Do They Have Personalities? You Can Bet the Farm They Do!

September 19, 2022

(left to right) a pig, cow, and chicken all in a pasture

National Farm Animal Awareness Week falls on the third week of every September. To celebrate, this year we are spotlighting the amazing traits and fun personalities of farm animals! 

Chickens in a pasture

Chickens Are Chatty

With over 30 unique vocalizations, chickens have a lot to say! Listen carefully and you will notice that they use different sounds to communicate a wide variety of messages to other chickens, including mating calls, stress signals, warnings of danger, how they are feeling and when they’ve discovered food.

And They Know What’s Up

Chickens are able to recognize over 100 other chickens, even after being separated for long periods of time. But this isn’t the only example of their long-term memory capabilities: chickens can remember past events (both positive and negative), people and places–especially where to find the best food! 

So, it seems chickens are the foodie influencers of the farm animal world: they know all the best places to eat, and they love to let others know where to go!

a pig in a pasture

Good Lookin’ and Smart

Pigs are the total package: they are adorable, have big personalities and are incredibly smart. They’re so smart, in fact, that their high level of intelligence consistently ranks them as one of the smartest animals in the world! They can play complex games, use tools, recognize their own name and learn basic commands and tricks. 

Let the Games Begin

Play is a very important part of a piglet’s development, both socially and mentally. Piglets will play with toys, chase each other around and play-wrestle. And a lot of that curious personality carries onto adulthood. It doesn’t matter how old you are, a little playtime is always fun.

a cow in a pasture

You Herd It Here

Cows are very social animals who form tight bonds with members of their herd. They play together and have even been known to chase and toss balls with each other! When it’s time to rest, they sleep as a group with their closest friends by their side. 

Cows Aren’t Mooo-tually Exclusive

When shown kindness, cows can also form bonds with humans. They love a good ear scratch and lots of pets, and they’ll return the love by licking and following trusted people around. Cows can recognize faces of their favorite people, and on the flipside, they recognize and remember people who have not treated them kindly, even after a long period of time has passed. 

Farm animals have personalities, desires and preferences, and they are capable of a wide range of emotions, just like us. That makes it all the more tragic that billions of these animals are suffering right now on factory farms–industrial facilities that raise large numbers of farm animals in intensive confinement. They are kept in cages or crates or crowded together in pens where they can’t run, play, socialize normally or enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors. 

See how chickens, pigs and cows live on factory farms.

But YOU can make a world of difference for farm animals who are so deserving of empathy and respect. Join our Factory Farming Task Force and be a part of the solution to improving the lives of animals and creating a more humane, sustainable food system.