Chickens are communal and highly sociable creatures, able to interact well with other species and to enjoy bonds of interspecies affection. They form deep friendships with other chickens, and will mourn for days or weeks when they lose a cherished companion. Studies and anecdotes continually affirm that chickens are empathic, affectionate animals. People who have rescued chickens and shown them kindness will often describe birds who are much like cats in their desire to occupy a human lap; chickens even make a noise when contented that is commonly referred to as purring.
Chickens are also highly intelligent. They recognize faces and can distinguish over one hundred different individuals; they see more colors than humans can see, and form and remember meaningful color associations, as well as patterns and symbols. Chickens have a language with over 30 separate alarm cries; different calls or “words” to alert others to what type of food they have found for sharing; sorrowful sounds made only when they are grieving or dejected; and songs of celebration. But there’s nothing to celebrate on the factory farms that house over 95% of the chickens raised for meat and eggs in the U.S. Please read more about the life and death of chickens at our Learn pages: Chickens for Eggs, and Chickens for Meat. And if you’re wondering about free-range chickens, please click here.
MEET THE WOODSTOCK CHICKENS!