Okay, maybe the psychologist in me is taking over, but I am now wondering if an enriching brooder environment would make for smarter chickens? I just got my new little chirpies after having to leave my flock behind in Texas due to relocating to Wyoming last fall. I have always observed that my chickens enjoyed playing with safe cat toys (plastic balls with bells inside) and natural items (sticks, etc) in their run. This time, the baby girls get excited and peck my wedding ring and fingernails when I put my hand in their brooder. I decided to put some ceramic Japanese chicken shaped dishes (white with red and black spots) in with them. They are so curious about them! Are there any animal behaviorists in this forum or anyone who has experimented with different brooder environments? What have you used? I have noticed over the years that the more time I spend with chicks, the more bonded they are to people. I am wondering if the more stimuli they are exposed to when young, the more their tiny chicken brains develop.