The Chickens at Shady Grove Farm B&B (Part II)

A few of our feathered friends The Chickens at Shady Grove Farm B&B

A few of our feathered friends

Our blog last month introduced the chickens at Shady Grove Farm B&B and their stories. This month we promised to provide some interesting facts about chickens. We think they are much more complex and smarter than given credit for, and we find them to be very entertaining, peace-loving, and fun to watch. Here are some interesting facts we uncovered:


Chickens have more than 30 types of vocalizations to distinguish between threats, calling their young, or alerting others to the whereabouts of food.

Chickens have pain receptors that give them the ability to feel pain and distress.

Chickens experience rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which means they dream just like we do.

 Chickens have full color vision.

 Chickens like to play. When given enough space, chickens will run, jump, take dust baths and sun bathe. Unfortunately, about 95% of chickens raised in the US spend their entire lives in tiny cages with no more room than the size of an iPad. Chickens can distinguish between more than 100 faces of their own species.

In a natural setting, chickens form complex social structures, or pecking orders, and every chicken knows her place on the social ladder.

Chickens love dust baths. They take great pleasure in digging a shallow pit in the dirt, spreading their wings, and rolling around in it flinging dirt on their backs and wings. Dust baths help chickens maintain proper feather insulation and ward off parasites.

Chickens are able to comprehend that when an object is taken away and hidden from them, it still exists.  Young human children are unable to understand this.

Chickens are able to recognize and remember up to 100 individuals. They can also recognize humans

Chickens feel empathy for each other. Researchers proved that domesticated hens show a clear physiological and behavioral response when their chicks are mildly distressed.

Q: Why does a chicken coop always have two doors?

A: Because if it had four doors, it would be a chicken sedan!