Do Chickens Understand Rain?

Thursday, October 27, 2016, 4:30 pm, 64 degrees

American River, Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks Bridge, rain, water, ducks, mistI wander from my car to the bridge in a light rain. Despite the rain, it is a “warm,” 64 degrees. I see no boats and no birds. The determined egret still stands on the riverbank in its usual place. A few ducks scatter and swim quietly and slowly. The only sound I hear is the raindrops hitting the bridge. Water drips slowly down the frame and rails on the deck.

Today I stand alone on the bridge in the mist. Mist hangs in the air on both the east and west sides of the bridge.

Yet even in rain, spiders have spun their perfect circle webs and caught a group of insects to store for a future meal. My shoes are getting damp. My sweatshirt so far keeps me dry. These are peaceful, beautiful moments of watching the rain drops fall and circles that expand within moments afterward. Ducks huddle near the shore. No boats or people to disturb them today.

chickenpair2As I walk off the bridge with my shoes wet down to my socks, I see a family of chickens (two adults and three adolescents) huddle under a tree as they scratch the ground with their feet searching for the next meal.

I wonder if chickens understand rain? Or could they believe the sky is falling and need to share the news as they hide from the danger, like the fabled Henny Penny?

They look a bit dazed, as if they were not expecting the rain. Another chicken stands at the curb crowing weakly. Some chickens are wandering about in open spaces at the park and on the streets. Those hiding are remaining still and quiet.