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Why Do Chickens Chase You? (And What to Do About It)

Why Do Chickens Chase You? (And What to Do About It)

The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.

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Taking care of chickens in your backyard has the potential to be a lot of fun. Many people have started raising chickens because they find them to be interesting.

You might also be taking care of chickens in a farm setting. It’s good to be able to have a source of eggs that you can count on.

Those who are new to raising chickens might encounter certain problems, though. For example, you could wind up having your chickens chase you around.

This could seem very unnerving at first depending on how safe you feel around animals. You might be wondering why certain chickens will decide to try to chase you around.

Are there specific reasons why chickens will chase you? Keep reading to learn more about some of the common reasons why chickens do this.

They Might Be Chasing You to Get Food

Of course, one of the most likely scenarios involves the chickens chasing you for food. Chickens are very motivated to seek out food, and they’re likely going to learn that you’re the person who brings them food fast.

If you’re raising free-range chickens, then it’s likely that your chickens will come running up to you somewhat frequently. Since you regularly give them food, the chicken might start chasing you as a way to see if you have any food.

This is even more likely if you’re a chicken owner who sometimes gives the chickens treats. For example, you might choose to give the chickens a bit of corn as a treat or you might feed them other veggies sometimes.

Having a chicken running up to you looking for food isn’t a bad thing. You shouldn’t take it as a sign that you aren’t feeding your chickens well enough.

Chickens are just hungry birds that are constantly thinking about their next meals. It can get kind of annoying being chased around by chickens, but you can try to mitigate this.

It might be a good idea to throw a bit of chicken feed on the ground to get the birds to leave you alone. If you’re tired of the chickens running under your feet, then this is a good way to get them to leave you be for a period of time.

The Chicken Could Be Very Attached to You

Another possibility involves the chicken being incredibly attached to you. There are instances when certain chickens will become very attached to their owners.

Many chickens will get used to their owners quickly, but you might have a deeper bond with some of the birds than you do others. If one or two chickens seem to try to follow you around more than others, then it’s just a sign that they like you.

There are even chickens that seem to prefer interacting with humans. Some chickens get along with their owners better than they do other chickens in the flock.

Try to understand that it’s unlikely that a chicken is chasing you in an aggressive way unless the chicken shows signs of aggression. When the chicken is just following you around or running to catch up to you, it could very well be that they enjoy your company.

If you raised a chicken from the time it was a chick, then it would make sense for it to become attached to you. Chickens have interesting personalities and sometimes the way that a chicken interacts with humans will make it even more endearing.

Issues with Aggressive Chickens and Roosters

It’s certainly possible that you could be dealing with aggressive chickens or roosters. There are some chickens and roosters that will be more aggressive than others, after all.

The most likely scenario is that a rooster would choose to chase someone aggressively. It would be pretty unusual for a hen to chase a person down for an aggressive reason.

Some roosters are very ill-tempered and will attempt to peck or scratch humans. They might even choose to try to attack a specific human for one reason or another.

It’s speculated that roosters might see their owners as threats to their position in the pecking order of the flock. They rule the flock, and you’re the only thing standing between them and complete dominion over the entire chicken land.

As silly as this sounds, roosters really do seem to think this way. If you don’t assert your dominance, then a rooster might try to attack you because it thinks it is ahead of you in the pecking order.

There are some ways that you can try to deal with this situation to regain control. Many chicken farmers suggest asserting your dominance so that you can get the rooster to back down.

When the rooster starts chasing you, raise your arms into the air and start flapping them up and down. This might make you feel ridiculous, but it’s a way to appear even larger than you really are to the rooster.

Look straight at the rooster and don’t turn away from it. You can even start walking toward the rooster.

When the rooster sees that you aren’t going to back down, it’s going to start to back down. The rooster likely isn’t going to think that it can win against you, and this means that you will have asserted your dominance properly.

Hopefully, this will lead to you having fewer issues of aggression with the rooster. There are potentially calmer ways to deal with this problem, but you can try this out if you want to.

Also, it should be noted that not all roosters will behave like this. There are many mild-mannered roosters out there that won’t try to chase their owners.

Some people say that it’s best not to allow aggressive roosters to breed. You don’t want those aggressive traits in your flock because they can be a nuisance.

Calmer Ways to Deal with Aggressive Roosters

Above, it was mentioned that there might be some calmer ways to deal with aggressive roosters. If you don’t want to show the rooster who is the boss, then you can try some of the other ways that have been proven to work.

You can spend more time with the bird so that it can get used to your presence. It’s possible that the rooster might see you as a threat because it simply hasn’t gotten to know you well enough yet.

It might be good to attempt to bond with the rooster a bit. Calmly walk up to the roster and try to be around it a bit more often so that it can get used to being around you without acting aggressively.

Eventually, you might be able to progress the relationship and move closer to the rooster without it reacting negatively. When the rooster starts to seem a bit more docile, it’ll be good to try to hold it in your hands.

Holding the rooster calmly is a good way to assert dominance that isn’t quite so heated. To do this safely, it’d be best not to show any bare skin in case the bird tries to peck or scratch you.

If you can hold the rooster like this semi-regularly, it’ll show it that you’re the one in charge of the flock. It makes it clear that the rooster is not above you in any way since you can easily hold it and there isn’t anything the rooster can do to stop it from happening.

At some point, the rooster should start acting normally toward you. Once you have gotten the rooster used to the idea that it is beneath you in the pecking order, everything is going to be fine.

Final Thoughts

There are a number of different reasons why chickens might start chasing you. Many of them are not negative at all, and this means that you probably don’t have to worry too much.

A chicken will usually run up to you to see if you have any food. This is a very common behavior among free-range chickens.

Chickens know that you’re the one with the food, and it makes sense that they will want to see if you have any treats. If you’ve given the chickens veggies as treats in the past, then they’re probably just hoping that you have some tasty snacks for them.

You might have a chicken follow you around when it becomes attached to you, too. Sometimes chickens will become especially attached to you for one reason or another.

When you raise a chicken from a very young age, it might learn to really like interacting with you. Some chickens simply like interacting with humans more than other chickens.

It can be a bit annoying to have chickens follow you everywhere, but it’s pretty much harmless. As long as the chickens aren’t showing any signs of aggression when chasing you, it’s not going to be worth worrying about.

Sometimes roosters will get a bit aggressive, though. A rooster might see you as a threat and will want to take its place at the top of the pecking order in the flock.

If you have an aggressive rooster, then it’s going to be best not to back down. You can assert your dominance to get the rooster to back down so that things can go back to normal.

Hopefully, this information will help you to better understand what’s happening. Generally, chickens chasing you won’t be a scary thing, but you’ll get used to it even if you’re a bit scared of the birds at first.

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