They may be small, but their capacities to remember certainly are not! Chickens have so much more to them than their lovable looks and fun personalities. If you’re a chicken keeper, you’ve probably witnessed them recall a memory or two firsthand. The truth is, chickens use their sharp memory everyday to survive and live a fulfilling life! Our feathered friends remember through repetition and association. Although scientists aren’t quite sure how long a chicken’s memory lasts, they have confirmed their capability for short-term and long-term memory. So, what exactly are your chickens remembering? Here are a few things!

5 Things Your Chickens Will Always Remember

1. Emotions

Chickens are extremely empathetic, which means they feel emotions very strongly. If one chicken is hurt, the rest of the flock may even show signs of suffering as well. Along with feeling emotions so strongly, they will also recall a certain situation that caused them to feel that way. This shows that chickens have the ability to recall an experience based on how they felt at the time. Traumatic experiences have an even stronger effect, so try your best to shield your flock from anything that could traumatize them for life.

2. People

Sure, chickens will remember the face of the one who feeds them, but they aren’t just remembering the pattern of your face! Studies show that chickens can even distinguish between male and female faces, and that they “prefer” humans with attractive faces. The more time you spend with your chickens, the more they will remember you as an individual and not just a human who spoils them. If you spend a significant amount of time at the coop, your chickens probably remember you in great detail.

3. Danger

In order to survive, it’s important to remember where danger lies. Chickens have a great way of remembering a dangerous area or situation to avoid it in the future. They do this by associating shapes and colors with a dangerous situation. For example, if a chicken gets chased by a black dog, it is likely to associate danger the next time a black dog is present.

Chickens will remember where their food is located

4. Food

This may be a no-brainer, but chickens will definitely remember where to find their food. They don’t just remember where food is located, they’ll remember who gave it to them. This goes twice for treats! Since they remember treats so well, you can use them to train your chickens to perform tricks and other favorable behaviors. Just make sure they don’t find out where you’re storing the goods!

5. Other Chickens

Chickens can remember each other based on their distinct personalities. The pecking order reinforces the idea that chickens within a flock remember each member specifically. They’ll also recognize a chicken who isn’t a member of their flock. Chickens can also recognize their friends and their enemies, which shows just how great their long-term memories are!

Chickens can remember other chickens

If you’ve been underestimating your chickens’ capacity to remember, you might want to think again. Chickens often act based on their previous experiences, good or bad. Since they associate emotions with memorable experiences, you have the wonderful opportunity to fill their days with happy memories that will last a lifetime!