Mother hens have become a symbol of what it means to be a doting mother. Often, overprotective or worrisome moms are given this label.
This isn’t just an expression, though. It’s a fact! Research has shown that mother hens have a detectable reaction when they sense that their chicks are in distress.
In an experiment, chicks were exposed to a harmless puff of air, causing them mild distress without any pain. Their mother couldn’t see them, but she could sense their reactions to the puffs of air, even when they didn’t make any noises.
The mother hens showed clear signs of distress, showing multiple fight or flight behaviors. Their heart rate increased and their body temperatures changed.
This is proof that mother hens really do have an emotional connection to their chicks. It’s not just an instinctual behavior to be protective of their young and keep the species alive. Some people think that they’re just birds, but they really do have feelings, too.
There is some footage that has gone viral that is a perfect example of this motherly behavior.
In a massive downpour at a fish market in India, someone caught a mother hen in action and had to film it.
As the rain falls down, mama hen protects her chicks with her wingspan. She very clearly puts the welfare of her babies above her own, and you can even detect a bit of worry in her face and the way she looks nervously around her. She’s clearly worried about the welfare of her babies!
It’s so sweet to see all of their little feet huddled up underneath their mother’s protective wings. She doesn’t have a care at all that she’s getting soaked.
This is such a sweet moment to witness!
Not all species are this protective of their children. The cuckoo bird, for example, tricks other birds into raising her young by laying her eggs in other birds’ nests. The cuckoo babies grow much faster and bigger than the mama bird’s other chicks, forcing them out of the nest to die. Talk about being a bad mother.
The house sparrow is another example of a very bad bird mom. She goes around to the nests of her mate’s other families and kills those babies so that the father will spend more time with her own babies.
Not the mother hen, though. She is one of the most dedicated moms of the animal kingdom.
It really makes you think about how the meat and dairy industries treat the hens that are used for their eggs and meat. These emotionally intelligent animals are treated so poorly on a daily basis.
This emotional intelligence makes chickens great pets. They all have their own personalities, and having them running around your yard is sure to put a huge smile on your face. You’ll never have to buy eggs from the grocery store again. Imagine having fresh eggs ready for you in the morning! Guilt-free omelets every morning sounds like the perfect way to start the day.
Plus, if your chickens have babies, you’ll be able to witness the adorable bond between mama and her babies first-hand. Imagine what an amazing experience that would be! Anyone who has ever owned chickens will tell you that they make for great pets.
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