decoding the meaning of chicken sounds

10 Most Common Fascinating Chicken Sounds and Noises and How to Decode Its Meaning

If you have chickens, no matter what breed, you’ve most likely heard them making all distinct (possibly awkward!) chicken sounds and noises.

I want to say to begin– there usually’s absolutely nothing to stress over. Chickens can be producing well over two dozen various noises and calls, each with a unique function and communicative purpose.

10 Most Common Fascinating Chicken Sounds and Noises and How to Decode Its Meaning

You can find out a lot about your chickens by hearing what they need to say. Here are a few of the most typical chicken sounds– in connection to what they imply.

10 Common Chicken Sounds & Noises

Here are 10 of the most common chicken sounds and noises that you’ll hear with your chickens.

They are even more listed below in this post. We will cover precisely how to recognize these noises and what they suggest for your flock.

Egg Songs
Cage Noises
Broody Growls
Pleased Murmuring
Predator Alerts
Parenting and Chick Chatter
Food Signals
Roosting Calls
Mating Invitations
Distress signal

1. Egg Songs Chicken Sounds

This is maybe the most typical chicken vocalization. If you have laying hens, you are most likely preferably used to hearing.

When chickens are preparing herself to lay an egg– or remain in the process of laying an egg– they will make all type of chicken sounds.

laying hen

These can take the behavior of forms.

You may hear your chickens babbling as they await a nest box, or you may listen to grumbles of agitation when they find that their preferred nest box is currently occupied.

Chickens who are impatiently awaiting a nest box are like a line of individuals waiting to use a bathroom– they will get agitated and begin grumbling!

The tune can alter a bit, ending up being greater pitched and more frenzied if two hens start to squabble over the same nest box.

Generally, this warbling will stop immediately when a more dominant hen can get her way.

chicken lay eggs
Chicken Lay Eggs

If you frequently see these habits, it might be best to get a couple of extra nesting boxes. Offering your hens a couple of various alternatives is never a wrong concept.

The ideal nesting boxes with the number of hens is one nesting box for 3 hens based on scientific research. This means that if you have 100 hens, the ideal number of nesting boxes is 34.

Why 34?

Because it would be better, you have more nesting boxes than the required number for hens.

2. Cage Noise Chicken Sounds

You’re most likely to hear your chickens making all sorts of sounds first thing in the early morning.

Naturally, your roosters– if you have some– will start to crow. However, did you know that your hens will make chicken sounds first thing in the early morning, too?

pet chicken in garden
Pet Chicken In Garden

It’s practical as though they are saying good morning to you and each other.

You’ll also hear cage chatter when they are calming down for the night.

Early morning chicken sounds tend to be rowdier, while night chatter will be more suppressed.

3. Broody Growls Chicken Sounds

Broody hens, or chickens who have laid eggs and are resting on them and waiting on them to hatch, will make clear sounds.

Naturally, she will not discharge among these grumbles till she feels threatened or upset.

Have you ever attempted to press a broody hen off her eggs or seen another chicken attempt to do the very same?

10 Most Common Fascinating Chicken Sounds and Noises and How to Decode Its Meaning

Get too near a broody hen, and she’ll roar at you– similar to a dog. This roar is attempting to inform you to leave and disappear quickly– her hormones are rising, and she wants nothing to do with you.

She mainly does not seek you were getting anywhere near her eggs or chicks!

Periodically, a broody hen will yell more loudly at you, turning her whine into a full-blown, infuriated temper tantrum. She may also puff up her plumes and peck at you up until you leave.

arcona chicken

If a broody hen leaves the eggs of her own accord (either to eat or drink water), she will likely be unpleasant.

She is most likely to participate in continuous clucking, and she will be upset with those around her.

This is your broody hen’s means of telling everyone to leave her way to get what she needs to achieve and return to her eggs.

If you’re feeling generous, it can help if you provide different food and water for your hen near her brooding area.

