Chickens are among the most common domesticated animals, with a total population of around 20 billion.
With a head as tiny as theirs, you may often ponder how big is a chicken brain? Or, what’s the actual size of a chicken brain?
Given the size of their head, chicken brains are tiny, often compared to the size of a marble.
How Big Is A Chicken Brain?
By looking at a chicken’s tiny head, it’s safe to say that chickens have small brains. The size of a chicken brain is said to be a tad bigger than its eyeball. Depending on the chicken’s age and size, the brain size may vary between a peanut and a lima bean.
According to the researchers from Linkoping University, the size of today’s domesticated chicken brains has become relatively smaller due to selective breeding for 10 generations. It is believed that during the breeding process, the offspring chickens might have acquired smaller brains in order to adapt to the living conditions that humans offer.
New research also reveals that laying hens tend to have smaller brains than other chicken breeds.
Where Are Chicken Brains Located?
Unlike human brains situated at the top of the head, chicken brains are located at the back of their skull, usually pushed further to the back.
This is probably why Miracle Mike (a.k.a. the headless chicken) was able to survive. It was believed that though his head was cut off from his body, the axe missed most of his brain stem, which remained at the top of his neck, allowing him to live for 18 long months without a head.
What Kind Of Brain Do Chickens Have?
Interestingly, a chicken brain consists of two halves, known as hemispheres. This means chickens have lateralized brains, as humans do. Both halves process information in two different ways.
More interestingly, a chicken can use each eye to look at two completely separate things simultaneously.
For example, while using one eye to look for food, the other eye is usually used for scanning predators. Likewise, a chicken brain can process two different sets of information at the same time. Quite badass for a common domestic bird, yeah?
Do Chickens Use Their Brains?
Yes, chickens do use their brains, and anyone who has raised chickens will tell you how smart and intelligent they are.
In fact, new research has found that chickens are emotional and intelligent animals and may demonstrate similar thinking skills to primates and mammals.
The report further showed that chickens are masters of counterstrategies and manipulation. For instance, males would usually make false food calls to attract their female counterparts, while females could sometimes ignore those false alerts.
Chickens are also believed to show a high level of self-awareness. They possess self-control like holding out for a better food reward and are aware of their position in the pecking order.
In addition, chickens can recognize more than a hundred different faces of other chickens as well as humans. Not forgetting, they have also demonstrated a range of skills such as problem-solving, social reasoning, and the ability to adapt to new environments based on past experiences.
Is Chicken Brain Edible?
Yes, chicken brain is edible and can serve as nourishment like most other internal organs.
In fact, it is considered healthy and a delicacy in many cuisines, including Asian, South American, and African. Many people who have consumed chicken brain suggest you crack open the chicken skull and slurp down the brains to enjoy its buttery richness in all its glory.
Believe it or not, Australia’s oldest man said that his secret to a long life was a lifetime’s consumption of chicken brains.
With a tiny head and an even smaller brain, it’s mind-boggling how smart chickens are! They’re sensitive, emotional, smart, and intelligent- qualities you wouldn’t expect from a domesticated bird.
From stories about Miracle Mike to everyday Joe raising chickens on his farm, you know for a fact that chickens are far from being dumb despite their peanut-sized brains.
And if you choose to savor these tiny brains, their flavor won’t disappoint you either!