Animals Today Radio May 8, 2022. Chickens are very smart and have individual personalities: Celebrating a special day for chickens. Animal knowledge challenge.
The question about the chicken and the egg has puzzled people since antiquity and has served as a metaphor for many circumstances in our world. Lori begins the show offering up some modern scientific ideas which finally (ha!) answer the riddle about which came first.
Lori’s interest is sparked by International Respect for Chickens Day. She explains how chickens are intelligent and sensitive, and that they have unique personalities. Chickens can count, have excellent memories, can remember up to 100 individual faces and display the ability of object permanence, like the highly intelligent crows. They demonstrate delayed gratification and self-control. The vision of chickens is remarkable for their nearly panoramic vision, their ability to use each eye independently, their exceptional color vision and their expanded sensitivity to UV wavelengths. The beaks of chickens are highly sensitive and have many functions, so the industrial practice of “debeaking” chickens is very painful and cruel.
Lori is saddened not only by the entire chicken-as-food industry, but especially that these animals typically never get a chance to enjoy normal bird pleasures and express their natural behaviors in the industrial farming industry. Getting to know individual farmed animals like chickens, such as at a sanctuary, often leads to a heightened emotional connection to the animals we typically think of as food.
We conclude with an animal knowledge quiz about lemurs, elephants, and more, plus how bats were once being considered as potential living bombers in the WW2 era Project X-ray. And we sign off with an inspiring rendition of America’s Horse With No Name.