I really do believe so. Before I had chickens, I wasn’t really sure how smart they were. I thought that they were cute and all and had come to the conclusion that would be enough for me to start raising them. All the girls seem smart. Tilly knows her name. When they are free ranging outside and I do not see them immediately, I just have to call her name and she comes out from where she is. It is so adorable because as head hen, wherever Tilly goes, the others follow. They all run to me so fast. Sometimes giddy in fact. But contrary to belief, they are not looking for food, they are sometimes just looking for love.
Yep, my chickens love to be loved. They each take their turns. Depending on their personalities, some like to be held and snuggled like little babies and some just love a good stroking of their sides, back and underbellies. You may even think that I am crazy, but I love the way they smell too. They smell warm, sweet and comforting. Next time you are with your girls, give them a smell. I promise it will warm your heart.
The girls also recognize their favorite treats. I can put many different ones inside of the run but they always like broccoli, grapes and strawberries the best. At first, I thought that it was the red coloring of the strawberry that they were attracted to but the other treats proved me wrong.
The girls also can spot danger. Oyster Cracker always serves as the lookout. When she sees something out of the corner of her eye, she lets out almost a low growl of a dog. The chickens stand perfectly still and stop whatever they are doing. I can pick them up easily when they are doing this because they are just like lawn statues.
They have their own language. I am trying to decode it but they all understand it. Some of their favorite chicken lines express happiness, I found something, don’t do that to me, come here, follow me, where are you, let’s snuggle.
I believe that some of these things are born into them and they just being chickens know how to do these things, but I truly do believe that they experience emotions, have a pretty high level of intelligence and have social rules and orders.