Chicken emotions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by andreaharris, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. andreaharris

    andreaharris Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2016
    Due to unfortunate circumstances we had to rehome our chickens. I interviewed people better than I interviewed babysitters for my own children... Eventually I found a woman who raises chickens and has a few acres of land and is not too far from our house. The day we had to take the chickens over to their new home was incredibly difficult for me And luckily the woman who took them understands and is letting us come visit. It's been three weeks since we took the chickens to their new home and today we are visiting for the first time. I got the chickens when they were one day old and had to rehome them when they were nine months old. I would spend hours a day playing with them. They would come when I call them and they would jump and sit on my lap. The lady who has them now says that they're doing really well. . My question is... Will they remember me after not seeing me for 3 weeks? Do they miss me?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Shazam Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I believe they will remember you, but you will have to let me know. I have a feeling chickens are a bit more intelligent and complex than some give them credit for, but they don't seem to have a very long memory, so I will be interested to hear how it goes.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Probably not...that's a human attribute, and because they are not humans you can't ask and get an answer.
    It's hard to lose something you loved, but those are your feelings not theirs.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I do not think they will miss you but they may very well be able to remember you so they can rapidly settle back into a similar interactive arrangement if reunited. The relationship is different than what is realized between chickens where long-term memory is not so clear. Longest term memory between chickens appears to involve females that are related where stable relationships can persist for several years even when you have periods of separation.
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I have found that chickens do have pretty good memories. It's an established fact they remember up to 100 faces, both their own species as well as others for a year or longer, but the part about them having "separation anxiety" after they have established a bond with you is dubious, and I would guess they move on rather quickly.
  6. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2016
    Mobile, AL
    As others noted, I think they will remember you.
    But "missing you" is probably a little beyond chicken instincts.
    Look at it this way:
    Their "emotional" instincts are limited to what is needed for survival and flock dynamics.
    Remembering other animals & flock mates is needed, missing a lost flock mate is not a needed instinct/emotion.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    The ability to remember is not what I call an instinct. An instinct is a nearly automated response which varies very little in response to changes in situation.
  8. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2016
    Mobile, AL
    Substitute "behavior"
  9. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    They mist defiantly probably will not.Their memory is not terrible.They can remenebr over 100 faces.My chickens run from anyone they dont know.I have been gone for nearly a minth and came back they knew me.Didnt ryn ir anything.

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