chicken-and-egg - page 45

45
Chicken & Egg. Welfare and Food Together.
Its binocular vision is used when
foraging for food and to identify
other members of the flock.
Here is the really clever part:
chickens can process two sets
of information at the same time!
While using one eye to look for
food, the other eye is scanning for
predators. If you have ever tried
sneaking up behind a hen you will
know howwell this system works!
Ever wondered why your hens
perform the same scratching routine
in a set pattern using a series of
alternative scratches? Chickens
usually start with their right foot
which is controlled by the left side
of the brain.
If the chicken finds food with its right
foot, the right eye will see it first. The
left side of the brain linked to the
right eye is responsible for the
chicken deciding if an object is food
or not. A quick decision can then be
made and the food quickly eaten.
Finally, when your chicken is still in
the egg waiting to hatch, the left
side of the head is usually tucked
under the wing. More light therefore
passes through the shell and reaches
the right eye at the important time
when the nerves associated with
vision are developing.
The young chick therefore has a
natural preference to use the right
eye to peck at feed and the left eye
tends to be used more for identifying
predators.
Rather like a human child being right
or left handed.
So not such bird brains after all!
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