Eli5: Do chicken and birds in general aim for food specifically or just pick at rnd objects on the floor?


I was at the zoo today and watched some birds picking at the floor randomly, where there was nothing but gravel and dirt, and thought that they always pick the floor randomly without any specific „target“.

So what do they do? Do they just pick on everything and hope theres a piece of food or is the picking behavior actually something completely different?

In: 0

if something looks like food, they will pick it up and taste it. If it is not food, they will spit it out.

Birds at zoos are bored, since wild birds have to spend a lot more time looking for food, and also have to hide from predators. But the instincts to check out food-looking things is still there.

In addition, some birds need to have a bunch of small rocks in their stomach to help them grind the seeds. So they do swallow rocks.