4. Happy Murmuring Chicken Sounds

This is the very best type of chicken sound to hear.

You’re most likely to hear pleasing sounds from your chickens when they’re hanging out on the lawn, foraging, or cooling in the dust bath.

This is among the most convenient ways to recognize through your hearing whether your chickens are safe and delighted or not. Chickens usually like to stay within earshot of each other while they forage.

organic chicken feed
Organic Chicken Feed

As a result, they will discharge regular low whisperings or chatters to ensure they can hear each other.

If they can’t– or if another chicken sounds the alarm call (which we’ll discuss in a moment)– they will instantly do something about it.

If you domesticate your chickens either for showing purposes or for keeping as pets, you might also notice this sort of chicken sounds when you groom them or keep them on your lap.

If you pet your chicken, you can tell it is comfortable because it will make some low, pleasing chicken sounds, too.

5. Predator Alerts Chicken Sounds

This call is the most crucial for you to know.

A predator call will sound differently in between a hen and a rooster. However, it will typically be high, loud, and too piercing.

While it’s more typical for roosters to release a predator alert call, signifying the remainder of the flock to threat, you might hear it from a more dominant hen and even from other members of your flock if you have a little group.

10 Most Common Fascinating Chicken Sounds and Noises and How to Decode Its Meaning

These chicken sounds might be particularly loud, piercing calls, or they might be extended bellows.

You may hear a distress call, which seems like quickly duplicated notes. This does not always suggest that your flock is under attack– however, rather than something harmful is amiss, and the birds warning each other to take caution.

Another call you may hear is a repeated alarm sound. This seems like a replicated cackle and is an even more powerful indication that a predator is near.

The last kind of predator call you may hear is typically described as the “air raid” sound.

This is the most worrying sound that you can hear your chickens make, and it is most likely one that will send you rushing out to the chicken cage with whatever weapon you can find!

cochin rooster
Cochin Rooster

An air raid noise is a loud, too recognizable noise.

However, a rooster generally makes it that does not frequently need to hold, especially if you do not have a rooster and one hen has made herself the dominant leader of the flock.

This sound signals that the flock remains an impending threat. You may hear these chicken sounds if a raccoon has made its approach into the run, a hawk is circling overhead, or a possum is hiding close by.

What do chickens eat
What do chickens eat?

The bottom line is this: if you hear a noise that sounds panicky and remains in any way uncommon, look at your chickens right away.

There’s a likelihood that a predator of some kind is pursuing your chickens.

6. Parenting and Chick Chatter Chicken Sounds

There are two ways a hen may speak with her chicks: while they are still in the egg and long after they have hatched.

Here are the distinctions in how a hen will interact with her young chicks.

cochin chicken hen

Did you realize that mother hens will start chatting to their chicks, even long before they have hatched? Much like a mom talk to her child while pregnant, a mother hen will also talk to her chick.

This generally seems like clucking and purring, and it will be done silently– she does not want to disturb the unhatched chick.

You may observe your hen doing this either while she is still resting on the eggs or possibly if she wants to get up and move the eggs below her.

While its particular, precise reasons aren’t typical, it’s believed that a mother hen clucks and purrs to her chicks as her means of settling the chick to the noise of her voice.

Chicken Feeding Guide
Chicken Feeding Guide

What’s interesting is listening to this noise when the chicks remain in their last days of incubation.

You will have the ability to hear them peeping back as they talk back to their moms.

When your hen reacts, she motivates them to break loose of the shell, letting them know that they will be safe once they do so.

When your chicks hatch, you can find your hens chatting with them, too. This is partly to familiarize them with the chain of command, however, also to teach them.

bird owners

You will hear her clucking to her chicks as she teaches them particular lessons, like how to eat, drink, and bathe themselves.

There have been researched studies that analyze how a hen’s voice changes when speaking to her chicks.

