Do chickens feel love?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by davi, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. davi

    davi Chirping

    Jun 26, 2012
    Sorry if this was in the wrong category. I really find a category for this. Anyway, you know everyone loves thier chickens and think thier eggs are delicious, well THEY ARE, so yeah... But everybody must've gotten to a point wondering if thier chickens love them back.We all love our chickens but yeah, I'm usually thinking they just love me for treats. I could be wrong though. So here are my questions:

    1. Can chickens feel comfort when you pet them?

    2. Do chickens actually respond back to us humans?

    3. Do our chickens love us back?

    Please try to answer them all.[​IMG]
    heatherfeather77 likes this.
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Tipperary, Ireland
    Chickens do feel emotions like we do. They get jealous, sad, angry, depressed and I'm sure they are capable of loving too. I was just thinking of hen hen I had. Her name was Dora, but I called her Adorable, because she was the most loving little creature. Whenever she saw me she'd come up to me and talk to me and I'd sometimes sit down so she can sit on my lap. She'd snuggle up to me and make these lovely content noises, close her eyes and just about fall asleep on me. She loved sitting on my lap and wouldn't get off, until I made her move. She liked treats as much as the next chicken, but I knew she was happy to see me, not just the treats, and she enjoyed just being with me and getting cuddled. Some chickens don't seem to like humans very much, but some really do. I guess like people they each have their own personalities and preferences.
  3. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    May 11, 2010
    Some chickens to like like to be petted, especially when they are young. The cuddling instinct is part of their survival method. However the scatter method is also part of the survival instinct.



    As they grow older they will gain independence and become chickens. However, some chickens will continue to want to socialize with people.





    We've all had that one chicken who insists on being the lap queen


    While chickens may not be loyal like a dog, they do appreciate the food we bring them.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
    centralcaligirl and lastco like this.
  4. cary 1973

    cary 1973 Songster

    i am sure my chickens love or at least enjoy my company i know when i come home from being gone for weekend they get excited and ***** at me for being gone for long they stick to me like glue when i first get back. i know they enjoy being petted how ever they prefure one or two fingers on the neck then a whole hand on there back they wil make a sound like a coo. cherrios will walk around looking for me bwaking bwaking. My girls will come to me to cuddle so i think they love me back
  5. davi

    davi Chirping

    Jun 26, 2012
    Yeah, when I come home they get really excieted that I'm home and when I pet them, they may not have facial emotion but they do like people, I'm sure.
  6. farmin4fun

    farmin4fun Chirping

    Mar 23, 2012
    Jackson, Michigan
    I believe chickens do feel comfort. I believe they even enjoy being around me. My chickens all flock underneath my lawn chair, jump in my lap, and even follow me around the yard. I hate to be the downer, but I do not believe they can feel love, not even for each other. I've had chickens die, given chickens away, and even eaten some of my chickens, but the other chickens just go on about their business and don't even notice that someone is missing. This has led me to believe that they cannot experience as deep of an emotion as love.

    That being said it's possible that I'm wrong due to the fact that I've just never experienced it, but I think that at the very least, it is an extremely rare thing that most chickens are not capable of.
    I hope this doesn't offend anyone. This is just my humble opinion.
  7. rollkeeg877

    rollkeeg877 Chirping

    Dec 4, 2012
    london ontario
    i know chickens have feelings but its funny cause when i get home from school and i walk into the yard my ducks go crazy they call to me and the female does this huge quack
  8. bubblesegg

    bubblesegg In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2010
    1. Yes, because I once had a young rooster you felt comfort in laying on my lap and letting me pet his head and back and sometimes fall asleep. He would allways follow me around the backyard and if the dog or cat was to close he would try to fly onto my shoulder.
    2. When i first got my rooster i had called him Hershey because i had thought he was a girl. later i just started calling him Peep-Peep because he never really had a manly rooster noise. anyways, whenever i got back from school i would yell (or squeels in a high pitch tone) "PEEP-PEEP!!!!!!!" and he would make this screech noise and come running to the back door.
    3. I would have to say all animals have feelings. It also depends if you want to show them love. If you love them as a pet then they will love you as a owner.
  9. SeaChickens

    SeaChickens Chirping

    Jul 20, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    This is an interesting question that I think about now and then. I'd like to think my chickens love me but they don't show affection the way dogs or cats do so it is hard to judge. To answer your questions:

    1. Yes, I think they can feel comfort when you pet them or hold them, if they're into that sort of thing. They also seem to feel comfort by their owners presence, maybe they feel protected?

    2. My chickens seem to like interacting with me and so I think that would be considered "responding back" but I don't know if they are showing affection necessarily. They do seem to sometimes show affection to each other or at least want to be in each others company, sometimes they seem to have particular friends in the flock.

    3. I think they do in their own chicken way, but not in a human way.

    Here is a great blog to read about chickens and how they interact with each other and with their owner: - there are some sad stories on there though, just to warn you.
  10. Chicklovinmama

    Chicklovinmama Hatching

    Apr 2, 2013
    I think they have emotions and love is one of them. My daughter and I were discussing this a couple of days ago. Her friend told her that chickens were too stupid to have any kind of emotion. I pointed out that they fear and fear is an emotion. I think they love for the most part as well. Once I was given a beautiful girl India but she was infested with lice. I had tried bathing and dusting her but I think the infestation was just to much for her to handle. After having her for about a week and trying to nurse her back she lost the fight. I came home to see all of my chickens gathered around her in a circle. I wonder what they were doing or what they were looking at so I went out to check. India was dead and they were all surrounding her as if they were mourning her death. I ended up burying her and my chickens are very curious so they watched and after I saw them all standing there almost as if they were paying their respects. I knew then that they could feel emotion too. Plus my girls get angry, jealous and very affectionate at times.

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