15 September 1999
What makes a happy chicken tick?

EXAMINING the droppings of a chicken can tell you how happy it is, according to an Oxford University undergraduate who came second in a Daily Telegraph competition.

The student is researching the “internal experiences” of chicken with the idea of eventually providing the birds with better welfare conditions.

One measure of a chickens “mental” state is the release of corticosteriods, a hormone released when an animal is stressed or otherwise aroused.

The hormone is deposited in the chickens droppings.

  • The Daily Telegraph 15/09/99 page 16