Tag: Care2

Talking to one’s dog!

Are you a dog owner? Then here’s something else that you gain from your wonderful friend.

I was rather short on time yesterday so apologies for cutting my introduction to a minimum. But you will still love this item that appeared on the Care2 site three days ago.

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People Who Talk to Their Pets Are Actually Quite Intelligent

If you’ve ever owned a pet, you’ve probably talked to it at one point or another. And even though you may have been fully aware that your pet couldn’t talk back or even really comprehend what you were saying, you still did it anyway.

Why do we do this? Why do we talk to our pets like human friends when we know their little minds just aren’t built to think or feel the same way we do?

When we talk to our pets, we subconsciously create a human-like bond in our own minds with non-human creatures. We’re built for connection — and we feel more connected to things when we recognize that they’re just like us.

Talking to animals (and even to inanimate objects, such as house plants) is called anthropomorphism. We usually call it “cute” when kids do it, but when adults do it, we tend to view it as a little weird and immature.

According to behavioral science professor at the University of Chicago and anthropomorphism expert Nicholas Epley, talking to animals and objects is actually a sign of intelligent social cognition. Humans are very social creatures, so our brains are wired to see faces and perceive minds everywhere.

Epley explains that we anthropomorphize the things that we love as opposed to the things that we hate. The more we like something, the more likely we are to want to engage with its mind — even if it doesn’t actually have a mind.

In a 2011 study where a group of participants were shown photos of baby animals and adult animals, most admitted to liking the baby animals better and were more likely to anthropomorphize them. If the participants could own one of the baby animals, they said that they would name it, talk to it and refer to it by its appropriate gender pronoun.

The most common way we anthropomorphize animals and objects is by giving them names, but it can apply to character traits, too. For example, a person may describe their cat as “sassy” or their car as a “rickety old man.” These human-like character traits given to non-human things reflect our relationship with them and perhaps even symbolize extensions of ourselves.

Anthropomorphizing only benefits us when inanimate objects are involved, but when it comes to anthropomorphizing domesticated animals like dogs and cats, both ourselves and our pets can benefit. Since these animals evolved over thousands of years to become human companions, they are biologically designed to bond with us.

Studies have shown that when we talk to dogs, they can distinguish between the meaning of the words and the emotional cues we give them. Cats may not be as responsive to human language as dogs are, but they do have the ability to recognize their owners’ voices and they also have 16 different types of vocalizations they use to communicate.

So you can let go of the widely held belief that talking to your pet, your houseplants, your car or anything else is childish or even a little bit crazy. From a scientific viewpoint, it turns out that quite the opposite is true.

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Let me close by reminding all you good people of yet another wonderful aspect of the relationship between humans and dogs. In that we all know the dog evolved from the grey wolf. But had you pondered on the fact that wolves don’t bark! Yes, they howl but they do not bark.

There is good science to underpin the reason why dogs evolved barking; to have a means of communicating with us humans.

Every person who has a dog in their life will instinctively understand the meaning of most, if not all, of the barks their dog utters.

Dogs are saving our lives!

Literally, not just emotionally!

Over on my website, under My Writings, I mention my recently published booklet, The Amazing World of Dogs.

Here’s an extract from pages 17-18 of that booklet.

Finally, Dr. Morten Kringelbach of the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University1 explains that the need to nurture is very deep in us humans and that dogs produce an instinctive parental response in us that is very similar to our nurturing instinct for our children.

If the magic of having dogs in our lives for such a long time ended there it would still be breathtakingly wonderful. But dogs could now be offering us humans the capacity to understand many human diseases. Literally, our dogs could be saving our lives!

The challenge in understanding human diseases is that within our ‘breed’ there is a great variability of genes. Not surprising when one considers the incredible diversity and variation within us humans.

But when we turn to dogs then we have a bonus. For despite there being, as mentioned earlier, 400 or more different breeds of dog, within each breed dogs are very similar to each other. In other words, that narrow gene pool within a specific dog breed makes if far easier to pinpoint genetic mutations than it is in humans.

Elinor Karlsson is the director of the Vertebrate Genomics Group at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.2 As a geneticist, Dr. Karlsson has identified, “hundreds of diseases common to dogs and humans”. In 2005, the dog’s genome was fully mapped; all 2.4 billion letters of the dog’s genome

Among those common diseases between us humans and our wonderful dogs are diabetes, cardiac diseases, epilepsy, many cancers especially bone cancers, and breast cancer and even brain tumours.

