Why do some folks claim chickens don't think???


The Happy Hen
11 Years
May 16, 2008
Nesconset, LI, NY

I was reading this article that is linked to another recent post: http://shilala.homestead.com/roosters.html

have no roosters but I like to learn whatever I can about chickens in general. In the 8th paragraph I found a comment that mentions that chickens can't think, no matter what you have heard to the contrary. I guess this MAY be true, but I find it very hard to believe.

I treat my chickens like the pets they are. They are very tame (with just a few that are a bit flighty, but not "scared to death"). When they see me, they come running, flying or doing whatever it takes to get to me. Okay, that's how mine are but another person I know has chickens also, not tame at all. He makes sure they have food and water but really takes no personal interest in them. His chickens are as flighty as can be and scatter when they see any human being. I have always felt that this alone shows that chickens can think.

I was wondering how others feel about this. Do you feel that chickens can think? Any answers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
think...like to ponder why there is life? No

think like to react to a stimulus and learn that there are certain behaviors that get me stuff? yes
Its all in how you condition your birds.
Works the same with other animals, as well as humans.
I find anything you show a little kindness to it makes a difference.

I cant see how something with a brain, cant think...
My chickens think.

They think people are rather ugly, but useful as treat dispensers.

Imp- giant PEZ dispenser
Chickens have been trained by the BF Skinner method of behavior modification and learned to play a piano among other things. ( Remember the lever delivers a pellet of food?)

Chickens cannot reason but they associate one act w/ another or w/ a consequence, again like many animals do. They are instinctual but can adapt to new environments and situations. Is learning thinking? In some fashion I think it may be...
I believe they go mainly on instinct which certainly looks like "thinking" to me at times. So, I do believe they have a range of emotions such as fear ( of a hawk), etc., and I believe they also respond to kindness...and when someone has raisins! lol

I have actually seen that they are all really "out for themselves" except for those wonderful mother hens that take care of their chicks so "unselfishly."
They can be as "thinking" as parrots if one takes the time. My dad used to have a BB Red bantam rooster named Petey.
He had that little rooster trained like a dog. He was too small to put with the large flock so my dad kept him a bird cage
and taught him to come when whistled to and to do a lot of tricks. He would drape a towel over his shoulder and take
the bird to the feed store and things like that.
I believe chickens think, any animal with a brain thinks. I have actually seen my chickens change their minds on preferences. A couple hens like to jump up on my lap to get their favorite treats, conditioning behavior. The more time you spend with them from when they are babies, they learn you are not a threat and you're a provider of food. They all have their own personalities. One of my hens love getting a ride with me in my electric wheelchair. Now that's a tame chicken or I'm a perch/roost. I like to think she is a wild one that experiences anything. Road hens! Lol!

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