how smart are farmyard animals

I met a girl recently who said she doesn’t eat meat, apart from chicken. When I asked why, she replied, “because they’re not smart, so don’t understand what’s going on”. The sad thing is, is that chickens are incredibly intellectual animals. How smart are farmyard animals? A lot smarter than we give them credit for.

Pigs

how smart are farmyard animals

‘Pigs are gregarious animals. Like children, they thrive on affection, enjoy toys, have a short attention span, and are easily bored.’ – Karl Schwenke

Pigs have scientifically been shown to outperform 3 year old children on cognitive tests, and are much smarter than any domestic animal. Hard to argue that animals don’t understand fear when you find that out.

They’re also considered to be much easier to train than both cats and dogs. These beautiful and highly intelligent animals also dream and see in colour. They’re so much more than the dirty animals they’re made out to be.

Chickens

how smart are farmyard animals

When you ask how smart are farmyard animals, you wouldn’t expect a chicken to contribute much to the debate. However, as well as chickens purring and talking to their young, they’re also believed to be highly intelligent.

Studies have shown hens to be able to conquer a number of complex skills, including numeracy and self control. What makes this even more impressive, is that it normally takes a child until the age of FOUR to achieve this.

To eat chickens based on the fact that they’re stupid is utterly wrong. These animals can think ahead, are protective of their young, and can count for fucks sake!

Cows

how smart are farmyard animals

“These are highly developed mammals that have been solving problems for a long, long time” Dr Daniel Weary

Cows develop extremely complicated friendships and social hierarchies, with new cows in the heard having to network before they are fully accepted.

Studies have shown that dairy cows could follow sound through a maze in order to find food, suggesting heightened executive function and decision-making abilities.

Studies have also shown that cows possess high emotional sensitivity. They can be deeply affected by the emotional and physical pain of early separation from their mothers and dehorning, routine procedures in the meat and dairy industry.

It’s also been found that dairy cows housed in isolation exhibit anxiety and perform poorly on cognitive tests. Why do we do this to such complex and intelligent animals?

How smart are farmyard animals?

Much smarter than people assume. And much, much smarter than we give them credit for. We shouldn’t eat animals as it is, and finding out how complex and intelligent these beautiful animals are is just one more reason why. 

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