Study Says Chickens Possess 'Machiavellian-like' Personality Traits

Basically they are way, way smarter than you think

Most Popular

For those of you who thought that the humble chicken was but the lovable, clucking moron in the avian family, then you are wrong. Dead wrong! Because science has discovered that, actually, they are quite clever and sneaky.

According to research conducted by Dr Lori Marino, a lecturer in Neuroscience at Emory University: "Chickens are perceived as lacking most of the psychological characteristics we recognise in other intelligent animals and are typically thought of as possessing a low level of intelligence compared with other animals.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

"But they have the capacity to reason and make logical inferences, a capability that humans develop at approximately the age of seven. They perceive time intervals and may be able to anticipate future events.

"Chickens are behaviourally sophisticated, discriminating among individuals, exhibiting Machiavellian-like social interactions, and learning socially in complex ways that are similar to humans."

A haughty-looking chicken
Most Popular

The idea of a cunning chicken might sound bizarre, but the study found that males were able to make food calls when no food was present to attract females, as well as possessing the nous to cluck more quietly while courting, so as not to alert any potential love rivals.

Not only do chickens have their own individual personalities, but they also experience a range of emotions, including anxiety and anticipation, and have an innate sense of hierarchy, a sign of self-awareness.

"The very idea of chicken psychology is strange to most people," says Dr Marino.

Well there you go...