If she has chicks that are having a hard time in any way, the hen will decrease her chatter rate so that her chicks can understand what she’s trying to tell them.

Free range chicken farming
Free Range Farming

Chicks will typically launch their adaptations of caution or distress signal when they are small, too.

Usually, a distress signal from a chick is because it is either feeling threatened or lost.

Periodically, a chick may launch a distress signal if it has gotten itself stuck in some scenario.

When the mom hen hurries over to look at her chicks in distress, she will either bring them back to her nest, or she will release a soft roaring noise if she thinks the chicks remain in threat.

This will show the chicks that they need to remain precisely where they are or run back to their moms. Often this grumbling noise will sound more like a soft, deep clucking sound.

The chicks, on the other hand, will also make their distinct chicken sounds.

baby day old chicks
Day Old Chicks

If you raise chicks without a hen, for instance, if you incubate your eggs– you will get used to hearing these noises by yourself. You may listen to light, friendly peeps or trills. Soft warbling noises are also common.

All of these sounds are great and are precisely what you want to hear. These sounds merely indicate that your chickens are pleased and happy.

If you hear duplicated strident, insistent sounds, this might show that something is wrong.

Either a predator is threatening the chicks, the brooder is too hot or too cold, or they run out of food or water. This may seem like a sharp duplicated trill or a stressed single peep.

how long does a chicken egg to hatch

Listen carefully to your baby chicks, as you can find a lot about them in this way.

Frequently, a single high-pitched peep suggests absolutely nothing– maybe something shocked your chick.

It can also imply that your chicks remain in a state of tension, and you need to deal with the circumstance right away.

7. Food Signals  Chicken Sounds

If there’s food close by and one chicken finds it, you can be ensured that the rest of them will learn about it, too.

A hen will call to her chicks when she discovers food, and numerous breeds of roosters will do the same thing.

10 Most Common Fascinating Chicken Sounds and Noises and How to Decode Its Meaning

No matter the gender of the chicken, it will make a series of dull clicking sounds, letting the other birds realize that there is food nearby.

You might notice that these sounds are more typical when your chickens have found an unusual, delicious reward– like mealworms– instead of when they are merely eating in their feeder.

This is because this sound is more carefully connected with enjoyment than it is with a good appetite.

8. Roosting Calls Chicken Sounds

Is it getting to be that time– bedtime, that is?

If so, you might hear your chickens communicating with each other as they prepare to roost.

Depending on the breed of chickens you have, you may even find that your roosters start to release concise, loud calls as they motivate all of the hens to enter the cage.

10 Most Common Fascinating Chicken Sounds and Noises and How to Decode Its Meaning

Some roosters will stroll in a circle of the cage consistently until all of their hens are securely inside.

Otherwise, a roosting call will sound similar among the sexes. It will be loud, low-pitched, and customarily repeated.

This happens at nightfall and is an indicator to the rest of your birds that it’s time to go to sleep.

9. Mating Invitations Chicken Sounds

The majority of breeding sounds will be made on behalf of the rooster. These are typically low, deep, and rumbly.

You’ll also hear these while the rooster displays other indications that he is ready to mate, like circling the hen and snapping his wings on the ground.

mating invitations chicken sounds
Mating Invitations

This noise suggests that a rooster is ready to mate with a hen– and yes, you may hear it numerous times in a day!

Hens, on the other hand, generally will not make any sound throughout the courtship process.

Periodically, they will release sharp sobs of surprise if a rooster calls and does not see him.

10. Distress Signal Chicken Sounds

There is numerous sort of distress signal chicken sounds that a chicken may make.

However, many of these resemble those made by chickens who look out for others to predators’ existence, however not always.

Distress signals chicken sounds can also be a sign of injury or health problems. They are also typically made by chickens who have ended up being separated from the flock.

10 Most Common Fascinating Chicken Sounds and Noises and How to Decode Its Meaning

A startled squawk is a sound made by a chicken who has been pecked or hurt. This is typically short, sharp, and concise.

