Can Chickens Taste?

can chickens taste

If you keep chickens you will know that they have likes and dislikes, and some are just plain fussy when it comes to food choices. So, it may surprise you to learn that a hen’s ability to taste is actually quite poor.

The chicken’s tongue is small and tough and they have far fewer taste buds than we do – probably less than 500, compared to our 9000! Also, the chickens taste buds are situated at the back of the tongue so they are committed to swallow before they get any sensation for taste. 

The chicken’s brain has developed over time for sight and sound, so it is unlikely that they can smell much either.  But, what they can do, is learn. It is likely that they have learnt what is good and what isn’t, and they have a great ability for selecting healthy plants and bugs over those that may be toxic or difficult to eat. 

Research on chickens taste, likes and dislikes is scarce, but anyone who knows chickens knows they have foods they love, and foods they hate, even if science can’t fully explain this yet.

Looking for some tasty products for your chickens? Check out our poultry range here