So it was an obvious thing to do to republish the following article that appeared on the Care2 site a few days ago.

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 Could a Dog Vaccine Help Save Kids With Brain Cancer?

By: Laura Goldman April 17, 2017

About Laura Follow Laura at @lauragoldman

The statistics are grim: About 60 to 70 percent of children who have glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, do not survive more than two years. This fast-growing cancer is resistant to traditional treatments like radiation and chemotherapy.

For dogs, cancer statistics are also grim. More than 6 million dogs are diagnosed with cancer every year, and one out of four dogs will get cancer during their lifetime. It’s the leading cause of death for dogs after the age of two.

But there could be hope for both dogs and kids. A vaccine being developed that destroys cancer cells in dogs could also be successful in fighting glioblastoma in children.

Researchers at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., have started a partnership with ELIAS Animal Health, a company that’s testing treatments for osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and B cell lymphoma in dogs.

“If we take advantage of the resources we have in this region and get behind those collaborations, this could be a mecca for advanced, exciting, innovative therapies for cancer and lots of other diseases,” Dr. Doug Myers, an oncologist at Children’s Mercy, told the Kansas City Star.

ELIAS Cancer Immunotherapy (ECI) uses the dog’s own immune system to destroy the cancer. “Research has shown that ex vivo activated T cells have the machinery to effectively kill cancer cells, including cancer stem cells,” according to the company’s website. “ELIAS Cancer Immunotherapy utilizes adoptive cell therapy to deliver an army of activated T cells.”

The dog is vaccinated with his own cancer cells to produce an immune response, then the generated white blood cells destroy the cancer cells.

“Personalized T cells are then safely obtained from the patient through apheresis [the removal of blood] and then ‘super charged’ to produce a large population of killer T cells that are reinfused into the patient to kill the cancer,” the company explains.

ELIAS Animal Health is currently conducting clinical trials of ECI at Kansas State University, the University of Missouri-Columbia and a few animal hospitals across the country. The success rates of using ECI along with surgery on dogs with cancer are being compared with those of patients that are treated with surgery alone.

“Early clinical study results already show positive outcomes,” Tammie Wahaus, CEO of ELIAS Animal Health, said in November 2016.

Among the ECI success stories is that of Dakota, a German shorthaired pointer who continues to survive a year after she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. This is twice as long as her original prognosis. X-rays taken during a follow-up examination showed no signs of the cancer spreading.

Could ECI also successfully treat children with glioblastoma? Dr. Kevin Ginn, a pediatric oncologist at Children’s Mercy, and other researchers are currently developing protocols for trials. They’re planning to apply for a Phase II clinical trial with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, using the results of ECI’s studies on safety and effectiveness as far as dogs are concerned. The Phase II trial would give ECI to a large group of children to see if it’s effective and further evaluate its safety.

Animal health trials are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are less expensive and proceed faster than FDA-regulated human trials, the Kansas City Star reports, “but successful human health treatments often bring a larger return on investment.”

In this case, a larger return on investment could be a win-win for children as well as dogs with cancer.

Photo credit: cgordon8527

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My booklet closes thus:

Many would extend that proficiency of dogs to include their sense of loyalty and forgiveness, to and of us humans, but that all pales into insignificance when compared to what our understanding of dogs is giving us.

No less than the capacity to help cure many of our diseases, to deeply understand the workings of the human mind, and above all else, to offer insight into our very existence.

That’s quite a relationship!

Quite a relationship indeed!

Snow time is smile time

These dogs are most definitely not suffering from depression!

Good people, I was late to my desk yesterday and was looking for something to present to you without it taking too much time.

The Care2 site came to the rescue with the following video. Plus, such a bonus following last Saturday’s article about dogs suffering from depression and how to cure them when they are down.

It doesn’t get farther from depression than this!

Hopefully back to normal tomorrow!

For They Bring Out The Best In Us!

A wonderful follow-on to yesterday’s post.

As many of you will know, yesterday I published a post under the heading of Dogs: Aren’t They Incredible. It was the first of three essays that have been published by The Smithsonian about the wonderful ways of the dog.

So when I was wondering just what to share with you today and was browsing ‘stuff’ this story over on the Care2 site struck me as a perfect companion to yesterday’s post.

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Man Hears Barking From Under Pavement and Rescues Buried-Alive Dog

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite, back by popular demand. It was originally published on October 4, 2015. Enjoy!

