Chickens, ostriches, emus, oh my! Inside TikTok's 'chicken wars' trend

It's actually common for flocks of chickens to follow their owners around. It's just news to TikTok.

TikToker Dylan Bezjak set off an "egg-ruption" on the social media platform on May 26 when he posted a five second selfie video of his chickens walking behind him.

"You better watch out there pal," he says in the video. "Me and my posse are on our way to kick some a-- and take some names here."

Many fellow livestock keepers answered the call for a fight, bringing their own flocks of chicken to the virtual "war." In the videos, people are typically trailed by their avian armies. Videos of the preparing “armies” are set to cinematic music like “Avengers: Infinity War“ and “The Lord of the Rings,” or just the clanking of the drums. Someone even arranged their chickens to spell “war.” More bird species, like peacocks, guinea fowl, cranes, geese, ostriches and more, were roped in, too.

Chicken owner Tove Danovich, author of "Under the Henfluence: Inside the World of Backyard Chickens and the People Who Love Them," isn't surprised the trend took off.

"The videos are hilarious," Danovich writes in a statement to

"One of my favorite things about my backyard flock of chickens is the way they follow me around the yard," she describes. "It’s very common chicken behavior since their human 'leaders' so often have food or treats. They are flock animals so they like to do things in groups whether it be eating, preening, or running behind their humans in TikTok videos."

Based on the number of households that own chickens, Danovich is more surprised "Chicken Wars" didn't happen sooner.

"Backyard chickens are a lot of fun," she said. "Over 10.6 million American households keep chickens and it’s no surprise that viral trends with chickens are taking off like they do with dogs or cats."

Heather Bell, who posted her own version with the caption “Winner of the Chicken Wars 2023," was happy to show off her farm in Marquette, Michigan.

Tik Tok Chicken Wars (Courtesy Heather Bell)
Tik Tok Chicken Wars (Courtesy Heather Bell)

When her family started BSB Farms 13 years ago, they had 15 chickens. Now, they have 4,000, and sell eggs to community members, food co-ops and local markets.

Bell says she regularly posts TikTok videos of her chickens' living conditions and feeders for a perspective into farm life, and to show their natural poultry process.

Followers asked for her to join the TikTok chicken wars — but were underwhelmed by the final product.

"But will they go to war? We want to see them chasing and running after you,” she recalls her followers asking when they saw her chickens were walking, not charging, as they did in other users' TikToks.

Bell says the chickens weren't running for a reason. While they're celebrities on her TikTok, the chickens have a day job, making eggs.

"I don't think people understand that when you have chickens, to spark them up and get them riled up actually affects your egg production. It's fun to have a hobby farm, but (it's different) when you have all these local grocery stores and stuff that depend on you," she says.

Bell says she plans to post another TikTok to that effect — one that will end the chicken war she previously said she "won" in her first video's caption.

"People are expecting to see me charging with the chickens, so I'm thinking about doing another video with me and my chickens just sitting in the pasture with a white flag," she said.

No chicken wars for her pasture, she said.

"My chickens are lovers, not fighters."

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