Chickens are not just great for having fresh eggs every morning. They can actually be quite entertaining! If you are considering adding backyard chickens to your homestead, here are some fun facts about chickens that we're sure will encourage you to do so.
1. Chickens are very intelligent.
Research has shown that chickens have much higher cognitive, emotional, social, and personal attributes and abilities than originally believed. They understand object permanence - something that young children don't understand until later - and are able to use Machaivellian manipulation to get what they want. They can even be trained! A quick look at this video is sure prove this fact...plus put a smile on your face.
2. Chickens feel emotions.
Chickens care! Scientists tested mother hens' responses to distress of their chicks and found that they were affected by the emotional state of their chicks.
3. Hens enjoy classical music.
On accident, a farmer who was playing opera and classical music during some minor construction on his farm, discovered that his hens laid more, larger eggs when they listened to it. Apparently, the soothing sounds block out noises that hens might find distressing.
3. Hens communicate with their chicks while they're still in the shell.Not only that, but the un-hatched chicks will chirp back to their mother. Mother hens are very protective of their young.
4. Hens lay an average of 350 eggs per year.
However, this number can vary depending on the breed and weather/lighting. The largest recorded egg according to the Guinness Book of World Records is 15 ounces and was laid by a White Leghorn in New Jersey, in 1956.
5. Chickens can see better than humans.
Not only can chickens see (and dream) in full color, but they can also see ultraviolet lights that humans cannot see.
6. Chickens, however, can't taste as well as humans.
Humans have around 9,000 tastebuds throughout their mouth but chickens only have a fraction of this located in the backs of their mouths which means they don't even taste the food they're eating until they've swallowed it.
7. Chickens can make great pets.
Since chickens are clearly intelligent, emotional, and social, it's no surprise that raising back yard chickens has boomed in popularity in the U.S. While you might originally begin raising chickens for the eggs or meat, you might find that you just fall in love with this quirky, funny fowl.