Chickens normally aren’t the most cowardly of creatures, as they basically are curious enough to try to explore things and brave enough to know how to protect themselves and keep predators away from their eggs. However, like any other animal, even chickens have something they are afraid of. And knowing what chickens are afraid of can be useful whenever you want to keep chickens off the porch or if you want to make sure that your chickens are protected against these things. So, what are chickens usually scared of?
Like any animal, chickens are afraid of their natural predators, which include a wide range of different animals. Chickens can also be afraid of loud noises that can come from thunder and machines that are still new to them. And what most people don’t know is that chickens are repelled by certain spices and citrus fruits.
There really aren’t many things that make chickens different from birds and other animals because they are still very much afraid of certain animals and objects that they are naturally wired to fear. That said, if you know what chickens are afraid of, it will be easier for you to keep them away from your birds if you want your chickens to live stress-free. And for some, knowing a few things that chickens are afraid of can be useful to keep them off your porch or your crops.
7 things that chickens are afraid of
Chickens are known to be some of the most curious birds in the world because they actually like walking around and exploring their immediate environment looking for food or just enjoying the stroll. This can be something that free-range chicken owners may have noticed as they can see their chickens seemingly unafraid of anything while they are walking around.
However, just like any other animal, chickens are also afraid of certain things, either due to how they are naturally wired to be afraid of them or because they have learned to be afraid of them through experience.
As a chicken owner, it might be important for you to know what chickens are afraid of because you don’t want your chickens to feel stressed and afraid to roam around. Of course because some chickens can be quite curious and sometimes pesky, you might want to keep them away from your porch or from your crops.
That said, here are some of the things that chickens are usually afraid of:
Keeping a dog around a farm is a good way of making sure that your farm animals and your poultry are all well-guarded. However, there are some farmers that keep dogs around not only to guard the animals but to make sure that they are well-disciplined and that they are always watched by the dog’s peering eyes in case they do something that they shouldn’t be doing.
That said, chickens are almost certainly afraid of dogs because dogs are natural hunters that can hurt or kill chickens. If you have a dog that wasn’t trained properly or if your dog’s breed is one of those that hunt on sight, your dog will most likely try to hurt your chickens. This is why chickens are afraid of dogs.
However, a well-trained dog or a breed that actually is wired to take care and watch over farm animals will be safe enough for your chickens. They will not try to hurt your chickens, but will instead keep them in check. But, at the same time, your chickens will still fear such dogs and will respect the authority the dogs have over them and the other farm animals.
Having a dog around the farm can also be a good way to deter predators from your chickens. Chickens might be naturally afraid of dogs, but having a good herding dog will help keep all the other animals that your chickens are afraid of. So, it basically is a trade-off in your case because the dog might make the chickens feel afraid, but it still is better to have a dog that scares some predators away.
Also, having a dog around the farm can also be a good way to keep chickens in check so that they won’t end up going to places they shouldn’t be going. This is a good way to keep your chickens away from your porch or even from crops that they might end up eating and destroying.
The truth is that any kind of animal actually fears large reptiles unless the animal is larger than these reptiles and can actually be the ones on the hunting end of the equation. And when we talk about large reptiles, these include carnivorous reptiles that are actually big enough to eat chickens, such as lizards and snakes.
Because large reptiles, specifically larger species of snakes, can be found all over the country, especially if you live in a somewhat warmer climate, they can easily prey on your chickens without you even noticing it. As such because large reptiles regularly include chickens and any other smaller animals in their diet, chickens naturally fear these predators.
However, there are some chickens that are actually brave enough to try to fend off reptiles that may not be large enough to pose a threat to them. It won’t be rare for chickens to attack or even eat smaller snakes. But the larger snake species are almost certainly a threat to your chickens, and your chickens know for a fact that these snakes and other reptiles pose a threat to their survival.
Birds of prey
You may not be aware of this, but birds actually eat their fellow birds. This is quite common in birds of prey that are carnivorous instead of the usual omnivorous diet that most birds follow. As such, it won’t be common for birds of prey to try to hunt down other birds that are smaller than they are. They can include chickens as a regular part of their menu.
That said, chickens are naturally afraid of birds of prey that can swiftly swoop down from the sky to grab them and eat them later on. Such birds of prey include owls, hawks, and eagles. These birds are quite common in many farms, as they know for a fact that farms have an abundance of prey that they can hunt.