A pregnant dog buried alive under paving stones for two days was rescued by local hero Rustam Vadim who heard a soft barking sound as he walked home with family in the Russian city of Voronezh.

Concerned about the dog’s survival, Rustam immediately went to the public utilities office to ask for help in rescuing her but was told that that department had not made the repair to a long-standing large hole in the street and they could not help.

Apparently, workers from a different government agency had made the repair and were unaware of the dog hiding in the hole as they sealed it over with paving stones.

[Ed: This video has a Russian commentary but you don’t need words to understand it!]

“My husband started to hammer to pull out the cobblestone and to hand dig out the sand because he did not have a shovel,” Rustam’s wife explains. “There was a gap that laid between the large cobblestones. My husband removed one stone and saw the face of a dog. He started to slowly pull out the dog as she is pregnant. After rescuing the dog, we recovered the hole so there is no threat to people.”

The dog was reportedly taken to a shelter and is being cared for. How many of you would like a man like Rustam as your friend or neighbor?

Photo Credit: YouTube

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How many, indeed, would like Rustam as a friend.

In fact, it underlines the truth that despite all the gloom and doom we read about on a daily basis most of the people out there are nice people!

Finally, I was curious as to where Voronezh was in Russia. Thanks to ‘Google’ that question was quickly answered:

Voronezh is a city and the administrative center of Voronezh Oblast, Russia, straddling the Voronezh River and located 12 kilometers from where it flows into the Don. Wikipedia
It appears to be about an eight-hour drive South-south-east of Moscow and here’s a picture of the city.
Voronezh.

Spring Snow

Snow may stop play later on today.

I’m writing this post at 10am PST yesterday. It’s earlier than I would usually choose but already our local weather forecast is looking a tad optimistic.

Snow showers before 10am, then rain and snow showers likely. High near 40. South wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west southwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

For we have already received an inch.

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Photo taken at 09:45 PST Sunday, 5th March.

But before sharing with you a lovely video that appeared recently on the Care2 site, let me add a postscript to yesterday’s Picture Parade on the theme of Everyone Needs a Friend. A picture taken on Saturday evening of Pedy sleeping back-to-back with one of our ex-rescue cats from Mexico.

p1160925Now on to today’s share.

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Daily Cute: Irish Wolfhound Wags World’s Longest Dog Tail

Keon the Irish wolfhound has claimed the world record for longest dog tail at 2 feet 6.2 inches!

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Hopefully we will still be on and connected by the time you read this. Either way, here’s a closing picture.

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No shortage of love and caring.

For that most treasured pet companion: The Dog

What with one thing and another this has been a bit of a week.

So when recently I came across a wonderful story on the Care2 site of how a Fire Department put so much energy into saving a dog’s life it seemed an automatic action to share it with all you good people out there.

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How Rescuers Freed This Dog From a Tire Truck Rim

3201628-largeBy: Laura S.   March 1, 2017

About Laura

Any fire chief will tell you that a fire department’s role is not just fighting fires, but sometimes helping community members out of a tight spot. And for the McDowell County Rescue Squad in North Carolina, that form of service required a delicate touch last week when they were called upon to free a dog named Sadie from the grips of a truck tire rim.

Sadie’s family told rescuers that they believe she may have been chasing another animal when she got wedged inside the Ford F-350 tire rim.

Credit: Kristi Sisk/ Facebook
Credit: Kristi Sisk/ Facebook

Sadie was taken to the Animal Hospital of Marion where she showed everyone her new necklace with her characteristic charm. But for her own safety, Sadie would have to be sedated.

credit: Kristi Sisk/ Facebook
Credit: Kristi Sisk/ Facebook

“The tire rim probably weighed 20 or 30 pounds so she couldn’t even lift her head up when she came in,” hospital staffer Kristi Sisk said.

“We used hydraulic cutters as well as a couple of other power tools,”  McDowell County Rescue Squad Captain Jordan Harrell told Fredericksburg.com. “It was a lot of trial and error. It was very big, it was a tough metal, and not the text book type extrication.”

Credit: Kristi Sisk/ Facebook
Credit: Kristi Sisk/ Facebook

“Thank you so much McDowell rescue squad and volunteers that showed up, took their time, and put the animals safety first getting this tire rim off!” Sisk said. “Happy to say miss Sadie had a happy ending. Went home tail wagging. I love my job!”

