The Year of the Rooster

The Year of the Rooster

Happy Chinese New Year! And Happy New Year, it’s been a while since I’ve had chicken news!

This is the year of the Rooster. The rooster is the symbol of fidelity and punctuality because of the way it would wake the people at sunrise. I was born under the rooster sign myself in 1993, which makes me a Water Rooster, so I am supposed to be smart and agile, sensitive, keen on art and niceness…. apparently! I found this all on

With this set to be the year of chickens, it’s great to see a scientific study on chickens making headlines. Recently scientists have reviewed a lot of evidence on chicken behaviour, cognition and emotion to determine if what we perceive of chickens to be true. For people who don’t have regular contact with chickens, they perceive them as unintelligent and not worthy of being considered a “higher” animal. This is in-fact far from the truth as any chicken keeper will tell you!

The review collaborates evidence on chickens that show that they have a basic grip of arithmetic and can count up to 5, here’s a video if you don’t believe me. They are also able to plan for the future to get better deals, that they can determine how their peers see the world and how to use that information to their advantage. This includes males making a call that tells females that they have found food, and using it even when they haven’t found any. It is also possible that chickens could feel empathy towards each other but that is yet to be decided. To read the review in full go here, or to get an easier breakdown of the information here is the link to the BBC’s article on the review.

As chicken keepers we see them on a daily basis, we interact with them and we all know how smart chickens are. The people who wrote this are hoping that it will help educate the general public on chickens and change how they perceive chickens in order to change their consumer habits. This should hopefully make customers at supermarkets more conscious of where their chicken is coming and lead to better welfare and living conditions on industrial chicken farms.

BEWARE: even though this review was written with the best of intentions for our chicken friends, it was written under bias circumstances. That could mean that there are some studies that did not further the point of that chickens are intelligent birds were under played or not taken into account in the review. However, for us chicken lovers, this is great news, it confirms what we know about our feathered friends and should hopefully lead to better conditions at farms from better consumer understanding.

Hope you’ve found this interesting. After doing my zoology degree I enjoy keeping up to date with recent scientific research, especially when it coincides with my interests like my chooks. Happy New Year!