1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

what colors do chickens see?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by DotDog, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. DotDog

    DotDog Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Oct 11, 2015
    My 2, 2 month old Bielefelder hens (or is pullet the correct term? if so till what age do they turn into hens?) only are interested in "Red" colored things, like tomatoes and now watermelon. Is this because chickens only see certain colors?
    Lee
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    25,582
    2,139
    438
    May 14, 2014
    Montana
    Not only can chickens see colors; they see them better than humans do. There is a good article on the superior color vision of chickens at http://www.livescience.com/8099-chickens-color-humans.html. The reason your chickens are reacting to red is that they are associating the color red with food.
     
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    16,515
    4,539
    481
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    X 2 - you can also program them to be adverse to the red. There is a great documentary "The Private Life of Chickens" (it's on Youtube, highly recommend) - where they do a study about how a hen teaches her chicks what to do and they show her teaching them to eat from yellow dishes because that is the color she has been conditioned to associate with desirable feed rather than the red.
     
  4. DotDog

    DotDog Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Oct 11, 2015
    Thanks Michael and G Mare! It doesn't explain why they like Red, as their food is white, but I spoke to the prior owner and yes, they love tomatoes so this may explain it.

    My other question goes unanswered, when are they "pullets" and when are they "hens", is it age or size?
    My Bielefelders seems to eat a lot, a lot of the time! But I understand they are going to be big girls and probably need the feed. Very messy eating too, I think today I am going to try to make the 3 1/2" PVC tube with the "Y" joint for them to eat out of, see if it helps the flinging of food around.
    They love the toggle nozzle waterers, good system, the cooler keeps the water fresh and clean and the toggles don't get dirty.
    I am going to try to post some photos of them, I cannot tell the difference to name them yet, one seems more brave, but not sure if it is the same one, is there a way I can mark them here at home? I have no bands or know how to do that, is there any way to mark them?
    Thanks for all the help!
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    16,515
    4,539
    481
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    The commonly accepted definition is a pullet is a female under 1 year (cockerel male under 1 year), then they are hens/roosters.
     
  6. microchick

    microchick Overrun With Chickens

    I know they can see hot pink, brown and black because one of our roosters HATES my pink clogs and leopard print draw string pants when I wear them out to open up the coop in the morning.

    Guess he has better taste in clothes than I do![​IMG]
     
  7. DotDog

    DotDog Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Oct 11, 2015
    Thanks so much as I want to use the right terminology!
     
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    25,582
    2,139
    438
    May 14, 2014
    Montana
    Agreed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by