Credit: McDowell County Rescue Squad/ Facebook
Credit: McDowell County Rescue Squad/ Facebook

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Time and time again, we see how dogs bring out so much good in us!

Dogs bring out so much love in us!

One can never have too many examples of love in a life!

These are interesting times. If we took even a small percentage of what we read about or see in the news media to heart we would think that life is hardly worth living for. So stuff the bad news out of sight!

Now read this that was recently published on the Care2 website.

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Schoolchildren Raise Over $7,200 to Help Dog Hit by Car

3200486-largeBy: Laura Goldman, February 9, 2017
About Laura

 

Over 80 percent of the students who attend Los Amigos Elementary School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., are from socioeconomically disadvantaged families, but that didn’t stop them from doing everything they could to raise money to save an animal in need.

It began in early December, when a school employee found an injured black Lab mix hiding in bushes near the parking lot.

“There’s this really hurt dog,” Vice Principal Sharon Linville heard over a walkie-talkie, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. “I’m sure this dog is going to die, he’s in so much pain.” She and other employees brought the dog blankets and water, and contacted the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Care and Adoption Center.

The center’s staff veterinarian, Cynthia Servantez, visited the school a few days later to give the students a not-so-good update on the dog they’d named “Black Bart.” He’d been hit by a car and would probably survive, but he needed surgery that would cost about $3,000.

An X-ray had revealed that both of Bart’s hips were dislocated. As Dr. Servantez told the students, Bart’s “puzzle pieces had come undone.”

The schoolchildren immediately took action to help put those pieces back together. The school launched a “Pennies for Paws” campaign to collect spare change for Bart’s surgery.

Every single student made a donation. “They looked through sofa cushions, they gave up their allowance, some of them gave us IOUs,” Linville told KABC. “We have a bunch of Chuck E. Cheese coins that we got.”

One week later, the school gave the animal care center a check in the amount of $471.37.

Servantez told the Daily Bulletin it was the first time ever that anyone had offered to pay for the medical care of an injured stray dog.

The Los Amigos students continued their Pennies for Paws campaign and the momentum continued to build. Yvonne and Art Alvarez, owners of Doggie Couture in Rancho Cucamonga, were so impressed by the students’ efforts that they matched the funds that had been raised.

“We wanted them to know if they do something nice, it can make other people do it and then it becomes something big,” Yvonne Alvarez told the Daily Bulletin.

Several weeks after he’d been discovered at the school, “Who Let the Dogs Out” played over the speakers as Bart returned for a special guest appearance at a Jan. 23 rally in his honor.

Linville announced that the Los Amigos students had surpassed their $3,000 goal – by over $4,200. The extra money would be donated to the animal shelter to help other pets in need.

Veterinarian Victoria Impett, who accompanied Bart, told the schoolchildren to give themselves a pat on the back. Most of them complied. “It might not have seemed like big deal to go home and dig in the couch for a few pennies, but each and every one of you made a huge difference in someone’s life,” she told them.

Bart had no ID tag or microchip, and no one has come forward to claim him. He still needs surgery on his right hip. Once he recovers, he’ll be ready for adoption. “He’s starting to kind of blossom into a fabulous dog,” Impett said.

As Linville told the students, “This has been an incredible journey, and it’s really cool to be kind.”

Photo credit: YouTube

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I easily found this short video on YouTube.

Enjoy!

Small miracles

It’s not just the rescuing of people that matters.

Last Thursday, the 26th January, the BBC News website published a short video under the heading of: Italian avalanche survivors tell how they stayed alive.

Colleen Barry and Eldar Emric of Associated Press reported in US News:

A couple among the nine survivors of an Italian avalanche that devastated a mountain hotel say they survived nearly 58 hours buried beneath feet of snow by sucking on glass- and mud-filled ice, comforting each other and those nearby, and praying.

Now there’s no way I am belittling that survival; far from it. But 58 hours is a tad under 3 days.

Now read the following that was published on the Care2 site.

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Puppies Rescued 5 Days After Devastating Avalanche in Italy

3199461-largeBy: Laura Goldman    January 26, 2017

After an avalanche buried central Italy’s luxury Hotel Rigopiano and its guests Wednesday, Jan. 18, rescue workers spent days digging in the snow in a desperate attempt to locate any survivors.

About 120,000 tons of snow, 16 feet deep, slammed into the hotel at 60 miles per hour. It took a while for emergency operators to believe the avalanche had occurred. The first man who called to report it was told that everything was fine at the hotel.

