Do Chickens Like the Color Red?

Chickens, those feathered enigmas that dot our farms and sometimes backyards, have given rise to a peculiar question: Do they have an affinity for the color red?

Walk into any farm store, and you’ll likely notice a sea of red chicken feed trays. It’s not a mere fashion statement; there’s science behind this color choice, and it has everything to do with how chickens perceive and react to this fiery hue.

The Red Attraction: More Than Meets the Eye

Anecdotal tales from seasoned farmers often touch on scenes of chickens and roosters seemingly entranced by anything red, chasing after crimson objects with a zeal reserved for their favorite treat. But is red truly a chicken’s color of choice?

The answer is nuanced. While chickens don’t necessarily prefer red in the way we might pick our favorite color shirt, red light has a unique effect on their behavior.

A Light Through the Feathers: Red’s Effect on Chicken Psychology

Red’s influence on chickens is less about aesthetic appeal and more about biology. Studies indicate that red light wavelengths have the power to penetrate a chicken’s skull and feathers, reaching the hypothalamus.

This deep-seated stimulation is no small matter—it can lead to a noticeable decrease in aggression among the flock, reduced feed consumption, and a welcome increase in production.

Practical Applications: The Utility of Red in Chicken Coops

Farmers like Jim Weiss from Mundare, Alberta, have taken these findings to heart. “Red light sources are used in chicken coops for three months,” he explains. “The red light prevents the chickens from pecking each other, which increases productivity. Also, the red light sources are needed longer for laying hens.”

This practice showcases a trend among farmers to harness the calming power of red to create a more harmonious and productive environment for their chickens.

Equipment in Red: A Supplier’s Perspective

The prevalence of red chicken equipment is a direct response to these findings. Suppliers cater to the needs of both the chickens and the farmers by providing tools that can lead to a more peaceful and efficient coop.

In conclusion, while chickens might not have a wardrobe of red attire waiting in their coops, there’s a scientific foundation to the use of red in their environment. It’s a color that transcends visual preference, touching on the very nature of how these birds interact with their world.

So the next time you see a red feeder, remember—it’s not just a design choice; it’s a carefully considered decision for the well-being of the flock.