Chicken Memory

A curiosity of mine is this: “How long do chicken memories last?” Actually, I have a lot of curiosities about chickens, wondering how their small minds work and process reality. But memory is one of them.

When we first had chickens they were allowed to roam free. But Debbie got tired of them pooping on the porch (as chickens are wont to do) and their constant scratching in her flower gardens. So we built a chicken fence and locked them away. Before they would come down to the back of the house and star in through the windows of the French doors, led by our rooster Petunia who is the worst food grubber of them all. After the fence went up, the chickens had to develop other routines, and other places to lounge besides the back door.

That change was a year ago, but I’ve since wondered how much our rooster Petunia remember of his old haunts. Well, today it was a warm later winter day and though the snow was on the ground I left the door to the chicken yard open so that our young cat Munchkin could go exploring. Well, it wasn’t too long before the chickens were heading out the gate in the opposite direction. And Petunia hurried on down to the back door and peered in through the window. A year of time and his chicken brain still remembered where he used to go.

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