When they finally realized a disaster had in fact happened, first responders had to ski to the hotel, which took 12 hours. It took another day until the roads could be cleared with snowplows so emergency vehicles could finally get through.

Despite these circumstances, 11 survivors, including three children, were somehow able to keep themselves alive for over 40 hours by using their cellphones as flashlights to find water. The children, trapped in a game room, ate packets of Nutella and drank bottled water.

By Monday, rescuers were only pulling bodies from the snow and rubble. Discouraged and depressed, they were ready to give up hope.

The rescuers were told there were three puppies at the hotel. They had no idea where they were until they heard a noise in a boiler room inside what remained of the building. It was the three fluffy, white Abruzzo sheepdog puppies, only six weeks old, who had miraculously managed to survive both the avalanche and being stranded for five days.

“They just started barking very softly,” said Sonia Marini, one of the rescuers. “In fact, it was hard to find them right away because they were hidden. Then we heard this very tiny bark and we saw them from a little hole the firefighters had opened in the wall. We expanded the hole and we pulled them out.”

The puppies, born Dec. 4, had survived in an air pocket by eating snow, Walter Milan, the spokesman for Italy’s elite Alpine rescue squad, told the Daily Beast. They are the offspring of Nuvola (Cloud) and Lupo (Wolf), who lived at the hotel and were popular with guests.

Like their lucky litter, Nuvola and Lupo also survived the avalanche, according to a Facebook post by Martina Rossi, who was a bartender at the hotel.

Lupo e Nuvola, i pastori abruzzesi nati e cresciuti all'Hotel Rigopiano, non so come, sono riusciti a raggiungere la mia contrada, una frazione di Farindola (Villa Cupoli) sani e salvi. Questo non può di certo colmare il vuoto e la distruzione che attraversa un paese in ginocchio ancora speranzoso, nell'attesa soltanto di notizie positive, me in prima persona. Ma questi due bellissimi cagnoloni, rivedendoli, di certo sono riusciti a farmi tornare a battere il cuore, almeno per qualche secondo, riportando la speranza.
Lupo e Nuvola, i pastori abruzzesi nati e cresciuti all’Hotel Rigopiano, non so come, sono riusciti a raggiungere la mia contrada, una frazione di Farindola (Villa Cupoli) sani e salvi.
Questo non può di certo colmare il vuoto e la distruzione che attraversa un paese in ginocchio ancora speranzoso, nell’attesa soltanto di notizie positive, me in prima persona.
Ma questi due bellissimi cagnoloni, rivedendoli, di certo sono riusciti a farmi tornare a battere il cuore, almeno per qualche secondo, riportando la speranza.

The three puppies raised the hopes and spirits of the rescuers. “If the puppies survived, humans could as well,” Milan told the Daily Beast. Firefighter Fabio Jerman agreed. “It’s an important sign of life, which gives us hope,” he said.

Sadly, no one else has been found alive. A week after the disaster, 24 bodies have been found and five people are still missing.

In addition to unusually heavy snowfall, the avalanche may have been caused by a series of earthquakes that struck the area the day before.

Last year, devastating quakes killed more than 300 people in Italy. Another fortunate four-legged survivor, a border collie pulled from the rubble two days after an earthquake struck in late October, is being trained to pay it forward as a rescue dog.

Photo credit: YouTube

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Well done the team, as in Walter Milan the spokesman, and the rest of Italy’s elite Alpine rescue squad!

Stories like this put a real smile on my face!

 

So what about chickens!

There’s more to chickens that we realise!

p1160876We have a rather run-down ‘home’ for our chickens close to the house. It was run-down before the snow fell and almost brought down the surrounding wire fence.

p1160875But, hopefully, this coming Thursday sees a new walk-in run being constructed for our birds so they are better protected.

So what has brought this topic to mind?

The answer is a recent item that appeared on the Care2 site about how badly we misunderstand chickens.

I thought you would enjoy reading it.

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6 Surprising Chicken Facts

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Written by Katherine Martinko

It’s time we started paying attention to chickens, one of the most misunderstood and ignored species on Earth.

There was a time when chickens were viewed as exotic, fascinating birds. Descendants of exotic Asian jungle fowl, they were revered for their ferocity and intelligence, and domesticated around 8,000 years ago, more for cockfighting than eating. But then, we humans began eating them in ever-larger quantities, until we reached the point where we are now, with 20 billion (mostly white) chickens living in dirty, crowded barns, awaiting slaughter.

