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Can Roosters Fly? The Full Facts

Flying roosters or even hens is not something you see every day but is this because they can’t fly or just choose not to do.

As a chicken owner myself, I often wonder how they end up getting to places I think they can never get to, along with hatching escape plans which get them over a five-foot-high fence.

Chickens and their abilities never cease to amaze me, but does this include flying or is that a step too far?

Roosters can fly, but not in the same way or distance as wild birds. Their flight is more of a controlled flutter or a jump, typically spanning short distances, often utilized to escape predators or reach higher perches. The average flight is usually only about 10-12 feet in length or height.

Read on to find more about why roosters aren’t built to fly along with some tips on how to prevent them from reaching heights through jumping.

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Why Can’t Roosters Fly?

Roosters come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the breed, some are smaller and more likely to flap and jump higher than others but most are heavy and also not very agile.

The many reasons roosters can’t fly is that they’re just not built for it, in many cases they’re very heavy and their wings are also very small, so it’s just not physically possible for them to stay in the air for a prolonged period.

Although chickens are birds, they spend all of their time with their feet firmly on the ground and in most cases and will stay pretty close to their coop even if they’re allowed to free-range.

Using my rooster as an example, he has a large heavy body and tiny wings and this makes him pretty clumsy in general if he’s not on a flat surface. The hens can jump pretty high and this makes him angry because he gets stuck and left behind while they go exploring.

Why Do Roosters Have Wings if They Can’t Fly

It can be easy to question why roosters even have wings if they don’t use them to fly, but they do have some other uses, including:

  • For running faster – chickens will sometimes flap their wings as they run to help them get out of danger faster.
  • To help them jump onto a perch to roost.
  • To help them balance and for an added boost if they need to jump up.
  • Roosters will raise and flap their wings as a sign of threat, intimidation and because it makes them look bigger.

Chickens have many different forms of communication and wing flapping can form one of them. A rooster will hold out its wings when it’s trying to woo a female or if it’s coming towards another bird or human to warn it away.

This article was first published on January 20, 2021 by Pentagon-Pets.

Most roosters have elaborate colouring along with flamboyant feathers around their neck and wing area, although these are not great for flying they certainly make them look more threatening to other roosters and more attractive to hens.

Roosters can jump

Although some people may argue that chickens can in fact fly, they can’t fly in a sustained way with other birds can because they’re not built to do so.

But, in some cases, they will have a good attempt of flying (or falling in style) if they need to get out of trouble quickly or if they want to get out of the run to graze elsewhere.

Chickens can be pretty good escape artists, especially if they have the right build and wing feathers.

In this scenario, it can be possible for a rooster as well as hens to flap and jump high enough to get where they want to get to.

An escaping chicken can sometimes lead to them getting into danger or going to places they shouldn’t, so if this does occur you might want to consider clipping the chickens’ wings.

Wing clipping if done properly is painless and a good way to prevent chickens from jumping up too high. If this is something you want to do, there are lots of YouTube videos to show the best way without harming the bird in any way.

If your rooster can’t jump high enough to get himself in any kind of trouble, then there’s no need to clip its wings.

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Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on January 20, 2021.

You Might Also Like…

I hope this post has helped you find out everything you need to know about flying roosters, if you want to know some more chicken facts, check out the following articles:

Do chickens have teeth?

Can chickens see in the dark?

Why do chickens chase you?

How to introduce chickens without the drama

This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on January 20, 2021.

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