A few months ago, Vikki and I rehoused some ex-battery hens. Since their scrawny, baldy arrival, they have gotten plump and feathery. They no longer list from one tired leg to the other, they run fast, jump up on walls and generally boss the ducks around.
And to think, if we hadn’t intervened, they’d be dog food by now.
Remarkably, Vikki has taught the most curious one how to differentiate between various shapes. She has done this all with positive reenforcement, something she uses to train horses and ponies.
It is suggested that chickens have the intelligence and emotional range of a dog. After seeing this video by Vikki of Penguin and her new trick, I can well believe it.
We re-housed Penguin from these kind people.
Update: Very sorry to have to say that, in August 2018, Penguin had to be put to sleep following a very short illness. It is sad but true that, due to the conditions these poor creatures are initially kept in, and due to the way they are bred, unexpected illness is quite common. I never thought I would shed a tear over a chicken! She may have only had 6 months with us but, damn, that was one entertained mother clucker! RIP Penguin.