"Chickens Show Empathy" - we knew that already...

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
183
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
My Coop
I get the impression that this study was aimed specifically at the commercial chicken industry....so I'm not sure how objective it was. However, I've never had any doubt that chickens (and most other animals) can feel emotions of their own in their own way.
 

Komaki

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 10, 2011
244
0
89
They need to study my flocks. Or even get real jobs.
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new chick 203

Songster
Feb 8, 2010
1,376
55
216
Ridgefield CT
very interesting. I wonder if this will have any impact on factory farming. It really supports the idea that some big farming practices could be as inhumane as believed.
 

honeydoll

Songster
10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
693
7
131
Stark County, NE Ohio
I do believe that animals "feel" something for each other. That being said, I've seen chickens peck each other to death and walk around like nothing happened. So are we now going to diagnose these as sociopathic. LOL
 

GallusGal

Songster
11 Years
Jul 20, 2008
157
4
119
Alabama
Unsurprising. There are evolutionary advantages to being sensitive to the mental state of others if you are a social species. Chances are if a flockmate is excited, distressed, etc. there is a reason for it - a reason that probably matters to others of the flock! What's more, the abilities of vertebrates tend to be of degree, not kind. I'm sure that the behavior they are calling "empathy" in chickens is a precursor to compassion and theory of mind observed in "higher" animals.

Honestly I find that a lot of behavioral, cognitive, and ethological studies in animals are a bit of a "no duh" to anyone who has worked with such species - they just need to objectively experiment on it for the scientific community to take what we already all know seriously.
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