Did you ever think about the meaning of the sarcastic expression ‘running like a chicken with its head cut off’? If chickens can run headless, then they have fascinating brain anatomy, or maybe they don’t even have a brain at all. So the question remains, do chickens have brains? You’ll be astonished by the answer! Read on to find out.
The Chicken Brain: A Fascinating Anatomy
The ultimate answer is yes; chickens do have brains. But they aren’t in any way similar to the human brain, anatomy-wise. Instead, a chicken’s brain consists of two hemispheres, each working differently to comprehend various information.
Do you know what’s utterly fascinating? A hen has both binocular vision and monocular vision. As a result, hens can look at the world with both eyes, and they can also use each one on their own. This means that chickens can look at separate images simultaneously without having an overlap of visualizations between their two eyes.
The monocular vision comes in handy when chickens act like prey animals in wild nature. They’re able to get a panoramic view of the surrounding area using their eyes. As a result, they can expect predators and be ready for their attack. On the other hand, chickens use their binocular vision to look for food and to recognize other birds in their flock.
As for a chicken’s brain size, compared to their large bodies, they have tiny brains. Interestingly, studies show that this is because of the selective breeding humans have been attempting for centuries. When chickens lived freely in nature, they had smaller bodies and bigger brains. But since they’ve been domesticated, the situation has changed.
As a result of living among humans, chickens adapted to safe living conditions, which means they don’t have to be on watch all the time like before. Moreover, domesticating those birds has led to them being fatter; thus, the brain-to-body mass ratio has undergone profound changes.
How Smart Are Chickens?
There has long been a debate about whether chickens are intelligent birds. If you’ve ever raised chickens before, you should know better than to call them stupid—people who believe that have mostly never seen an uncooked chicken before.
However, the definition of being smart is relative. You can’t do chickens injustice and compare their brain to a human’s. Intelligence depends on animals’ ability to live in various conditions, ability to feed on their own, and ability to catch predators. Well, chickens ace all three.
Scientifically speaking, studies show some astonishing similarities between bird and mammal brains, although they’ve been undergoing evolutions for centuries. As a result, chickens demonstrate brilliant skills like solving problems, social reasoning and making assumptions.
If you raise chickens, you’ll notice how they act differently with individual people, which means they can recognize us. They also have different personalities; they can be introverts or extroverts.
Do Chickens Have Emotions?
Since chickens are treated like commercial production machines, we often forget to perceive them as emotional animals. However, they feel emotions vividly. First of all, hens get all of the maternal feelings when it comes to their chicks. They’re highly protective and can feel frightened for their offspring.
Second of all, hens can become depressed and show symptoms if they get separated from their flock. This is due to the powerful community sense that those birds have. Chicken raisers know this as they’ve probably seen it before. However, if you’re a beginner, this may be new information for you.