21236"The Startling Intelligence of the Common Chicken," Scientific American
- Jan 30, 2014United Poultry Concerns - http://www.UPC-online.org/
30 January 2014
"The Startling Intelligence of the Common Chicken," Scientific American
Feb 1, 2014 | By Carolynn L. Smith and Sarah L. Zielinski
"Mounting evidence indicates that the common chicken is much smarter than it has
been given credit for.
The birds are cunning, devious and capable of empathy. And they have
sophisticated communication skills.
That chickens are so brainy hints that such intelligence is more common in the
animal kingdom than once thought.
This emerging picture of the chicken mind also has ethical implications for how
society treats farmed birds."
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The coauthor of this article, Carolynn L Smith, published a paper in Between the
Species, August 2012, titled "The Chicken Challenge," which is available for
free download at:
This paper summarizes:
The science outlined in this paper challenges common thinking about chickens.
Chickens are not mere automata; instead they have been shown to possess
sophisticated cognitive abilities. Their communication is not simply reflexive,
but is responsive to relevant social and environmental factors. Chickens
demonstrate an awareness of themselves as separate from others; can recognize
particular individuals and appreciate their standing with respect to those
individuals; and show an awareness of the attentional states of their fellow
fowl. Further, chickens have been shown to engage in reasoning through
performing abstract and social transitive inferences. This growing body of
scientific data could inform a rethinking about the treatment of these animals.
Carolynn L. Smith and Jane Johnson. Aug. 2012. The Chicken Challenge: What
Contemporary Studies of Fowl Mean for Science and Ethics. Between the Species
To learn more about the startling intelligence and sensitivity of chickens,
see Thinking Like a Chicken at:
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
Don't just switch from beef to chicken. Go Vegan.
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