"Farm Animal Intelligence: How Smart Are Your Cows? Goats that do math, cows with social skills and chickens that play tic-tac-toe " - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-17-2013, 03:53 PM
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Farm animal intelligence

Pig intelligence: Some folks claim pigs are among the smartest of all farm animals. Barnyard pigs can figure out how to open gates, and have been taught to identify and retrieve specific objects. A researcher at Penn State University trained pigs to use a joystick to play video games and move the cursor on a video monitor. Pigs in France have been trained to sniff out truffles, and owners of potbellied pigs say their pets can be housebroken. And don’t confuse a pig’s love of wallowing in mud with stupidity. Pigs are susceptible to sunburn, and they instinctively know that mud makes a great sunblock.

Smart horses: Horse lovers will tell you that horses are the smartest animals in the corral, capable of loyalty, emotion and the ability to make decisions. If you’ve ever watched a roping, bulldogging or cutting horse competition, you’ve seen horses make a decision in a split second. Horses can remember and understand any number of spoken or tactile commands, and can recognize horse and human friends after years of separation. Horses also can be trained to master an impressive repertoire of tricks. In the early 1900s, a horse named Beautiful Jim Key was even taught how to spell out words. Horses also have a sense of humor, and have been known to play tricks on their human friends.

Social cows: While I admire cows, I’ll admit they’re not the brightest bulbs in the ceiling. However, in their defense, cows interact with one another in socially complex ways. They develop friendships, form social hierarchies, and can hold grudges against other cows. A dairy cow in a herd of a hundred knows exactly where her place is in line at the milking parlor, and range cattle never forget where the best grazing can be found. And if feeding time is 5 p.m., a herd of bawling cows will let you know if you’re even a few minutes late with their supper.

Read more: http://www.grit.com/animals/livestock/farm-animal-intelligence.aspx#ixzz2IHBTKSTw

This was an interesting read, these are the kinds of facts I think about whenever I hear someone say that farm animals aren't smart.

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#2 Old 01-20-2013, 08:09 PM
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Aww he's not being fair with cows, here are an article giving them the credit they deserve (it was written by an omnivore by the way).

Interestingly enough, Webster also ran tests to find out cows’ ability to solve puzzles – not only were they more than capable of achieving a solution, an electrograph measuring their brainwaves showed them to actually ENJOY (via stimulation) the challenge. This means that cows have a sense of “self” – an understanding of themselves as an actor in the world.

This is groundbreaking. It explains why there have been numerous reports of cows escaping slaughterhouses, finding their way home to their loved ones after DAYS of walking when sold onto other farms and figuring out ways around electric fences and doors in order to attain something that may be on the other side – they like the intellectual challenges, and like humans, have the capacity to see themselves as navigators.

This is further reaffirmed by a study performed by Catherine Douglass, the leader of the Newcastle University team in the U.K.; she found that cows who were given a name and treated like separate and cared-for individuals produced significantly more milk than cows who were not.



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#3 Old 01-20-2013, 09:12 PM
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Us humans always judge other animals in very anthropocentric ways, even when you're conscious of it its hard to think outside of your human box. So over the "most intelligent" claims end up being claims about having the highest human like intelligence. Who really knows which animal is the smartest, of course we always assume its us.....because our technology, What I've always find amusing about that is that only a very small fraction of society even understands the technology and its all very recent. If an alien visited earth 100,000 years ago it would have not noticed a huge different from us, dolphins, etc. Back then we lived in small societies with only simple tools.
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