Resources for Reading

All About Chickens: Are They Smarter Than Humans?

by | Aug 8, 2022 | All About Animals

In chapter 13, Mo and Finchy meet several different farm animals. Among them are hens or chickens. You might not think they’re anything special, but they’re known for a lot more than just laying eggs. They can recognize people’s faces, are as smart or clever as toddlers, and make great moms. Since there are many more chickens than humans in this world – more than 20 BILLION chickens compared to roughly eight billion humans – we really should know more about our feathered friends!

All About Chickens - Adventures of MoHere are 7 amazing facts about chickens:

  1. Chickens never take a bath with soap and water. Instead, they take dust baths to clean their bodies. This involves fluffing up their feathers with dirt, which scrubs off dead skin cells and gets rid of oil buildup.  
  2. They don’t sweat. To cool down, they will drink water or flap their wings to get rid of some body heat. If overheated, they will also pant, just like dogs.
  3. Hens don’t favor any of their kids (chicks) over another. As mothers, they treat them all the same, which is different from human moms who may have a favorite son or daughter (although they deny it). The first one that responds to her calls for food gets the best portion.
  4. Chickens can recognize their keepers and differentiate people by their face. It seems that chickens also appreciate beauty. More specifically, they seem to prefer people with beautiful faces. So what does a chicken think is beautiful? As it turns out, symmetry and proportions.
  5. They can run a mile in less than seven minutes with a top speed of nine miles per hour, depending upon their breed and fitness level. That’s about three miles faster per hour than the average (human) jogger. 
  6. Chickens tend to their eggs carefully. They turn their eggs approximately 50 times a day to make sure the embryo doesn’t stick to the side of the shell. They may lay as many as 300 eggs every year. Besides being hungry, that may be one reason why some are so grumpy.
  7. Just two days after they’re born, chicks can sense their way around and identify their mother using vision and sound. In humans, these senses take weeks or months to develop.

Tell me more…

There’s also some evidence that newly hatched chickens are capable of skills that take (human) babies months or even years to master. Chicks are born with the ability to keep track of numbers up to five, see differences in colors that humans can’t see, and exercise self-control, which is a classic test of intelligence.

Even in the dark, chicks can still find their mother by communicating through noises and cheeps. Although they learn many of their survival skills by watching other chicks, at birth, they must be taught how to drink water by dipping their beak in water.

Do you have more information about chickens or any other farm animal that you’d like to share? Email us and we’ll post it on Mo’s social media pages along with your first name, age and state!