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Do chickens miss those who have died? - Page 3

post #21 of 28

I see this thread is a couple weeks old, but I wanted to clarify.  I am a trained scientist and professional biologist and my training includes the field of animal behavior.  Current scientific understanding does not state that chickens, birds, or any vertebrate species operates purely on instinct.  This also holds true for some invertebrates.  Modern biology states that emotions exist in human and non-human animals because emotions impart a survival advantage.  The specifics of emotion lie along a continuum across the animal kingdom.  The idea that animals don't experience emotion is outdated and was largely based on religious beliefs (man as separate from all other animals).  So the question is not whether they experience emotion but which emotions and to what degree.  That is a very active field of inquiry these days, especially now that techniques such as MRI can be employed. 

*SleepyTime Poultry*   Home of the sweetheart roosters!

I have a project flock of bantam NON-hatchery Easter eggers including frizzles and rare colors. 

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*SleepyTime Poultry*   Home of the sweetheart roosters!

I have a project flock of bantam NON-hatchery Easter eggers including frizzles and rare colors. 

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post #22 of 28

There is some truth to it. However non humans dont have the exact emotional feelings or complex reasonings and thoughts like we do because we have a HIGHER intelligence in the animal kingdom because of the sizes of our brains.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meara View Post

I see this thread is a couple weeks old, but I wanted to clarify.  I am a trained scientist and professional biologist and my training includes the field of animal behavior.  Current scientific understanding does not state that chickens, birds, or any vertebrate species operates purely on instinct.  This also holds true for some invertebrates.  Modern biology states that emotions exist in human and non-human animals because emotions impart a survival advantage.  The specifics of emotion lie along a continuum across the animal kingdom.  The idea that animals don't experience emotion is outdated and was largely based on religious beliefs (man as separate from all other animals).  So the question is not whether they experience emotion but which emotions and to what degree.  That is a very active field of inquiry these days, especially now that techniques such as MRI can be employed. 



 


Edited by EweSheep - 2/7/12 at 3:17am
BYC Member since 4/11/2002 
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BYC Member since 4/11/2002 
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post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meara View Post

I see this thread is a couple weeks old, but I wanted to clarify.  I am a trained scientist and professional biologist and my training includes the field of animal behavior.  Current scientific understanding does not state that chickens, birds, or any vertebrate species operates purely on instinct.  This also holds true for some invertebrates.  Modern biology states that emotions exist in human and non-human animals because emotions impart a survival advantage.  The specifics of emotion lie along a continuum across the animal kingdom.  The idea that animals don't experience emotion is outdated and was largely based on religious beliefs (man as separate from all other animals).  So the question is not whether they experience emotion but which emotions and to what degree.  That is a very active field of inquiry these days, especially now that techniques such as MRI can be employed. 


I agree very much with what is stated above.  I also work as a scientist (zoologist and animal scientist) and behavior is constantly a concern or is being manipulated.  Only real difference relative to above is that I do not like to use the convention of human versus non-human categories as it is artificial and lumps artificially many species that are less similar to each other than they are to humans.

 

Another point I must make with those observing chickens is that most of time we are observing artificial constructs (product of domestication) that are often kept under condition that promote odd behavior patterns.  It would be nice for more people to see how the most important ancestral component of the chicken (red jungle fowl) behaves under conditions where they control social groupings and must contend with environment using their behavioral tool kit.  The dumb and purely autonomous chicken concept will quickly be abandoned.
 

 

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

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post #24 of 28

It's been interesting to read everyone's experiences.   My silver Sebright died - she was top of the pecking order.  I was surprised to find that afterwards the whole flock seemed a lot calmer and more peaceful as a group.

Read about the antics of my little flock on my blog at    http://muckycluckers.blogspot.com/

“Mucky Cluckers – Tales from the hen run” e-book is at http://amzn.to/xT4DkE   A humorous look at chicken keeping and what they don’t tell you in the “How to” books.

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Read about the antics of my little flock on my blog at    http://muckycluckers.blogspot.com/

“Mucky Cluckers – Tales from the hen run” e-book is at http://amzn.to/xT4DkE   A humorous look at chicken keeping and what they don’t tell you in the “How to” books.

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post #25 of 28

One of my black star chicks died when she was about six weeks. It was a hawk attack death, and so I had put her companions in a dog kennel while I could cover the tarp. They just sat there, in shock- probably not from her death, but the attack. For some reason I brought the dead, perfectly intact chick over to them. I held it out in front of them. They had been completally silent before, but now they started peeping to eachother. Little, sweet peeping like they did when they were chicks. They'd never done that before. I took away the chick to bury her and they stopped. I think they were sad. :(

post #26 of 28

I can't speak to what happens when one of a flock dies, but I have certainly had experience of the strong bonds that form between hens in a flock. 

 

I had a few RIR's and one of them, Ginger, was attacked by a dog so I set up a hospital pen inside the house for her to nurse her back to health. Her BFF  Frida spent all her days beneath the window of the room I had Ginger in 'talking' to her constantly. After a few days of this, I bought Frida inside to keep Ginger company - Ginger's health rapidly improved once Frida was with her, and she was back outside in a week. smile.png

post #27 of 28
I had only two hens. My oldest died last night and the other one seems lost, she keeps running out of the house clucking. I am heartbroken
post #28 of 28


I am pleasantly surprised to find people who think of non-human creatures, chickens in this case, as sentient beings instead of just "so much dead meat", as I was taught for much of my life.

There are times when reading in these forums gets really depressing for me, because of some people`s [am afraid lots even] cruel attitudes towards chickens.

So reading posts that recognize and acknowledge chickens having feelings and even grieving....THANKS!

Of course, the intelligence of non-humans is different from the intelligence of humans. But it is DIFFERENT, not inferior.

 

I learned much during my years as a "wild" bird rehabilitator, learned it from the birds themselves, no human told me.

 

An old rooster with health problems lived with me for 2 1/2 years. We bonded very closely. He cooped inside with me, spent days outside, and he was such a sweet, trusting and loving creature. When I put a disabled hen with him, he got very worried and upset when she had grand mal seizures.

And the hen was grieving after he died. The little guy also had an uncanny ability to pick up on my moods, positive and negative, and he got agitated when I felt bad.

I stayed next to him or holding him during thunderstorms at nights [which he was scared of].

 

Now he is flying free on the other side. The tiny disabled hen and another hen and a cockerel are now living with me.

All are excellent teachers.

 

birdfreak

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