Are Chickens Really “Dumb Clucks?” New research says No.

Recent tests have shown that chickens have individual personalities, can function in a group, can reason by deduction and understand their place in the flock.  Not only that, but chickens have a sense of numbers and self-awareness.

It turns out that chicken communication is also much more complex than previously thought, including visual and auditory forms of communication. They are able to make decisions based on what they determine is best for themselves.

The study also showed that chickens experience both negative and positive emotions. Mother hens display maternal feelings for their chicks and influence how the chick behaves.

How interesting chickens are. Many people keep chickens for pets so this study should be of special interest to them. Chickens have been used for years to hone clicker skills for dog trainers and potential dog trainers.



My son Tom and my araucana chickens (many years ago)

5 thoughts on “Are Chickens Really “Dumb Clucks?” New research says No.

  1. Very nice Susan. I have to laugh, because I just saw Moana and the portrayal of her pet chicken was extremely unintelligent! My Mother had a pet chicken as a child and really enjoyed her. I, on the other hand, was constantly chased and had my ankles pecked by our neighbor’s pet chicken. When the neighbor’s chicken and duck would come over calling for our duck, all was well. But if the chicken was by itself, it was a terror!


    • Your experience is not unusual. When I had my chickens the rooster would go after my son (in the picture). That only happened one time and instead of calling for me he called for my SAR dog Scout. After that the dog would keep himself between the chickens and my son and never let them near him again. Scout would gently herd them to the edge of my property. I did enjoy my chickens.


      • Thanks for the reply. Interesting. Our Border Collie would make sure that the 2 ducks and the rooster stayed in our adjacent yards, without needing a fence. but I can’t recall that he ever rescued us from the rooster. We would jump up onto a stone firepit. Maybe we never “asked” our dog for help!


      • Never thought of that as a kid! Amen to that Susan, can’t imagine life without the joy and beauty of animals! Thank you.


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