Can roosters fly? – Detailed answer for curious people

Yes, some roosters can fly to a significant distance. However, the height and the distance they can fly vary depending on their body mass. Usually, smaller and lighter roosters fly to longer distances, while larger roosters struggle to lift themselves from the ground because of their heavy body mass. 

Another thing you should know is that roosters do not fly as birds do. Birds are good at balancing their body in the midair, however, roosters (chickens) can’t stay that long in the air. Instead, they utilize their flying ability to move from one destination to the other, using short flights.

Which rooster breeds can fly?

For example, long-tailed Phoenix roosters possess good flying skills. Also, they make good free-range roosters because they can protect themselves from predators thanks to their flying ability. 

The downside of flying roosters, as well as flying chickens, is that it is harder to keep them in the property since they can easily fly over fencing. Therefore, some people keep them in properly enclosed areas or trim their wings so they could not run away from their roosting grounds.

Why domesticated chickens can’t fly as wild chickens do?

The modern chickens are bred for poultry and eggs. That means breeders do not focus on their flying ability when they breed them. For example, roosters that are breed for meat grows a large body mass. As a result, their wing-to-body ratio is not strong enough to carry the heavy mass off the ground during the flight.

Contrary to domesticated roosters and chickens, wild ones can fly longer distances. Because wild roosters and chickens constantly need to fly escape from fierce predators or simply roost on the trees at night. On the other hand, domesticated chickens do not have to go through that type of hassle since they are provided with safely enclosed shelters by their owners.

Younger roosters are more likely to fly quite often.

It is because younger chickens have more energy and less body mass. They like to explore the surroundings and they attempt to roost on higher ground or fly over the fence. Flying chickens and roosters are not convenient to keep since they can cause tension for owners and their neighbors.

Nobody likes to see neighbor’s chickens roaming around in their yard or eating out of their garden. To avoid such controversial moments, chicken keepers clip their wings to prevent them from flying over the fence. However, clipping the rooster’s wing is not a permanent solution since the wings can grow back pretty soon.

Which chickens can’t fly?

Picture of gold colored orpington chicken
Mature Orpington Chicken/ Credit: Wikimedia

If you are tired of attempting to prevent your chickens from leaving your property, you need to consider having chicken breeds that are not good at flying.

Chicken breeds such as Orpingtons, Silkies, Plymouth Rock, and Australorps are not good at flying. Because these chickens are bred for meat and eggs, therefore, their body mass is heavier to initiate a flight mode.

Which wild roosters can fly?

Male Red Jungle Fowl
Male Red Jungle Fowl / Credit: Wikimedia

One of the well-known and highly spread wild chickens are red jungle fowl. They are considered the descendants of the most domesticated chickens we see today. Red jungle fowls are capable of moving fast from one location to the other utilizing their flying skills.

As mentioned previously, wild roosters are slimmer and lighter than most of the domesticated roosters. And that type of body structure allows them to lift their body off the ground using their strong wings.

The main takeaways:

  • Roosters can fly but they can’t fly as birds do. They fly one location to the other without going too high off the ground. In other words, roosters fly a short distance lousily and they can’t balance their body in the midair as most flying-birds do.
  • Weight and the breed of the roosters play a major role. Smaller and lighter rooster more likely to fly further and quite often.
  • Younger roosters fly more than mature roosters because younger ones have more energy and lighter body mass.
  • Wild roosters are good at flying compared to domesticated roosters. It is because flying is crucial for wild roosters to protect themselves from predators and roost on the trees at night.
  • Flying roosters (as well as chickens) can cause controversial moments and tension with neighbors. Because they can easily escape from the property flying over the fence or they can get to the neighbor’s yard or garden.
  • Keeping the roosters in enclosed shelters and clipping their wings regularly will prevent roosters and chickens from flying away.

By Arslan Batyrovich

Founder of
Writer, Researcher, Fact-finder, and All-in-one
Loves nature, Likes history, and Adores anything interesting
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