Chicken are inquisitive, interesting and intelligent animals. They are very social and like to spend their days together, scratching for food, taking dust baths, roosting in trees, and lying in the sun. Mother child bonds are extremely strong with chicken, as is the formation of large packs with complex social heirachies called 'pecking orders'.
Chicken communicate with each other, through 30 different sounds to convey different messages. Intelligence tests have put them at par with mammals such as cats, dogs, and even some primates. Similar to cats and dogs, every chicken has a different personality - some are fearless while others are shy and watchful, some enjoy human company while others shy away.
The mother-child bond is extremely strong for chicken, as is for all animals. A mother hen bonds with her chicks before they are born by turning her eggs five times each hour while clucking to the baby chicks inside, who reciprocate by chirping in return both to their mother and each other.
Once her chicks are born, a mother hen would typically spend the next 6-8 weeks carefully tending to her chicks needs. In this period, the mother hen is extremely protective of her chicks and she would attack anyone who she sees as a potential threat. The litter of chicks gather very close to their mother, following her every move, and will not stray more than a few feet away even while playing or eating. Over this period, the mother hen teaches her chicks on how to eat, drink, communicate with other chicken, understand chicken social structures and understand danger.
Inquisitive, intelligent and social animals
Chicken are highly inquisitive, intelligent and social animals. Chicken tend to roam around to forage for food, take dust and sun baths and just lay in the sun. At nights, they make their nests on top of a free for protection. Chickens love their independence and freedom to move, as much as any dog or cat.
Chicken are also gregarious animals with elaborate social behaviour based on a definite group structure. When in their natural surroundings, chicken tend to live in flocks of between 80 - 100 birds. Within these groups, chickens form complex social hierarchies, also known as "pecking orders", with dominant individuals having priority for food access and nesting locations. Every chicken knows his or her place on the social ladder, remembering the faces and ranks of more than 100 other birds.
Chicken communicate with each other, with more than 30 types of sounds to communicate different messages. A number of studies have been conducted that prove that chicken can complete complex mental tasks, learn from watching each other, demonstrate self-control, worry about the future, and even have cultural knowledge that is passed from generation to generation. Scientists agree that chickens' complex social structures and good memories are undeniable signs of advanced intelligence comparable to that of mammal such as cats, dogs and even some primates.
People who have spent time with chickens know that each bird has a different personality. Just like dogs, cats, and humans, each chicken is an individual with a distinct personality. Some are gregarious and fearless, while others are more shy and watchful; some enjoy human company, while others are standoffish or even a bit aggressive. Like all animals, chicken love their families and value their own lives.