Baby Chicks Are Smarter Than Baby Humans

Unlike your baby, young chickens have self-control
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2013 11:00 AM CDT
Baby Chicks Are Smarter Than Baby Humans
Not such a bird brain after all.   (Shutterstock)

Baby chicks: both adorable and smarter than you may think. A new study (which, it should be noted, was commissioned by an egg company) from the University of Bristol has found baby chickens posses many skills baby humans don't, the Independent reports. For instance, 93% of chicks in one test—in which they could get more food if they waited longer to eat—were able to exhibit self-control; humans usually don't have this skill until age four. Another test found the chicks also had an instinctive understanding of structural engineering (seriously), preferring more structurally sound cubes when given the choice between two, reports the Herald Sun.

And unlike your baby, newly-hatched chicks have numeracy skills; researchers offered them groups of eggs, with the chicks almost always choosing the larger group, even when the researchers tried to trick them by moving the eggs around. "Chickens may not be about to make a significant mathematical, scientific, or literary contribution to the world, but the study shows that chickens have the capacity to master skills and develop abilities that a human child can take months and years to accomplish," says the study's lead researcher. (More chickens stories.)

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