Chickens have been a part of human lives for millennia, and yet they are one of the most misunderstood, if not ignored, species on Earth. Lori Marino, an American neuroscientist and animal intelligence researcher, wants to change this. She is intrigued by the fact that chickens are so rarely recognized for their cognitive abilities and frustrated that studies about birds almost always focus on other, less-domesticated species, like crows and parrots.

“Arguably even the scientific community has been influenced by public perceptions of chickens as cognitively simple… This asymmetry in the literature is likely a reflection of, as well as a contributor to, the disconnect scientists and the public have between chickens as commodities and who they actually are as individuals.”

Chickens deserve more attention, and here are some quirky, interesting facts to get you thinking about chickens less as food and more as fascinating co-inhabitants of our world. These come via Marino’s recent paper, “Thinking Chickens,” published online in Animal Cognition in January 2017.

1. Chickens are a sub-species of the red jungle fowl that hails from southeast Asia.

The red jungle fowl (galls gallus) inhabit the edges of fields, scrubland, and groves. Domestication was well established 8,000 years ago, but some records suggest it could have started as much as 58,000 years ago.

2. Domestic chickens are similar to their wild counterparts.

Despite the intense breeding and genetic manipulation of recent years, chickens have not been cognitively or behaviorally affected by domestication. This stands in contrast to dogs and wolves, for example, which have diverged significantly due to domestication. Nor have chickens become less aggressive toward predators through domestication, which is a common outcome; in fact, some chickens are more aggressive even than red jungle fowl.

3. A chicken’s beak is highly sensitive to touch.

The beak, with numerous nerve endings, is used to explore, detect, drink, preen, and defend. This also means that when a bird is de-beaked, as often happens in industrial farming, it experiences great pain, sometimes for months, which changes its behavior. Marino writes, “At the end of the beak is a specialized cluster of highly sensitive mechanoreceptors, called the bill tip organ, which allows chickens to make fine tactile discriminations.”

4. Chickens have finely tuned senses.

They can see long distance and close-up at the same time in different parts of their vision. They can see a broader range of colors than humans. They can hear at low and high frequencies at a variety of pressure levels. They possess well-developed senses of taste and smell. They can orient to magnetic fields, like many other birds.

5. Chickens are surprisingly good at math.

Three-day-old chicks are able to perform basic arithmetic and discriminate quantities, always opting to explore a set of balls with the greater number, even when an object was visibly transferred from one set to another. Five-day-old chicks have been found to track up to five objects.

“When they were presented with two sets of objects of different quantities disappearing behind two screens, they were able to successfully track which screen hid the larger number by apparently performing simple addition and subtraction.”

6. Chickens can exercise self-control.

In an experimental setting, chickens have been given the choice between 2-second delay with 6 seconds of access to food, versus a 6-second delay with 22-seconds of access to food. The hens waited for the longer reward, “demonstrating rational discrimination between different future outcomes while employing self-control to optimize those outcomes.” Self-control usually doesn’t appear in humans until four years of age.

These are just a few of the remarkable discoveries described in Marino’s study, a highly readable, entertaining paper. It’s an important reminder that chickens, arguably the most ubiquitous animals in our world, deserve far more respect than they currently receive. Hopefully this will lead to more people questioning the horrific conditions in which most of them are kept.

Photo Credit: robertsharp/Flickr

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It’s easy to fall into the trap of looking for a humourous way to close today’s post. But a more responsible approach would be to repeat the words from the start of the article to serve as a reminder of trying, wherever possible, to think about the food we eat, especially when animals and birds have to be slaughtered to provide us with that food.

…. we reached the point where we are now, with 20 billion (mostly white) chickens living in dirty, crowded barns, awaiting slaughter.

broilerBut please don’t leave this page until you have watched the following video.

Published on Dec 3, 2014

After 22 years of raising chickens for Perdue, one brave factory farmer Craig Watts was at his breaking point and did something no one has done before. He invited us, as farm animal welfare advocates, to his farm to film and tell his story. Ask your supermarket for Better Chicken at http://better-chicken.org.

You will adore this

We can never have too many heroes. Especially if they are dogs!

Just read this gorgeous story that appeared on the Care2 site on January 14th.

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Shelter Dog Nobody Wanted Alerts New Owners to Gas Leak

3198309-largeBy: Laura Goldman   January 14, 2017