Why Are My Chickens Chasing Me? (3 Possible Reasons!)

For those that own chickens, you’ll know just how fast they can run, even up to 9 miles per hour. I also bet, for those that own chickens, that you’ve had your chickens chase you, either in a friendly sense or as aggressive behavior.

Being such simple but complex creatures, chickens are capable of intricate emotion which helps them operate in their environment. So why are these chickens chasing me?

Here we highlight the three common reasons your chickens are chasing you, covering both the positive and negative emotions, plus how to stop this behavior if it’s aggressive.

Why Are My Chickens Chasing Me?

You would think because chickens are relatively small, they would be simple creatures. But, as we know they are capable of very complex emotions, even experiencing grief or sadness, or making friends in the flock.

So chickens aren’t chasing you for no reason – and in fact, there are actually three common reasons you’ll find your chickens are chasing you, some more obvious than others! Chickens will chase you if they think you have food, if they are fond of you, or they will aggressively chase you if they think you are a threat!

They Think You Have Food Or Treats

This ‘chasing’ behavior that occurs when you come outside with food or treats is a clear sign from the chicken that they want what you have to offer!

For me, my flock loves mealworms. When I come outside and shake the bag and it makes that distinct sound my chickens will run from everywhere in the yard, from their run, and even from their coop to get some!

After I’ve given them a small treat load I notice that many of my chickens will simply begin following me, telling me they want more.

So, one reason your chickens are chasing you around the yard is that they think you have food or treats for them.

They Are Fond Of You

Now you might think that your chickens are simply following you to get some treats or food. But, if your chicken knows you don’t have treats and is still following you, well this is actually a sign your chicken likes you.

Just like other backyard animals, chickens are very capable of companionship. Some chicken owners even go as far as to let their chickens inside, hug them, and even sleep with them.

But, even if you aren’t this physically affectionate with your chickens, they will still chase you around the yard as a sign they are fond of you and want to spend time with you. This is a great feeling, and when you’ve built trust with your chickens you’ll notice they will always try to be close to you when they free range in the backyard.

They See You As A Threat

This last reason is particularly true if you’ve got a rooster in the flock. If you’re one of the unlucky ones who’ve had to experience being chased by a rooster, you can vouch that it is actually terrifying.

But, it’s not just roosters that are capable of aggressively chasing their owners. If your flock’s top chicken feels you are a threat then it may make a conscious effort to chase you away if you get too close to the flock.

This is more likely to occur if you’re a new chicken owner, or your chickens may chase unknown guests that they are not familiar with.

If your chickens are chasing you aggressively, then you’ll need to slowly gain their trust. As soon as chickens understand you pose no threat they will stop treating you like that – although this is sometimes easier said than done!

What Can I Do If My Chickens Are Chasing Me?

You shouldn’t worry much if your chickens are simply following you wherever you go. They mostly do this as a way to show affection and curiosity towards you and its completely harmless. 

However, if you have yourself an aggressive chicken that always chases you you may want to take a few actions to control their behavior:

  1. The first thing to do is to ensure you always approach your chickens in a calm manner with no sudden movements.
  2. Try to gain the trust of your chickens by giving them treats regularly – make sure they know that it’s you that’s feeding them the treats too.
  3. If you’re being chased try not to turn around and run away, as it shows weakness to your chicken. If possible hold your ground and see what your chickens do, if they attack you then you can proceed to get away but if they stop and stand still you can simply use this as an opportunity to show your chicken you don’t mean it any harm.
  4. If you really need to protect yourself from your rooster or chicken or need to catch your chicken, you can try using a poultry trap, protective gloves, or a poultry foot hook.
  5. If you’re really struggling with an aggressive chicken or rooster, you may have to separate it for a while until it calms down.

Wrap Up

So, if your chickens are chasing you calmly, they most likely just think you have treats for them, or they simply like your company and consider you a companion.

However, if your chickens are chasing you aggressively, then it’s likely you appear as a threat to them, or they simply don’t want you near. This can be traumatizing, believe me. But, usually, they will calm down over time, especially when they learn where their food and treats are coming from.

If this is the case and you’re sick of being chased, try to gain their trust with extra treats, calm behavior, and spending more time around them. 

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