I am a bona fide City Girl. Born and raised. And as they say… you can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl
However, that is NOT to say that you can not inject a good dose of country, into a city girl. Such, is the case with me.
In the past 25 or so years, I have been exposed to the country life. And as such, I have gone from being the big chicken, to being the “bug killer, mouse catcher, snake nabber, frog rescuer, pooper scooper, deer feeder, mud slogger, and all-around-grunt”…. to name the short list.
But. Growing up in the city, and from my interaction with experienced country folk, I had always heard chickens were dumb birds.
Then, I saw the movie… “Chicken Run” starring…. a bunch of chickens and a couple of roosters. And of course, Mr. & Mrs. Tweedy.
Well. After seeing that movie, I realized the “dumb chicken” thing might just be a story. It turns out that I was right. It IS just a story.
In the movie, Mr. Tweedy kept telling his wife that “Them’s chickens is organized, Mrs. Tweedy.” It turns out HE was right too.
So. Now we have chickens. Smart chickens. And I too, think THEY are organized. Turns out, there is proof. In a recent slew of articles, from Scientific American, to The New York Daily News, to The Guardian, the reports are coming in. Chickens are smarter than a 4-year-old.
A recent feature story in The Scientific American opens by explaining that the chicken “can be deceptive and cunning, that it possesses communication skills on par with those of some primates and that it uses sophisticated signals to convey its intentions. When making decisions, the chicken takes into account its own prior experience and knowledge surrounding the situation. It can solve complex problems and empathizes with individuals that are in danger.” (Article title: The Startling Intelligence of the Common Chicken)
Chickens may well be the smartest animals in the barnyard. In some scientific tests, they outperform human toddlers.
That’s right: In multiple tests of cognitive and behavioral sophistication, chickens outperform not just dogs and cats but four-year-old human children. (Source: Bristol University Dr. Christine Nicol).
Today, I saw our chickens out at our bird feeders. Eating like crazy. When they looked up and spotted me in the window, I swear they looked like they were “Chicken Smiling” and the one actually gave me a “Wing Wave.” It was Dorothy, the Boy Chicken, to be exact.
This evening, when I put them up for the night, I asked them about it. Dorothy, the Boy Chicken, again lifted his wing, this time to his beak, as if to shush me.
I don’t think he wanted the rest of the chickens to know about the Bird Seed Paradise he and his girl Flo had found.
“I swear Mrs. Tweedy. I think them’s chickens is organized.”
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.
Hans Christian Andersen