every chicken we see today is the descendant of the red jungle fowl “a very shy jungle bird that lives in South Asia, all the way from Pakistan to Sumatra and Indonesia,” Andrew Lawler, author of Why Did the Chicken Cross the World: The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization told the media. The author continues that these birds are so shy, that when captured, they can die of a heart attack, due to feeling terrified.
Image credits: Francesco Veronesi
#8 They Understand That An Object That Moves Out Of Sight Still Exists
The chickens have an understanding that if an object moves out of their sight, it does not mean that it stops existing — something that human toddles fail to comprehend until they’re 1-year-old or older.
Image credits: Andrew
#9 Roosters Perform A Little Dance Called ‘Tidbitting’
In this dance, roosters make sounds (food calls) and move their head up and down, picking up and dropping bits of food. Scientists have discovered that females prefer males that often perform tidbitting and have larger and brighter combs.
Image credits: cuatrok77
#10 Many Archaeologists Believe That Chickens Were First Domesticated Not For Eating But For Cockfighting
Cockfighting, just like bullfighting, was originally a religious ritual performed between two villages or two groups. Thus, cockfighting became a very secular activity done strictly for religious purposes.
Image credits: Adam Cohn