Lacey, a Canadian pet chicken from Gabriola Island in Canada, has achieved a new Guinness World Record. She did this by recognizing six different letters, numbers, and colors in just one minute. Her amazing talent shows how smart chickens can be! Read on to learn how she did it and why it’s so special.

Training Process

A Canadian pet chicken Lacey’s owner was Emily Carrington, a veterinarian in British Columbia. Last year, Emily got five Hyline chickens for egg production. Soon after, she had a weird idea and began training chickens to recognize magnetic letters and numbers.

I was training them to do tricks and I thought it would be fun to try for a record because I’ve been doing a lot of training,” Emily said.

Carrington used fridge magnets to train the chickens. She taught them that pecking a specific magnet would earn them a treat, usually grain. At first, the hens were confused by the alphabet shapes, but they soon learned that pecking them led to rewards. Each shape took a day or two to learn, and then Carrington would introduce a different one.

Their job was to only peck the number or letter that I taught them to peck and ignore the other ones. Even if I add a whole bunch of other letters that aren’t the letter they are supposed to peck, they will just peck the letter that I trained them to peck,” Emily said in the Nanaimo News Bulletin.


Carrington wanted all her chickens to try for the Guinness World Record for the most tricks in one minute. There, Lacey set a new record by correctly identifying six letters, numbers, and colors in one minute.

Recognition and Impact

Because of the tricks’ unique nature, the Guinness World Record created a new category for Lacey. It was mentioned on the Guinness website as “Most identifications by a chicken in one minute.” Also, are you interested in seeing how Lacey the Chicken learned to recognize letters, numbers, and colors? Check out Emily Carrington’s YouTube channel, The Thinking Chicken, where she shares more about her unique training methods and Lacey’s impressive skills!

The chicken is a very underestimated animal and I think if you could stop to think the chicken is a smart animal … you could maybe look at other animals and think ‘Maybe they’re smarter than I thought,” she said.

These discoveries suggest that chickens have complex thinking abilities. This knowledge also raises ethical questions about how we treat chickens on farms, where they are often kept in poor conditions to produce cheap meat and eggs. Recognizing their intelligence means we should consider their well-being.


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