Chicken intelligence!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GranmaEm, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. GranmaEm

    GranmaEm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Today I saw the most amazing thing in the run that I will try and capture on video tomorrow:

    The chicken coop has a roof that opens in two flaps. I left them open to air the coop after having cleaned it out.

    At sunset my Cream Legbar and Polish hen each flew into a flap from opposite sides to close the roof. The Buff Orpington hen was seated a few feet away watching. If I were to be really fanciful I'd say that she was planning the operation :)

    Astonishing if it is accidental, amazing if deliberate! What is intriguing is that after the Legbar had closed the one flap she sat on the side of the roof and when the other side came crashing down due to being shouldered by the Polish she did not spook.

    Has anyone ever seen anything like this?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would say that you should never leave the keys to the car around them unattended. [​IMG]

    I think of them as having the intelligence of a 2 or 4 year old. That seems about right to me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  3. GranmaEm

    GranmaEm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] They're welcome to the old heap! I was really slack-jawed with amazement as I watched this through the kitchen window. I am tapping into my Zoologist-kids to see if there is any research on task-directed planning for chickens. This is way beyond pecking at a red button to release food.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I am seeing coordinated behaviors involving communication in three situations. First is when roost time is realized and they start talking in sounds associated with going to roost. The second is when they are preparing to fly across a field of high grass (my games can fly a couple hundred yards / meters easy). Third is when two rival flocks come together over a food source or cover patch where aggressive sounds are produced and they seem to stir flock mates to action against the rival flock. Another maybe associated with feeding patches with limited visibility (see post 504 in https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...icken-family-unit-for-porch/500#post_11951333 ) which I need to see more of to understand what is actually going on.
     
  5. GranmaEm

    GranmaEm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2013
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    I was ready for the video tonight and have partial success. The Legbar closed "her" side of the coop but the Polish was not doing her bit.

    The Legbar resorted to her emergency "call-a-human" technique by flying over the fence and then walking back along it to the gate. It worked :)
     
  6. GranmaEm

    GranmaEm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2013
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    Best viewed full-screen. I had to stand far enough away.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Too cute!
     
  8. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's funny. Maybe she's worried about burglars stealing her eggs with the roof wide open like that.
     

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