Can Chickens Recognize Each Other?

Did you ever consider if chickens recognize each other?

Or better still would you say chickens could recognize you?  Besides the good old treats, are they actually happy to see your face in the evening after work?

Well, it just so happens to be the case that not only do chickens recognize you, their owner but chickens also recognize up to one hundred members of their flock! Crazy! I know.

Chickens eyes

Surprisingly, chickens actually do have eyesight similar to that of us humans (technically, they have better eyesight) and could recognize up to one hundred members of their flock, just by sight! It’s believed that they recognize the shape of both the head and comb of their fellow flock mates.

Chickens also accept other chickens although they may be of a different breed. (Though it’s not clear to me which features or characteristics chickens use to spot their familiar human friends, as people features may change from time to time, such as new hairstyles, different clothes or facial hair etc.

Other animals

From personal experience, I know that they also recognize different types of animals as being either on their side or a rival – even down to a specific dog or cat, as their friend or enemy! For example, if your dog comes racing around the corner and on past the chicken run, then your chickens probably won’t even flinch.

But on the odd occasion that one of your neighbor’s or friend’s dog visits your yard, then the chickens suddenly freeze and raise the alarm bells.

Which brings me to my next point, chickens are shockingly able to make around thirty different noises, all with their own unique meaning, which the other flock members will recognize.

Newly hatched little chicks

The newly hatched little chicks do actually recognize their mother hen, by sound and sight.

Research has been done to suggest that when a hen sitting on her eggs was taken away under a dark environment from her own little chicks to be replaced by another broody hen, the little chicks were still able to find their mother, although they couldn’t even see her.

Also, when their mother hen was put in disguise by various ways, the chicks recognized their mother hen and came to her immediately.

Watch them interact with each other

Knowing that chicks and mother hens do all recognize one another from sight, and also that they can differentiate between the different members of their flock, it is fascinating watching their interactions.

Do you have chickens? Watch your own chickens. You might notice that they don’t necessarily choose to hang around with those flock members who appear to be the same breed as them or of the same color.

However, the chickens do tend to pick a buddy during the free range time, which they generally stick with for life. So the next time you are out on your far or in any chicken farm, have a look at how the chickens react and see do you notice and obvious patterns!