Chickens usually have quirky personalities and will love being around their keepers most of the time. It can be so frightening to be chased by your chickens. You may even wonder Why do chickens chase you? Is it because of their aggression, or is it because they want to be quirky to you.
There are several reasons why your chickens could be chasing you. However, there are three main reasons why the chickens could be doing so. In this article, we will discuss the three main reasons why chickens chase humans. Keep reading to learn more.
Reasons Why Your Chicken Could Be Chasing You
It can be very frightening when a chicken chases you, especially a rooster. The chickens could be chasing you sometimes for other reasons besides being aggressive. Here are some of the reasons why chickens are chasing you.
- Chickens Chasing You For Food
Chickens usually spend most of their time foraging for food throughout the day. If they are not sunbathing or resting, they will probably be somewhere looking for something to eat. If they see you carrying something that looks edible to them, they will most likely start chasing you.
Generally, chickens are eating machines and tend to eat throughout the day as long as the food is available. They usually have a fast metabolism. It helps the food to move fast throughout the digestive system of chickens. This is the main reason why your chickens are always hungry most of the time.
In such cases, you can stop your chicken from chasing by avoiding carrying food even when it is meant for you alone and not the chickens. However, it should not worry you a lot if they follow you around in the backyard because of food. You can also stop this habit by tossing food or some pellets onto the ground. It will keep them busier and occupied.
Chickens Who Are Attached to Their Keepers
Several breeds of chickens are friendly and like to be around their keepers. Some include Rhode Island Reds, Golden Buff, Plymouth Rock, Easter Egger, and Sussex chickens. Most of them may be calm and will love company from people. They may also enjoy being cuddled.
If you have such breeds of chickens that will like being around you, they could chase you more often whenever they see you coming. Each bird has their own personality. Some of them would prefer human contact instead of contact with other chickens. It should not be an issue if it is a couple of chickens chasing you around. However, it can be a problem if it is the whole flock that comes running.
This is something you will learn to live with since it is part of their nature. The chickens will run after you to show their affection to you and not to hurt you. It would help if you always remembered not to run away whenever they chase you. If you do, they will even run after you faster. It is recommended that you standstill when they run after you as they will likely stop too.
Aggressive Roosters and Chickens Chasing You
Chickens can become aggressive sometimes. Most hens of various breeds are more likely to become aggressive after laying eggs or when the eggs have hatched. Roosters, on the other hand, are generally aggressive. They will attack other members of the flock. They may also chase you around with the intention to scratch and peck you.
Roosters are usually territorial and very protective of others in the flock. If they see you as a threat or whenever you provoke them, they may start chasing you around. There are several ways on how you can deal with an aggressive chicken.
Solutions for Aggression Within Your Flock
It can be very challenging to handle aggressive chickens in your flock. Such chickens are generally a threat to others; thus, solving the problem as soon as possible is usually good. Here are some of the solutions for aggression in the flock:
One of the best solutions for aggressive chickens is to lock them up to show them who the boss is. To be effective, you will have to ensure that the chicken sees other flock mates going about their day without her meddling. For instance, if she bullies others while eating, make her watch them eat without her interference. Enforce the isolation until the behavior changes.
The behavior could be part of the pecking order in your flock if the chicken is picking other mates but not harming them. Understanding its partners will help you to solve the behavior.
Reasons Why Chickens Bully Each Other
Here are some of the reasons why your chickens could be bullying one another.
They are Stressed
Chickens are typically creatures of habit and may not like any changes to their routine. Any switch-ups in your chicken’s daily routine can make them become unhappy. Some of the changes that you will not include are your chickens becoming quiet and stopping to lay eggs as they used to. The sudden changes can also make them be aggressive. Either one chicken or nearly all of them in the flock will become aggressive.
Some of the main causes of stress in backyard chickens include:
- Too much light or less light in the coop
- The environment being windy or too cold
- Lack of enough feed or provision of a different type of feed
- Less ventilation in the chicken’s coop
- The chickens are maturing sexually
- There is less space to accommodate all the chickens in the coop
- They can be stressed if you are transporting them to new areas
- They are scared of people or other animals around.
- A new chicken has been introduced to the flock
- If one chicken in the flock has died or is injured
- There is a disease or infection that is spreading through the coop
If your chickens are stressed because of any of the above factors, you can help them by ensuring that they are living in suitable conditions. You should also try as much as possible to stick to a given routine. Chickens prefer being fed on the same feed from one day to another. They also like a decent amount of light in their coop throughout the day.
The Chickens Are Bored
Every creature is likely to get aggressive when they are bored. Chickens can not be excluded. Chickens mostly become bored during the winter period because of the climate. This is one of the times that you can quickly notice the bullying behavior among them.
The main reason chickens get bored during wintertime and become aggressive is that they are usually not fond of wet and cold weather. They will therefore tend to stay inside the coop most of the time. As the time they spend together huddled grows, they will become bored and anxious and start bullying one another.
Here are a few solutions to boredom in your coop:
- Build the chickens an outdoor roost
- Put together a pile of dirt or leaves
- Hang a mirror in the coop so that they can look at themselves
- Allow them to roam freely
They are Living in a Poor Condition
A bad living condition is one of the main reasons why chickens bully one another. Like human beings, chickens will also want to live somewhere they are comfortable with. Some of the things that are considered as “bad living conditions” for chickens include:
- Overcrowding in the coop
- One drinking and eating station in the coop
- The light in the coop is not right
- Too wet and cold without proper ventilation
The solution to this is to ensure that your birds are living somewhere they are comfortable with. You should also ensure that your coop is well ventilated and has two or more drinking and eating stations.
Chickens have the ability to notice when one member in the flock is sick. In most cases, they will turn against the sick mate and force her away from the flock in an effort to reduce the spread of illness. They will bully her and pluck her feathers until she runs away. Some of the signs of a sick chicken include:
- Sudden loss of weight
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty walking
- Laying fewer eggs than normal or non at all
- Losing feathers
The best thing to do if your chicken is sick is to seek assistance from your veterinarian. You can also put them away from others and ensure that they are eating too.
If you have ever kept backyard chickens, you could have realized that there are moments where your chickens will chase you. In most cases, it is normal for chickens to chase after their owners. Some of the reasons they could chase you include if you are carrying something edible to them and if they are attached to you. It is important to establish the reason why they are doing so. Some chickens, especially roosters, are just aggressive and will chase you away.