Pet owners love teaching their animals tricks and showing off their smarts, but this particular pet owner is anything but average.
Patrick Myles of High Wycombe, England, is an animal lover with a flock of pet chickens. People are used to seeing dogs performing special tricks, but Myles is proving that canines aren't the only intelligent pets in the bunch.
He's taught his chickens a number of impressive tricks, and his goal is to get his brainy birds on a future season of "Britain's Got Talent."
One of his birds can peck through an entire deck of cards and pull out the queen of hearts every time. Another can knock over cups according to color and a third can do the same trick but with beer cans and by brand.
Myles said his training technique is based on positive reinforcement. Similar to how dogs are trained, Myles rewards his hens with food whenever they get the trick right. He said he can train a chicken in six hours, and some of the more difficult stunts take 20 hours.
His chickens can pull toy cars on strings, and his next endeavor is to teach one of the birds to ride a skateboard with his dog.
Chickens are often goofy and fun-loving animals, and many people assume a lack of intelligence is where the term "bird-brain" comes from. But in reality, chickens are remarkably smart. Myles isn't the first farmer to train a pet chicken to do tricks, and studies also suggest the birds are empathetic and sensitive to other's feelings.
Myles' flock is a prime example of the surprising capabilities of chickens. Whether they make it onto "Britain's Got Talent" or not, these birds are anything but eggheaded.
What do you think of Myles' chickens? Let us know in the comments below.
All images via: The Sun/Southwest News Service
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