The number of publications on chicken cognition and emotion exceeds that on most birds and is comparable to the number of publications on some more “advanced” mammals. We argue that the chicken is an excellent model for this type of research because of (1) the presence of well-established fundamental mental processes in the chicken, (2) a challenging ethological environment and (3) social pressures that may have facilitated the evolution of cognitive abilities similar to those of some mammals. Marino’s (2017) review provides an excellent foundation for the continued study of complex mental abilities in this species.

Author Biography

Rafael Freire is Senior Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and has published on chicken behavior, cognition, welfare and magnetic orientation.


Susan Hazel is Senior Lecturer in Animal Behaviour, Welfare & Ethics and has published on student attitudes to chickens as well as cognition, behavior and welfare in other species.