Do Chickens Know Their Names? Do They Recognize Their Owners?

Every morning you go out to see your backyard chickens, you call out the names you’ve chosen for your pets. You realize they come running as soon as they hear your voice. You wonder do they come running because they understand their name? Is it because they recognize your voice and face? Let’s take at whether or not they understand their names.

So, do chickens know their names? Yes, if they are handled and told their name over and over from a young age, they have the ability to learn their name. They won’t always come when called like a dog, but they will turn around and acknowledge when called by name.

Chickens are not your typical domesticated pets like cats or dogs. That being said, they are becoming more and more popular, which is why people are actually naming their chickens.

Here’s some old lady names for chickens, if you have old hens or some that walk around like an old lady.

In order to answer this question, we first have to understand the relationship between chickens and their owner.

Do Chickens Recognize Their Owners Voice?

A chicken is similar to a dog, in that they learn very quickly which person feeds them and gives them snacks. If you handle your chickens a lot and bring them plenty of treats, they will learn to know your voice, because they associate it with treats.

Your chickens will quickly bond with the person that cares for them and gives them food to eat.

Once your chicken learns your voice, they may even start listening to their names, follow you around, and come whenever you call them.

That being said, they can also pick up from your tone of voice whether you’re having a good or bad day.

Do Chickens Recognize Faces?

Like humans, chickens have the ability to recognize one another. At birth, chicks are imprinted to follow the first moving object they see. At around 24-36 hours after birth, they can imprint the image of their mother.

Some studies have shown that these birds have the ability to envision partially hidden objects. So, yes, chickens can recognize faces, it has also been shown that they prefer people who are beautiful.

If your chicks to know who you are and start listening to you, imprint your face onto the chicks from day one. When the chicks grow up into laying hens, they will know you and be friendlier to you.

Some will even listen to you when you call their name out.

Do Chickens Get Attached To Their Owners?

do chickens know their owner
Chickens learn from a young age who they can trust and who feeds them and bond with them.

Yes, chickens will bond and become attached to certain members of your family. As mentioned above, they know which person feeds, shelters, and gives them water.

If you’re the person who goes into their kennel everyday to collect the eggs, feed them, give them fresh water, they will eventually start following you everywhere you go. They may even come running towards you when they see you first thing in the morning.

Chickens are smart and they know who treats them good and who doesn’t.

What Is A Good Name for A Chick?

There are literally hundreds of names you can choose from. Here’s some quick tips for coming up with a name for your newborn hatchlings.

  • Their Color or Markings: Consider naming your chicken based on the color of their body or unique body color. For instance, you can name your blue chicken Azul (Spanish for blue), Bluebonnet, or Azurite (blue stones).
  • Your Chicks Personality: Is your chick clumsy, fast, bold, skittish, loud, or quiet? Names like Fury, Weezy, Flash, Peppy, and etc.
  • After Your Favorite Food or Restaurant: This may sound mean, but it’s actually funny. There are plenty of food and restaurant names that come to mind such as Colonel Sanders, Kabob, Kiev and etc.
  • Cartoon Characters: Your children will know many famous and animated chicken character names for your chicks. Some of the most popular ones that come to mind are Foghorn Leghorn, Lady Cluck, and Chicken Little.
  • Famous Names: Consider naming your chicken after a famous singer or a famous place. Some of the ones that come to mind are Egghead, Dixie Chick, and Albert Eggstein.

It will take time to come up with a name for your chicken. Have some fun with it and see what your family comes up with.

Be sure to check out this article where I’ve brainstormed a huge database of chicken names to help you out!

Training Chicks to Recognize Their name

Teaching a chicken their name is similar to how you would teach a cat, or dog their name. The sooner you start the better of you will be, just don’t expect them to come running whenever they hear their name like a dog would.

Some may, but others may just turn their head around or flap their wings when they hear their names. Others, may not ever learn their names.

Most people don’t think you can train chickens, or that they are dumb. But the truth is that chickens are smart and can learn their name.

Here’s how to teach your pet chickens their name.

Decide On A name

First, you need to decide on what you’re going to call your chickens. It can be a word, phrase or even a sound you want them to respond to. The important thing is to be consistent and use the same thing every time.

Start As Soon As They’re Born

It will be easier. to teach a young chick to respond to their name than an adult. Chicks are more impressionable and will learn more quickly.

You can still teach an older chicken, but just know that it is going to take a lot longer than it would a baby. Just like a puppy learns more quickly than an adult dog. Once a chicken reaches adulthood, they are pretty much set in their ways and it may take much more extensive training.

Put In An Enclosed Area

If you have free range chickens that are allowed to just roam around your yard, you’ll want to put up a temporary fence until you teach them their names.

Sit down and talk calmly to your chickens. Your flock already sees you as the person who feeds, shelters, and gives them yummy treats. Chickens are social creatures and spending time with them will help build more trust.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Like dogs, chickens learn best when they get something in return. Use one of their favorite treats, mealworms, cracked corn, unsalted pumpkin seeds, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, or some of their feed.

The point is you want to use something they go crazy for.

Now whenever you feed them, call them by name.

Tone of Voice

When calling their names, use a higher tone, similar to how you would talk to a young child or dog. If you have more than one chicken, try to use a different tone for every name.

Eventually, your chickens will learn their names just by the tone of the voice that you’re using. Just know that it isn’t going to happen overnight.

Final Word

Chickens are very social animals and can learn their names if they are trained and handled properly from day one. Some will never learn their names, but they will come running when you call them because they know you’re their source of food.

That being said, many people still take the time to name their chickens because they know that they make great pets.

References and Further Reading