Tastebuds and Treats

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BensHens, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. BensHens

    BensHens Hatching

    Mar 29, 2012
    New Mexico
    My Coop
    I went to a presentation on chickens and the expert tells me chickens have no taste buds. Why then do my chickens devour treats when presented to them. Some of their favorites include: cabbage, beet greens, tomatoes. My buff orpington, Buffminsterfullerene, aka Buffy Ball, absolutely goes nuts over beets. She'll fight off Blackula, the barred rock, and Biggie, the red star just for a bit of the sweet beet.

    Anyhow, any theories on why chickens go nuts over treats despite their lack of taste buds? My theory is since they've been hand fed since day one they enjoy anything that comes from the alphas (me). This still doesn't explain their preferences.


    Alpha Hen, Ben
  2. BethChick78

    BethChick78 In the Brooder

    Absolutely no idea, how strange. I'd love to know though. Mine love grapes but don't touch cauliflower. Why would they do that if they had no taste buds. Texture maybe??? I'll look forward to an answer from a veteran on this one!
  3. Mum

    Mum Songster

    Dec 23, 2011
    Never knew they had no taste buds! [​IMG]

    I take it they do have a sense of smell? They'd need a sense of smell at the very least so they would avoid things which are poisonous to them. So, I'm guessing it is their sense of smell which determines what they prefer.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    They do have ability to taste and to smell although latter sense not likely suitable for tracking.
  5. 1Chick2Chick

    1Chick2Chick Hatching

    May 1, 2013
    They do have taste buds, just not many in comparison to humans which have around 10,000 as opposed to chickens having 20-30

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