BC chicken is Guinness World Record holder

BC chicken is Guinness World Record holder

BC chicken is Guinness World Record holder

Lacey may look like just another pet chicken on Emily Carrington’s BC property. But she has a title her coop mates don’t: Guinness World Record holder.

Carrington, who is a veterinarian and lives on Gabriola Island, began teaching Lacey and her other chickens how to identify simple letters and shapes last year, and found them to be quick learners.

“If I present two choices in front of them, they walk over and they pick the one that I’ve taught them to peck at, and they ignore the other ones,” said Carrington, who added that she rewards a correct answer with a bit of grain, bread or fruit.

After teaching her chickens to pick out letters of the alphabet, she contacted staff at the Guinness Book of World Records about competing for the title of most tricks performed by a chicken. And she was given the go-ahead to bring in independent witnesses and videographers to document the attempt in early April.

“First of all, I thought the record would be fun to do. But mostly, its way to present the chicken – who gets kind of a bum rap in a lot of ways – this prize for being really, really good at something that maybe people didn’t know they could do at all,” Carrington said.

On testing day, Lacey managed to correctly pick six consecutive letters.

“So I ran two or three chickens through the series of tricks, and it just happened on that day Lacey was a little bit faster, and she was a little more accurate than the others,” Carrington said. “She’s a lovely little chicken, but she’s not really different from the others or any other chicken. And all chickens probably have the ability to do these things.”

After sending in the video evidence, last week it became official. Lacey the chicken had been named the Guinness World Record holder in a brand-new category: Most identifications by a chicken in one minute. The category, Carrington says, more appropriately reflects what Lacey is capable of than the one for tricks.

“When they change it to identification, so that they are able to tell letters apart, they are showing the chicken’s intelligence and its ability to make choices. So I love that they changed that. “Now Lacey has her own category,” Carrington said.

She hopes Lacey’s feat will open people’s eyes to what chickens can do.

“We all know ravens are very, very smart and parrots can talk. But I don’t think anybody has stopped to think about chickens very much,” Carrington said.

Having mastered the alphabet, Lacey and the other chickens will soon be moving to a nearby farm to enjoy their golden years.

“I think with this group of chickens, I learned all I can,” Carrington said. “So the chickens are going to go live out their retirement at that beautiful acreage.”

But only one of them can boast that they’re a world record holder.