And whenever they can’t prey on their usual diet of rodents, such birds will pounce on the opportunity to feed on your chickens. This is why chickens are naturally afraid of bigger birds of prey such as owls, eagles, and hawks.
Wild and feral cats
It has always been known that wild and feral cats like eating birds. This is a behavior that can even be seen in domesticated cats, as they will try to eat birds that find themselves nearby. Of course, wild and feral cats will also try to eat your chickens whenever they have an opportunity to do so.
Wild and feral cats will most likely go for the chicks because these birds are a lot smaller and are easier to eat. However, it also isn’t uncommon for wild and feral cats to go for adult chickens, but they will most likely only eat the meaty parts of the chicken. Still, the fact of the matter is that these cats will still hunt and hurt your chickens. Such cats include feral cats species that can be found in the wild, but it can also include larger cat species that may find themselves on a farm.
So, because of how certain species of feral cats are known to prey on chickens, chickens are naturally afraid of these predators. Some chickens may even be afraid of domesticated cats, may or may not hurt them. Still, the fact of the matter is that cats are some of the predators that chickens naturally fear.
Without including the common predators that include large reptiles, birds of prey, and feral cats, there are also other predators that chickens are naturally afraid of because of how these predators include chicken in their regular menu whenever they are looking for a bite to eat.
Such predators include some wild animals that can be quite common in the wild including opossums, raccoons, foxes, skunks, coyotes, and weasels. These animals may not be that big, but are actually quick and sneaky enough to try to eat your chickens whenever they are not guarded properly. As such, chickens are also naturally afraid of these predators.
One of the things that chicken owners may have noticed when it comes to their free-range chickens is that they are easily startled by loud noises that can come from anything. When that happens, the chickens will most likely try to run and hide in their coops until the coast is clear. This usually happens when it comes to chickens that aren’t used to loud noises or are yet to familiarize themselves with the source of the loud noise.
The most common loud noises that chickens are probably afraid of are common machines that can be found in most farms. These include cars and tractors. For the most part, tractors are probably the biggest culprits because they tend to be much louder than most cars and because of how big and imposing tractors can be. Still, in some cases, chickens are also afraid of cars that are already old enough that they make loud noises.
Of course, another usual culprit is thunder, which is common during the rainier seasons. The sudden and loud noises that come from thunder can easily startle any animal. This means that even your chickens can easily get startled but thunder. But while it is the sudden and loud noises that thunder makes that are what scares chickens, there are some chickens that are also afraid of the flashing light that comes before the thunder itself.
Still, some chickens do end up getting used to both the thunder and the lightning once they have experienced them regularly. This means that your chickens won’t get easily startled by thunder and lightning during the rainy seasons.
Spices and citrus fruits
Not many people are actually aware of this, but there are certain things that naturally scare and repel chickens away. These are common things that you can see in most households. As such, if you are someone who wants to keep your chickens away from your home or from your crops, using such things to repel chickens away without harming them is a good idea.
What you should know is that there are actually certain spices that are effective at repelling chickens away because chickens don’t like the smell of these strong spices. Such spices include paprika, garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and curry powder. You can even make a spice blend that includes all of such spices to make the scent stronger and pungent.
After that, what you need to do is to sprinkle the spices around the area where you don’t want your chickens to go. The strong scent of these spices will almost certainly repel chickens. And even when they are not repelled by the scent, stepping on these spices will give the chickens an uncomfortable tingling feeling that will help keep them away.
Citrus fruits are also some other natural repellants that you can use to keep chickens away or to scare them off without hurting them. These fruits are quite common as most households have them. Such fruits include oranges and lemons, which are not too difficult to find wherever you may be.
The reason why chickens are scared of citrus fruits is that they don’t like the smell of citrus. And even when they are not repelled by the smell, they don’t like the taste of citrus because it’s a bit too strong for them.
As such, what you need to do to keep your chickens away from restricted areas is to gather orange and lemon peels and then scatter them around the perimeter of the places you don’t want your chickens invading. This will scare them off as they don’t like the strong smell that comes from these citrus fruits.
Receive new articles by email
Each week, you'll get a recap with new tips and some of your questions answered. Just fill the form below to not miss anything: