Chickens, as they stand, could use some improvement. I usually improve them with the addition of bacon and barbecue sauce, but Maia developer Simon Roth has made them more intelligent, given them their own wants and needs, and convinced the birds to socialise with other chickens. Oh and he's also added scenario missions to his sci-fi sandbox sim, and changed a load of other stuff too.
Patch 0.51 is detailed here, and also makes better use of 64-bit operating systems, adds stations out in the wilderness that you can refill colonists' suits at, chucks in colonist animations to let you know when they're hungry etc, and lets robots delegate jobs to other robots, the workshy gits. There's a lot of other stuff, but the main takeaway, apart from the chickens, is those three scenario missions.
"In addition to the existing sandbox, Maia now has 3 standalone scenario missions with directed gameplay. Fleshing out Maia's hard science fiction narrative and lore, players now have several hours worth of missions with many more hours to be added in the upcoming months."
Those three scenarios have you building a colony (you should be pretty good at that by now), surviving an arctic winter on a remote research station, and studying an equatorial jungle.