Chickens ‘cleverer than toddlers’

Very interesting! Another reason to have a farm.

The Natural Poultry Farming Guide

Chickens may be brighter than young children in numeracy and basic skills, according to a new study.

Hens are capable of mathematical reasoning and logic, including numeracy, self-control and even basic structural engineering, following research.

Traits such as these are normally only shown in children above the age of four, but the domesticated birds have an ability to empathise, a sophisticated theory of mind and plan ahead.

“The domesticated chicken is something of a phenomenon,” Christine Nicol, professor of animal welfare at Bristol University, and the head of a study sponsored by the Happy Egg Company.

She told The Times: “Studies over the past 20 years have revealed their finely honed sensory capacities, their ability to think, draw inferences, apply logic and plan ahead.”

In her study ‘The Intelligent Hen’, Ms Nicol explains the animal is capable of distinguishing numbers up to five and is familiar with transitive inference – the idea in logic that, if A is greater than B, and B is greater than…

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