Chickens Show Empathy
New scientific research has proven that chickens can feel empathy – once previously thought to be only a human trait. In experiments, female hens showed clear signs of pain and distress when their young chicks were in distress. Researchers tested the hens by ruffling their offspring’s feathers with puffs of air. When the offspring showed distress, this distress was mirrored by their mothers. The heart rate of the mother chickens increased and they became increasingly alert. This evidence not only sheds light on how the brains of birds work, it also raises questions about the welfare of battery chickens.