Dogs aren't the only ones who react to fireworks; your chickens are likely scared of the lights and noises, too. But how exactly can you help chickens deal with fireworks? We have five tried-and-true ways you can help ease your chicken's stress during a fireworks display so everyone can have an eggcellent time.
Are Chickens Afraid of Fireworks?
Chickens are startled by the loud sounds fireworks make, just like many other pets and livestock. But in the same way, their level of anxiety depends on the individual. Some chickens couldn't care less, whereas others could be scared to death. Literally.
Unfortunately, it is possible for chickens to die of fright in extreme cases. Before you panic, know there are steps you can take to help your chickens cope with fireworks, so they can stay safe and happy through the festivities.
How to Help Chickens Deal with Fireworks
Getting nervous about the Fourth of July? We hear you. Use these tips to help your backyard birds cope with fireworks or any other big noises.
1. Keep 'Em on Lockdown
A chicken's first instinct is to run and hide when they hear a loud noise (understandably). Secure your chickens inside their coop before you anticipate the fireworks will start. This will keep them from escaping or potentially injuring themselves.
2. Block Out Light
Bright flashes of light can irk your hens, so light-proof their coop (at least for the night). Cover all openings with cardboard or blankets to block out the light. Bonus: this can help soundproof the environment, as well!
Make sure there's still plenty of ventilation and air movement in and out of the coop despite covering openings and windows.
3. Sprinkle Some Calming Herbs
The smell of lavender is known to calm humans down, and it has a similar effect on chickens. You can sprinkle lavender, chamomile, or lemon balm in the coop on the morning of the fireworks display to help ease their nerves.
Catnip is also reportedly a natural sedative for chickens that is said to help them chill out when ingested. Some owners even say their chickens act a little "tipsy" after eating catnip. Test it out before the big day to see how your chickens react. Who knows, it might help take the edge off!
4. Create Ambient Sound
You can dampen the noise from the fireworks with the help of relaxing tunes. Consider playing quiet, calming music for your hens. There is evidence that classical music helps chickens chill out, so break out the Mozart or your favorite concerto.
5. Avoid Flames Near the Coop
Keep fireworks away from your chicken coop. This might sound like a no-brainer, but if you're having people over for a get-together, it's important to let guests know fireworks aren't welcome. You should also keep the barbecue and any fire pits out of the vicinity. Not only could the noise frighten them, but a spark could easily send your coop up in flames.
After the fireworks have ended, your chickens should quickly return to normal. But don't be alarmed if you notice changes in their laying following the event. Stress can reduce or even stop laying for a short period, and it can even affect the quality of the eggs themselves.
If your chickens aren't laying or their eggs haven't returned to normal after about two weeks post-fireworks, see your veterinarian for guidance.
Best of Cluck on the Fourth of July
Even as a chicken owner, it's possible to watch a firework display and enjoy it too! By securing your coop and creating a quiet and stress-free environment for your hens, you can enjoy peace-of-mind that they'll stay safe throughout the night. Make sure to begin planning in advance so you have plenty of time to test things out. We're certain you'll discover the best solution for your flock.