Web edition: February 26, 2011
Print edition: March 12, 2011; Vol.179 #6 (p. 4)
CHICKS LIKE BRIGHT COLORS—Chickens tend to like bright colors and dislike dull or drab colors and black, a poultry scientist said. However, chickens, like people, are individuals and also show individual preferences for different colors, Dr. George D. Quigley of the University of Maryland, College Park, Md., told Science Service. For in-stance, yellow is generally “disliked” by the chickens Dr. Quigley is testing for color recognition and preference. Nevertheless, some of the chickens apparently “think” it is prettier than all other colors by the preference they show for yellow. Dr. Quigley said he has had the nests of the chickens he is testing painted pink, red, blue, orange, yellow, tan, brown, black and metallic gray.… When the poultry scientist finds out where a hen lays its eggs the two nest boxes on either side of the one the hen uses are painted in colors different from the dull neutral gray of the unpainted nest. If the hen changes its egglaying to one of the painted nests, it has recognized the color and shown preference for it.