Although chicks seem to be just a jumbled up mass of motion when they are hatched and trying to thrive. It turns out they can do something extraordinary … they can add small numbers.
While this seems tiny and insignificant, it does mean that their brains are a little more finely developed than we give them credit for.
Here’s a link to the scientific journal article. To be honest, there’s a lot of text in this article, and it rambles on and on in scientific-ese. But I thought the idea was very interesting to read about anyhow.
The results of experiments 1 and 2 showed that, in the absence of any specific training, chicks spontaneously discriminated between two and three, in both cases preferring the larger stimulus set. …
Hence chicks’ behaviour seemed to indicate an ability to perform additions, i.e. combining two or more quantitative representations (addends) to form a new representation (i.e. the sum).
I’m pretty sure the pecking order concept starts really early, and has a HUGE impact on every single baby chick you raise. They’re definitely smarter than we might think.