Social Question

krrazypassions's avatar

Will a chick raised with puppies feel and behave like a dog?

Asked by krrazypassions (1332 points ) June 24th, 2011

A chick (hen’s offspring) is born and brought up by a motherly dog along with the puppies. It has never seen any other chick or hen. Just dogs everywhere. Then, will it behave and feel like a dog or does it have chick-traits hardcoded in its brain from the birth?
Like Mowgli in the Jungle Book feels and behaves like wolves and other wild animals. With no knowledge of other humans, Mowgli’s behavior has no traits of ‘human behavior’. He eats, drinks, sleeps, hunts like wild animals. It is later that he comes in touch with other humans and learns their way of living.

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11 Answers

whitenoise's avatar

It won’t bark.

‘that dog won’t hunt’ either.

athenasgriffin's avatar

It would be awesome if it did think it was a dog.

I think some things are instinctual, though.

zenvelo's avatar

I doubt it would eat dog food….and it couldn’t breast feed like other pups.

mazingerz88's avatar

You’ll get your clear answer if the chicken starts raising its leg to pee on trees and/or starts humping your leg.

Hibernate's avatar

Nice question though animal psychology is not that simple.
Don’t think it will act like a dog when he will grow up.

Plucky's avatar

The chick will try to behave like a dog. But, they will usually follow, rather than behave exactly like, the dog. It’s called imprinting (in this case, filial imprinting). Filial imprinting is a learning behaviour. It is when a new born animal fixes its attention on the first visual, auditory or tactile object (usually the parent or guardian). The behaviour of that first object is then “imprinted” on the new born.

There are instincts, of course. But many instincts can go unused unless taught how to use them by the parent. Obviously, there are certain things that a dog can do that a chick can not. But the chick would grow up thinking it is part of the pack. The chick will follow and pick up certain dog behaviours (in the best way possible). Imprinting must happen during a critical period though (usually, with birds, it is within the first 24 hours of birth).

Edit: Here are a couple of articles: Learning Who is Your Mother and Wikipedia – Imprinting.

ucme's avatar

A cock-er spaniel perhaps?

josie's avatar

Mowgli is Homo sapien is thus able to use both reason and choice.
A chicken is stupid. No evidence of reason, very few choice options.
Dog/chicken is still a chicken.

syz's avatar

Chicken behavior is pretty hard wired, they don’t actually do much “learning”. As PluckyDog mentioned, it may imprint on the dog and follow it around, but the behaviors will be that of a chicken.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

From the studies I’ve read, most animals, human or non-human, do not have the ability to adapt fully to a foreign environment. Their natural instincts are still prevalent.

If you are really curious about this, you might enjoy reading That Quail Robert, a true story written by Margaret Stanger, about a quail raised by her family and was considered a member from both sides.

Here is a link to a portion of a documentary about A lioness that adopts a baby oryx (antelope).

As for human feral children raised by animals, there are a few incidences reported, and at least one has been reported to be false. Here is a link to a National Geographic documentary on Feral Children.

In most, if not all, cases documented, the adopted animal may adapt to certain social changes of the adopter, but it doesn’t overrule instinct.

28lorelei's avatar

This reminds me of an experiment performed on a crow in Austria by a biologist: the scientist raised the crow from the time it came out of the egg. The crow clearly exhibited crow behavior, although it thought that the human was a crow (or perhaps it thought it was a human- who knows?). When mating season came, the crow offered the human worms and tried to stuff them in the scientist’s mouth, but the scientist wouldn’t open his mouth. Unperturbed, the crow proceeded to stuff the worms in the man’s ear!

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