Animal welfare professor Christine Nicol of Bristol University recently published a research paper, The Intelligent Hen, which found newly born chicks displayed intelligence within hours of being born. The baby chickens could process numbers up to five and were able to decipher between two different-sized groups of objects; when tested, they almost always chose the larger group. Professor Nicol states that while this seems to occur naturally in chicks, toddlers learn such numeracy much later in their development. The chicks knew an object still existed after moving it out of sight––something humans learn at about one-year old––and also exhibited self-control and an understanding of geometry. This scientific finding magnifies “the importance of providing these amazing creatures with the environment that enables them to live out their natural instincts,” she writes.
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