Contagious Yawning

Humans, chimpanzees, dogs, and budgerigars do it.  Some dogs will even yawn in response to their owner yawning.  I’ve observed contagious yawning in my chickens and decided to try it with them.  So far I’ve only had time to test Aunt Jemima, but was successful.  She yawns when I yawn!

Unfortunately, studies with chickens not bred for commercial production are largely absent from scientific research on cognition.  This is frustrating to me and I feel like it’s a gross failure of the scientific community because we’re all in debt to the chicken.  We owe it to them to increase our understanding.  People in all sorts of living situations are studied; why not the most populous species?  Why hasn’t the research on cognition expanded to include chickens outside of production systems?  In my opinion it’s because as a whole, people don’t want to know that the animal they most frequently consume in one way or another (meat & eggs) may possess cognitive abilities beyond that possessed by their dog.

Does this mean we shouldn’t eat them?  I believe God gave us chickens to eat, but He also commanded us to care for them.

Bitty Dog is a peekapoo and could never be a sled dog, although he could pull something tiny if trained.  Different breeds have different roles and chickens are no exception.  I think sweet little silkies are too cute and small to eat, but have read they’re eaten in some places in the world.  I can’t train Bitty Dog to do anything more than sit and I am not hungry enough to eat my chickens.

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