Are Chickens Smart ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Penapple, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Penapple

    Penapple In the Brooder

    Jan 23, 2018
    Hi, I have had a new flock of six pullets now for about three months (it's summer here in New Zealand). They have got used to me, very tame. This morning I went out to feed and water them and collect the eggs as I do every morning, and instead of running up to me as usual they all ran away and hid under the flax bushes in their paddock - very strange. I was worried they might have something wrong with them, until later on I realised that due our current heatwave I had, for the first time, put on a big old straw hat of my husbands on my way to their paddock. My question of course is - did they not recognise me in my hat ? And is that the reason they were spooked? Anyone else had similar experiences? And do chickens really recognise individual human beings by their faces? It's not as if I always wear the same clothes or footwear......
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    :welcome Chickens are very much creatures of habit, and they hate change. In their eyes, the straw hat turned you into a stranger who might be dangerous.
  3. The Chickens' Maid

    The Chickens' Maid Songster

    May 2, 2009
    If you cast a shadow, the hat might have looked like a predatory bird. Mine can be spooked by large changes in appearance, like a hat. They do recognize individual people, but they are hard wired to react to any possible threat.
    JaeG, ChickNanny13, Teila and 6 others like this.
  4. oceansunset73

    oceansunset73 Songster

    Jul 14, 2017
    They recognize faces but they do have a hard time with change. When winter came this year, I ran outside to take care of things with a big puffy coat on, and they have never seen me all bundled up they got scared and ran away from me too. Lol. It took them a few days to get use to it, now they dont care.
    JaeG, ChickNanny13, dunnmom and 6 others like this.
  5. Laodicia

    Laodicia Crowing

    Jan 30, 2016
    My sisters rooster recognizes me as the person that makes the teenage roosters disappear. He was dancing his head around excited last time I came to visit, he had recently lost the fight for top roo.
    SA&P, JaeG, ChickNanny13 and 5 others like this.
  6. Penapple

    Penapple In the Brooder

    Jan 23, 2018
    Thanks for all your answers, chickens must a lot smarter than I gave them credit for, though I have definitely noticed they have personalities! I've found keeping chooks has given me quite a few little giggles so far, and lots more pleasure than I expected....
    JaeG, ChickNanny13, dunnmom and 5 others like this.
  7. ben0125

    ben0125 Songster

    I love seeing New Zealanders around! I don't see it very often. Whenever I bring my big black bag full of hay down the chickens all go nuts! they fly over the fence and sprint into the bushes.
    JaeG, dunnmom, Penapple and 1 other person like this.
  8. Gramma Chick

    Gramma Chick Crowing

    Apr 19, 2012
    Jordan New York
    My Chickens freak out when I wear a dress ..instead of pants
    ChooksNQuilts, Penapple, JaeG and 2 others like this.
  9. dunnmom

    dunnmom Crowing

    Mar 30, 2016
    My chickens are pretty smart, and yes, it makes them highly suspicious creatures. I put a whole peach in their run one time, and they were so nervous about it they huddled on the opposite side of the run until they were positive it wasn't going to move. They never ate it either. Ha!
  10. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams

    I reckon they have chickenalities ;)

    My girls also do not like it when I wear a bright coloured dress as opposed to the normal shorts and T-shirt. They have even freaked out when hubby has come home from work wearing long pants.

    Just the other day, FIL who usually wears a sarong and T-shirt at home, got back from Town and was wearing long pants; the girls raised the alarm :rolleyes:
    Pork Pie Ken, Penapple and JaeG like this.

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