Fear is a necessary emotion for humans, animals, and birds. Without fear, there will be no instinct for self-preservation since chickens are flightless birds with nothing to offer in terms of self-preservation.
Their strong fear instinct gives them a chance to flee from predators. This guide will consider a few things chickens are afraid of and how you can navigate them as a pet owner.
Roosters have many reasons to fear almost everything, which shows in their attitude. Among other things, they are afraid of:
- Foreign movement, chase
- Colors, basically red and yellow
- Loud noises, strangers, etc.
In the next set of discussions, we will identify eight things roosters are afraid of and how to navigate through them.
8 Things Roosters Are Afraid Of
Chickens are sensitive to sight and use this advantage to spot potential threats. As a result, they look out for colors and shapes associated with danger. Below is a list of things these animals afraid of.
1. Roosters Are Scared of the Dark
Although roosters have good color vision, they have bad night vision. However, predators often have better night vision, which places roosters at a natural disadvantage.
So, while it looks like they are afraid of the dark, nothingness scares them. From their experience and survival instinct, their mind tells them that they are in danger. So, roosters are typically afraid of the dark and the experiences that come with it.
Suppose your rooster is afraid of sleeping in a coop because of the dark. You can leave dull light there. Otherwise, leave an indirect light shining near the coop.
2. Roosters Are Afraid of the Color Red
Roosters instinctively react to bright colors that differ from their regular environment. This includes the color red, which makes roosters react in fear.
However, this does not mean all roosters will fear the color red. It often boils down to their experience with that specific color and object.
If your rooster goes berserk at the sight of the color red, you may need to ease them into it slowly. First, incorporate small amounts of different shapes and sizes of red objects into their daily activities.
This will help them to adjust to it over time. However, remember that chickens have this fear of protecting themselves. So, if red predators are in the area, like foxes, this fear may be a good self-defense mechanism.
3. Roosters Are Afraid of the Color Yellow
Sometimes, your rooster may fear any and everything colored yellow. But that is not something to worry about, even if the fear seems irrational.
The reason is that backyard roosters react to different bright colors, as we said before. This is especially if these bright colors come in new sizes and shapes.
However, roosters are not born with a fear of the color yellow. They learn it from watching the reaction of the mother hen.
Then, they can still pick it up later in life from their flock. For example, suppose one chicken had a terrible experience with a yellow-colored predator. Their fear will impact the rest of the flock.
4. Roosters Don’t Like Chasing
Roosters have strong memories to remember people and experiences. If you bought your chicken from afar, chances are that you did not raise them yourself.
So, you wouldn’t know if anyone had chased them. They typically assume that people want to chase them, so their instinct is to flee.
Growing up, you probably thought chasing chickens around the house was cool. For many children, the sound of squawking and warbling is fun but terrifying for the chickens.
In the same way, your roosters remember their past experiences of being chased. So, they associate anyone with that behavior. Hence, if you want your roosters to trust you and come closer, do not chase them.
Also, don’t let other people chase them, either. With time, they will come to adjust.
5. Roosters Are Afraid of Foreign Movements
Sudden movements frighten chickens, whether a full-grown rooster or a day-old chick. The movement does not even have to be something spectacular.
A mere turn of your body or lift of your arm may be a sudden movement to them. Note that a rooster’s instinct is always on high alert.
So, seemingly, harmless movements can feel threatening to them. For example, bringing the feed bag may have your flock around you. But with one swift movement, they will flee.
6. Roosters Remember People and Fear Strangers
Roosters have a greater ability to remember people than other domestic animals like dogs and cats. This trait can be a blessing and a curse.
For example, let’s say someone that resembles you maltreated them. Roosters will typically attribute the memory to you, attaching you to that bad time in their life.
Let’s say your roosters eventually come around and start to thrust you and come when you call to them. If someone they don’t know shows up, they will see the person as a threat and run.
7. Roosters Hate Loud Noises
First, understand that chickens believe everything wants to eat them. Hence, their skittish nature. As a result, loud noises can frighten them.
You may call out to them, laugh, or chat with a neighbor across the street. Roosters hear this noise, interpret it as a threat, and enter flight mode.
Even something as ordinary as a sneeze can send your rooster scampering across the yard. So, if you are trying to approach them, use gentle noises and voices to avoid scaring them off.
8. Roosters Are Afraid of Predators
Animals generally have a natural fear of other animals that they perceive as predators. This fear may be borne out of instinct or experience. Below is a list of common rooster predators that get them scampering:
- Feral cats
Roosters have many reasons to fear almost everything, which shows in their attitude. They fear loud noises, quick movements, and new faces.
However, you can gain their trust by spending time with them, using a calm voice, and giving them treats. Don’t rush it. Take it slow, and you will soon experience the feeling of having your roosters come running to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Know Your Roosters Are Scared?
When roosters are afraid, they will try to hide or run away. They will typically show flight-or-flight behaviors. This includes ground pecking, standing alert, and preening.
Roosters and other chickens often express fear and trauma by falling into depression. They may show signs of distress and fear for a while, even weeks, before they bounce back.
What Should I Do When My Roosters Are Afraid?
Depending on what your roosters are afraid of, there are many things you can do. One of these is to keep them safe from predators.
The safest place for roosters, especially at night, is inside their coop with the door shut. Install a dim night light. It shows to be low enough to provide minimal light so that they feel safe and sleep uninterrupted.
You can create a small window in your chicken coops where outside light can come in from—as an added step, run chicken wire through the coop to boost their security.