It is common to see scared chickens especially if they sense or are at danger. Chickens are naturally skittish birds and can be frightened easily.
While chickens are easily scared, some people have alektorophobia and cannot dare get close to these birds especially the roosters for the fear of getting pecked.
Chickens fear being scared and will fly or even run to seek shelter in the coop, bushes or anywhere they may feel safe when spooked.
Predators like birds of prey, possums and wolves will easily scare your hens away. Loud bangs, starting motor engines and other loud noises will easily unnerve your birds.
In this article, I am going to take you through scared chickens and how they behave. This will help you know what scares them and how to stop it.
What are chickens afraid of?
Chickens are skittish and will easily get intimidated by other animals, strange colors, sounds, predators and even bad weather.
When scared, chickens will cackle producing strange noises, fly and even run for safety. This will make them stressed and they will lay fewer eggs or stop laying at all.
These birds are afraid of some colors like red and yellow or even those colors that resemble those of most predators that prey on them.
Chickens do not want any birds to fly over them because they think they are birds of prey. They will mistake flying kites and low flying aircraft for predators and this will scare them and make them run for safety.
What can scare chickens?
Chickens are easily scared especially when free ranging. On the backyard there are a lot of things that will easily distract them when foraging.
Young children are very curious and will chase everything they see. This includes butterflies, small home pets and chickens.
When chased, chickens will run and make strange noises signaling danger. Do not let kids chase chickens because they can cause injuries or tackle fences as they flee for safety getting into your neighbors compound.
Loud noises will distract chickens even those confined in a coop. These noises may come from barking dogs, motor vehicle engines, people shouting and thunder sounds.
Minimize all types of noises because they can easily make your Friendliest chickens stressed. Avoid parking vehicles and locating dog kernels near chicken houses.
Scaring chickens can lead to stress and even death of baby chicks.
Chicken predators will scare your chickens very easily. Most of the animals that prey on chickens will stalk on them before they ambush scaring them.
When chickens notice a predator within their vicinity, they will produce some sounds to inform others that they are in danger.
Most common predators that scare chickens include:
Chickens will also be scared by wild birds, rats, mice and other vermin that will sneak inside the chicken coop to steal food from their feeders.
In most cases, territorial roosters will engage in serious fights as they try to maintain dominance and have mating rites over the hens.
This is common where more than one rooster is placed together in the same run. These fights become fierce where combs are wounded, feathers are plucked and even eyes are lost.
Fighting rooster’s will easily s care other chickens making them hurdle on one corner leaving the boys to wrestle each other.
Low ranking hens will be bullied, intimidated and scared by the rowdy ones. It is common to see a chicken scared of other chickens especially when several breeds are integrated together.
Strange and new colors will easily distract your hens and scare them away. If chickens were attacked by a brown fox, anything brown will scare them thinking it is the same fox.
Some colors like red and yellow are known to scare chickens easily. Wearing clothes with these colors will make your birds afraid of you.
What ways will not scare chickens away?
Toss tasty treats
Chickens love treats and will enjoy very much when something good is hurled for them to eat. Make a habit of tossing tasty treats to your white chickens.
If you can, let your girls eat from your hand, then do it because this will show them affection and help then trust and bond with you easily. Additionally, your friendliest chickens will no longer be scared when they see you approach them.
Brand them sweet chicken names
Chickens will love it when you call them by their names. Brand your pet Salmon faverolle hen a cute chicken name like “Jenny” and make it’s habit by of calling her by her name.
This will make them get used to you and come when called. Name them from the time they are chicks and call them when you get to them.
Get them gifts for chickens
A nice chicken gift will make your hen feel what you felt when you received that bouquet of red roses on valentine day.
There are a host of good gifts for your cute chickens like nesting pads, chicken play toys and grit. Give them gifts after they have done a good job like laying those tasty eggs for you or running to you when they see you coming.
Make sure you latch the chicken coop at night
Before you head to bed, ensure that your chicken coop is properly latched. This will keep them safe inside and no predator will come to stalk and scare them away.
You can buy an automatic chicken coop door to ensure they are safe even when you are not around. It will shut and keep them safe at night and open in the morning to let them out to forage.
However, it is good to note that an automatic chicken coop door does not know the difference between a chicken and a predator. So, a foe can easily get in and spend the night in the coop and it can kill all the birds or eat the eggs. Ensure to check on them in the evening and do a head count before you retire to sleep.
Put a roof netting
Hawk netting or a mesh over the chicken run will help keep predators like chicken hawks and other birds of prey out.
This will not only keep your hens safe but also it will ensure that nothing scares them. Mesh and nettings for sale are available on Amazon and other online stores.
Are chickens afraid of the dark?
After dusk, chickens are not active and are inside their coops roosting. These birds will not be seen roaming out like other nocturnal birds at night.
Do not expect these birds to have good vision too during the dark. They will not roam out because they will easily be preyed on.
So, chickens are afraid of the dark an that is why they are always inside the coop. At night, the weather is cold for these birds and most predators are always active.
They will make loud chicken noises to tell they are in danger. However, you can treat them well and calm them down not to scare them. Learn to approach them with caution not to scare them away.
Scaring baby chicks can lead to death or ill health. While adult hens can stop laying or lay few eggs when they are scared. Scared chickens are not productive and healthy.