Few people think about the chicken as intelligent, however. In recent years, though, scientists have learned that this bird 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. (paywall)
One questions whether, in the absence of stimuli, most factory farm chickens develop such a level of intelligence before meeting their appointed date with the rotisserie.
Here’s a thought: Perhaps animal intelligence is, within a certain range, dependent on need.
Farm turkeys are, not unreasonably, thought of as stupid. But they are bred for meat, not intelligence.
Wild turkeys are bred not to be meat, so they need intelligence. They are considered by many to be fairly smart.
This turkey, recognizing a fellow turkey, is funny—if it isn’t your car:
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