Australian researchers have discovered that chickens are able to communicate in deep and meaningful ways. They have concluded that chickens can effectively talk to each other.
In 2009, two researchers at Macquarie University in New South Wales, studied chickens and their interactions, particularly how they communicated with each other.
The researchers discovered that chickens have a very good system of communications and can effectively talk to each other. The research showed that chicken communications are sophisticated and are often related to decision making.
Chickens were found to have 20 types of communication which are used in particular situations and for particular purposes. These are used to share information, such as the presence of food or danger, amongst other important functions.
The results of the research show that roosters are much better at communicating with each other and with hens than hens are with each other or roosters. Typically, the males have much more to say, and say it more often and louder, than the females.
Roosters have a lot to say, particularly in the presence of other roosters. They use a great deal of conversation when facing the threat of an adversary. It is conjectured that this is an essential part of their conflict behaviour when confronted with a rival. It appears that their conversation often defuses the situation and avoids a fight which might cause serious injury. One of them usually gives up in face of the other’s rhetoric and leaves the scene. It may be that the quality and strength of a rooster’s conversation is basic to his status and dominance.
It is suggested that more research is urgently needed in this area to develop an understanding of the language of chickens and how it can be transcribed into English.
It is unfortunate that the researchers did not take their research further into developing two-way conversation with the chickens. In doing so, they could have solved an intriguing conundrum that has vexed humans for centuries. They could have asked the chickens why they crossed the road.
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