‘Chickens are smarter than people think’: Gabriola is home to Guinness World Records smartest chicken in the world

'Chickens are smarter than people think':  Gabriola is home to Guinness World Records smartest chicken in the world
Lacey the chicken is pictured.

Emily Carrington has always been able to spot a gem that just needs a little polish, where others would see a rock. She’s turned an ordinary old pull trailer into a bright yellow school bus for her chickens. And, realizing the genius that was laying eggs in the chicken coop of her Gabriola Island farm, has set out to prove it to the world.

“My goal to do the record was to highlight that chickens are smarter than most people think,” Carrington told CHEK News.

So the veterinarian started training her flock, teaching her chooks more than just tricks. She tested them with shapes, colours and how to recognize subtle differences to prove actual intelligence.

“They’re cooperative, they love the training sessions. They line up and wait for me to come out and do it,” she said.

Carrington recorded a video of Lacey identifying six different shapes in one minute, then submitted her evidence to Guinness World Records. Now, Lacey has the title of World’s Smartest Chicken.

According to Carrington, the hen can pick out numbers on command, pick out an ‘O’ shape from a ‘Z,’ throw a ball and jump through hoops, all in addition to laying an egg each day.

“If they understand what you want and they’re not afraid, they will do it,” said Carrington.

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Lacey’s title has become the talk of Gabriola Island.

“Apparently that chicken can count, identify things, recognize shapes, colours all kinds of things,” said Gabriola resident Ruth Shamai.

“Just to see somebody that actually put the time in, and was focused enough and did something like that and then to see recognition from the rest of the world was kind of neat,” said another resident Ron Parrish.

Carrington expects there’s even more that Lacey, just a year-and-a-half old, could still learn.

“It’s pretty endless. Everything that I teach them, I’m like well if I took this in a different direction I could teach them something else,” said Carrington.

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Lacey demonstrates her skills jumping through a hoop. (CHEK News)

But Lacey and her fellow little red hens are destined for the good life. According to Carrington, a friend of hers has a farm where the chickens will enjoy woods and big grassy pens in retirement.

The Gabriola Island chicken trainer hasn’t decided what animal she might train next, but is certain it will surprise her and maybe even the world, as she sets out to prove how the underestimated can amaze, when given the chance.


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