It’s the chicken equivalent to us stating “ow!” when we stub our toes.

Another chicken sound you may hear is a long, loud, high-pitched cry that is being discharged by a chicken who has actually been caught and is being moved far from the flock.

If you hold your chickens up and are not accustomed to this– or if a predator has taken your chicken– you can anticipate hearing this sound.

How Can I Get My Chickens to Be Quiet?

The majority of the time, you need not attempt to get your chickens to be quiet.

Loud chicken sounds are biologically normal, and the reason they make sounds is so that they interact with you (and to each other) that whatever is all right– or if something is wrong.

Gold Laced Cochin Chickens

 

If you live in an urban area– or are otherwise frustrated by the possibility of shrieking chickens– there are some actions you can take to motivate a quieter flock.

Consider your Breed.

Some breeds of chickens are quieter and less flighty than others.

When you search for a quieter chicken breed, think about more docile and more relaxed. Here are some excellent alternatives.

  • Australorps.
  • Buff Orpingtons.
  • Wyandottes.
  • Brahmas.
  • Barred Rocks.
  • Cochins.
  • Mottled Javas.
  • Speckled Sussex.
  • Rhode Island Reds.
  • Silkies.
  • Javas. 

 

cochin rooster
Cochin Rooster

On the other hand, a few of the loudest chicken breeds you can raise consist of:

  • Polish.
  • Welsummers.
  • Easter Eggers.
  • Araucana.     

cochin rooster

Nevertheless, keep in mind that the bird’s specific character mainly figures out a chicken’s noisiness– not, always, its breed. There is no assurance that the breed you pick will be quieter in all cases.

Adhere to Hens Only.

Roosters tend to make more chicken sounds than hens, which is why lots of cities and towns have constraints put on owning roosters– they either enable you to hold either one or none at all.

dual purpose chicken breeds
Dual Purpose Chicken Breeds

Sticking to a hen-only flock can assist cut down on some chicken sounds, however not all.

Think About Training Your Chickens.

Some backyard chicken keepers will recommend training your chickens to be calm. We advise doing this with caution.

While you can train your birds to stop screaming by using a spray bottle filled with water, this is not recommended, mostly if you reside in a place that is prone to predators.

are chickens smart
Is Chicken Smart?

 

Keep in mind; chickens squawk, shout and bring on since they are attempting to notify each other– or you– to something that may be not rather.

While some chicken sounds are absolutely nothing to be worried about, you need to be cautious about “noise-training” your chickens.

Is There Such Thing as a Quiet Chicken?

Yes, there is– however it’s not a healthy one.

Chickens make all sorts of chicken sounds, and while some breeds of chickens might be quieter than others, the truth is that they will all vocalize at one time or another.

hens stopped laying eggs
Chicken Laying Eggs

While shy birds or those lower on the chain of command might not vocalize as much as more dominant birds, all birds will make some sound throughout the day.

Some birds are just shy. However, if your chickens are not making noise at all, there might be something wrong.

Use the sounds that your chickens make to help you and suggest you your flock’s health and wellbeing. They can be a great indication of any disease, predator problems, or injury.

smart chickens

If you do not think that chickens can socialize, think again.

These particular birds have their language.

While we might not know it all the time, understanding the distinction between the most typical chicken sounds is the most convenient way to guarantee our chickens’ happiness, health, and productivity in the long term.

References:

  1. Caro, Tim (2005). Antipredator Defenses in Birds and Mammals. University of Chicago Press. p. 250. ISBN 9780226094366.
  2. Why Do Roosters Crow?: First Questions and Answers about Farms. Time-Life for Children. 1995. ISBN 9780783508993.
  3. Caughey, Melissa (2015). A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens: Best Breeds, Creating a Home, Care, and Handling, Outdoor Fun, Crafts and Treats. Storey Publishing. p. 90
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