Chickens are inquisitive, interesting animals who
are thought to be as intelligent as cats, dogs, and even some
primates. They understand sophisticated intellectual concepts, learn
from watching each other, and even have cultural knowledge that is
passed from generation to generation. Dr. Chris Evans, a scientist
who studies avian cognition says, “As a trick at conferences I
sometimes list these attributes, without mentioning chickens, and
people think I’m talking about monkeys.
Pigs are curious and insightful animals thought to have
intelligence beyond that of an average 3-year-old human child. They
are smarter than dogs and every bit as friendly, loyal, and
affectionate. Scientists and scholars who have studied pigs say that
pigs are the smartest animals outside of primates. Says Dr. Donald
Broom, scientific advisor to the British government, “[Pigs] have
the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than
dogs and certainly three-year-olds.
Fish are smart, sensitive animals with their own unique
personalities. They have excellent memories and can learn to avoid
nets by watching other fish in their group and can recognize
individual “shoal mates.” Some fish gather information by
eavesdropping on others, and some even use tools. Says marine
biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle, “They’re so good-natured, so curious.
You know, fish are sensitive, they have personalities, they hurt
when they're wounded.
Cows are intelligent, loyal animals who enjoy solving
problems. Cows have been known to use their smarts to perform
amazing feats, such as leaping over a 6-foot fence to escape a
slaughterhouse, walking 7 miles to be reunited with a calf after
being sold at auction, and swimming across a river to freedom. When
cows figure out the solution to a problem, they have a “Eureka!”
moment, according to animal behaviorists.
Turkeys are social, playful birds who enjoy the
company of others. They relish having their feathers stroked and
like to chirp, cluck, and gobble along to their favorite tunes.
According to Oregon State University poultry scientist Tom Savage,
turkeys are “smart animals with personality and character, and keen
awareness of their surroundings.
Ducks and Geese
Geese are very loyal to their families and
very protective of their partners and offspring. Often, they will
refuse to leave an injured or sick mate or chicks behind, even if
winter is approaching and the other geese in the group are flying
south. After a partner dies, some geese spend the rest of their
lives without a mate; this can be a long time, because geese can
live up to 25 years.