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chicken sounds- what do they mean?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

We've had our three, 3month old hens (barred rock, orphington, ameracana) for a month now and are starting to get to know them better.  I've noticed that they seem to make three categories or classes of sounds.  One sounds like chirping and they seem to make this mostly when they are settling in for the night on their roost or when they are waking up in the morning.  The second category is like "bawk" and they seem to use this to yell at each other or at me if I approach without treats.  Occassionally they make the third type of sound, which is like a small dogs growl.  This growl lasts a long time and they mostly stand very still when they make it.  Any ideas as to what these sounds mean?  My dogs have different sounds they make and I have a pretty good idea what each sound means so I am trying to figure out if there is a similar "translation" with chicken.  Thanks!

post #2 of 34

I don't think we want to translate or we'd have to put them in time out.big_smile

Grandchildren enlarge your world  and shrink your pocketbook: 1leghorn, 1RIR, 1NHR, 1Australorp, 1delaware, 21 EE, 1 black silkie,  2dogs, 3cats, 2cockatiels, 2finches, 2turtles, 2guinea pigs, 1hamster, 6bunnies, 2 grandchildren in California, 5 grandchildren in Texas. (www.sitandvisitwithme.com)
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Grandchildren enlarge your world  and shrink your pocketbook: 1leghorn, 1RIR, 1NHR, 1Australorp, 1delaware, 21 EE, 1 black silkie,  2dogs, 3cats, 2cockatiels, 2finches, 2turtles, 2guinea pigs, 1hamster, 6bunnies, 2 grandchildren in California, 5 grandchildren in Texas. (www.sitandvisitwithme.com)
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post #3 of 34

I find all the noises fascinating too.

I find younger chickens make this constant chirp on alert
The adult alert is quite a bit different, same type of sound but more of a growl I'd say.. almost a noise I can make.

There is the happy bawk bawk bawk
The roosters COO COO COO every time he finds something yummy
There is a high pitched quick alert when little birdies fly into the yard
The classic squawk fro egg laying

I also hear from the hens a GET AWAY FROM ME cry, when they don't want to be mated... almost sounds like they are screaming!

PLUS, they laugh at me, that one is the funniest, specially when all 70 or so chime in! LOL

so many sounds!

post #4 of 34

If you want to do a study on chicken sounds, raise some Buckeye chicks. They are the most musical chickens I have ever heard. There were times when they were smaller, that if you didn't see them or know they were there, you would swear it was song birds making the sounds.  As they have gotten older they don't seem to make them as much but as chicks it was fascinating.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, Wow, what a ride!!!"

1 wife, 6 kids, 5 Beagles, 1 cat, 5 Buckeyes, 4 Golden Comets, 1 RIR, 8 Khaki Campbell ducks, and numerous other roos.
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"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, Wow, what a ride!!!"

1 wife, 6 kids, 5 Beagles, 1 cat, 5 Buckeyes, 4 Golden Comets, 1 RIR, 8 Khaki Campbell ducks, and numerous other roos.
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post #5 of 34

I read a really good thread yesterday about chicken noises here: http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=197056

I
wonder if the person describing the 'TrTrTrTr' noise is the same as the growl you mentioned?

1 Easter Egger, 1 Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Silkie
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1 Easter Egger, 1 Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Silkie
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post #6 of 34

My chickens growl when they are nervous about something or spot an (aerial) predator. 
After a fly-by from a hawk I found that my roo had all the hens penned up out of reach and he was standing guard.  Every single one of them was growling.

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

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If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

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post #7 of 34

Mine "purr" (a trilly kind of sound) when they are happy.  They do it when they are taking a nap, dust bathing or sleeping in the coop at night.

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

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Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

Reply
post #8 of 34

I love the sounds!

My little bantam cochin roo has chirped/ bocked in a pattern... like bock bock bock bock and gets higher with each bock

my BR is always "laughing" usually when the rooster crows, I think she is laughing at him!

and when there is a scuffle you can always here someone is standing off to the side going baaaaawwk in a low tone like "aaawwwwmmm did you see that?"

My EE's trill at me like a pet bird would

I love to listen and watch them they are so entertaining!!!!

they say I have A.D.D. but they don't understand.....OH look!! a chicken!! 
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they say I have A.D.D. but they don't understand.....OH look!! a chicken!! 
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post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 


My chickens growl when they are nervous about something or spot an (aerial) predator. 
After a fly-by from a hawk I found that my roo had all the hens penned up out of reach and he was standing guard.  Every single one of them was growling.


This makes sense on the sound I hear.  They tend to do it after a car backfires, when crows fly overhead, etc.

Its amazing how entertaining chickens are!

post #10 of 34

Backyard Poultry magazine had a fascinating article on chicken vocalizations a few issues back.  Unfortunately it's not one of the articles available to read online.
Do you know that roosters have different predator vocalizations based on whether the predator is aerial or on the ground?
I've said it before, chickens aren't bright but they do have the survival instincts they need.


Edited by gritsar - 8/26/09 at 10:52am

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

Reply

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

Reply
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