How Smart Are Chickens? Part 2

Last year I researched a little on the intelligence of chickens. Effie the leghorn seemed to be the brightest of all the chickens I have had, so I decided to teach her some tricks. I successfully taught her to play a little child’s xylophone and to do a simple card trick. The card trick involved shuffling ten or so cards on a table and inviting her to select the queen of hearts by pecking on it. ┬áMost of the time she would select the queen very quickly, but sometimes she would make a mistake and peck the jack of clubs. Does this mean she isn’t smart? I think it means she is very clever; she obviously can see that the face cards are different from the others, but it’s probably asking too much for her to tell the cards apart by suit. But given that she mostly picks the queen, I’m interested to know exactly what it is that she finds to distinguish the queen from the jack.

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