- Chickens are omnivores:
Many people think chickens are vegetarians, but besides eating seeds, grass, and grain, they will catch and eat insects, lizards, toad, and even field mice.
- Chickens have great memories & can recognize over 100 faces:
Everyone with backyard chickens can attest to the fact that their chickens know them and each member of their family. They can even recognize different animals too, such as your dogs and cats. Chickens also remember places and different members of their flock, even after months apart.
- Chickens have strong color vision:
Many believe that chickens have poor vision and are colorblind, but in fact, their color vision is better than humans due to a well-organized eye with five types of light receptors enabling them to see many colors in any given part of the retina.
- They dream when they sleep:
Chickens, like humans and other mammals, have a REM (rapid eye movement) phase of sleeping, which signifies dreaming. However, they also have another sleep phase that humans lack, called USWS (unihemispheric slow-wave sleep), where one half of the brain is sleeping while the other half is awake. Chickens can literally sleep with one eye open, an evolutionary adaptation that lets that watch for predators while they slumber.
- Chickens have complex communication with specific meanings:
Chickens are capable of at least 30 different vocalizations and each one means something specific. They alert each other to food, call young chicks, purr in contentment, and warn other flock members of predators. Mother hens even talk to their babies when they are still in the egg with soft purrs. The unborn chicks respond with soft, high-pitched peeps.