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Hens crowing LOUDLY

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

We are having a BIG problem with crowing hens. Sometimes one hen, sometimes two, sometimes all four going bananas simultaneously.


It's a very loud "bok-bok-bok-bok-bok-bok-BAA-CAAAWWW" on repeat, in their run, necks extended. Always in the morning at maddeningly unpredictable times... 4:45 5:50 6:30 7:15 8:02 etc. They're all just over a year old, looking good and laying well. The Americana is the worst offender (she's been a noisy/bossy/anxious A-type from day 1). But, the Cuckoo Marans and the RIR are almost as guilty with Rocky joining the party when it gets really fired up. There has been a minor power struggle btwn the Americana and the RIR. They are not laying or done laying when they crow. The sound they make for a predator is different (heard that when a large hawk landed on the fence one day).


We're in a pretty urban place with great neighbors — but the 4:45 crow-fest woke everyone up, and now that it's summer with windows open, they wake us up basically EVERY. DANG. MORNING.


We must be doing something wrong or didn't know hens were as bad as barking dogs in the yard. We are prepared to rehome and reduce the flock; reconfigure the run; tape their beaks shut; ANYTHING except getting a rooster or pass out earplugs with cartons of eggs.


Any advice out there???

post #2 of 14

I don't know what you can do, but THIS is how hens crow.

post #3 of 14

LOL LOL I'm laughing because my EE is exactly how your described your Americana. LOL LOL to funny. I have three RIRs two BRs and one EE. They did this as well and it was LOUDcelebrate.gif!!


I was so curious to what was happening in the coop that would cause this so I did a stake out. Yes I did. My hens are in a 6x4 Lancaster chicken coop with 6 nesting boxes. The coop is within a 24x16 foot pen. My husband opens the coop door before he leaves for work at 4:30 am so the girls can be in their pen until i free range them.


I started hearing the famous ruckus at about 530-600 am every morning. What i found  out on my stake out was that they were waiting for their favorite nesting box. Six nesting box and they all waited for one. The longer one hen took to lay her egg the louder the other girls became. Then one the hen in the box laid she would be even louder to express that she laid. It was funny but nerve racking at the same time.

I tried my hardest to figure out why they all preferred one nesting box to the other. Finally I realized that the other boxes on the row where getting to much light in them. So i put up a curtain for them.


PS my husband thinks I'm nuts but it worked!!


Good luck.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

I didn't even think of checking out YouTube for hen crowing videos. Thanks for the link! The crowing in that video is definitely crowing but this: is kind of a mild version of what we're dealing with. I'm inspired to shoot a video example of our a.m. honk-fest for reference and evidence. I'll see what I can get tomorrow morning.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the insight Messipaw! A stake-out or multiple stake-out is a great idea for diagnosing the situation (better than lying awake in bed stressing about the racket outside, right?). I've got all 4 girls using 1 of the 2 nesting boxes and there is a window that might be a light issue for the unused box — will check that out. Thanks!

post #6 of 14
I am not sure if my pullet is maturing or becoming the protector of the flock, she has larger comb and wattle. So I looked up hens crowing and I found that video! She IS a girl.
post #7 of 14

We have a crowing hen too so I am starting to think it isn't that unusual. She has been the "boss hen" of the flock since she was a pullet. 


I take the neighbor within hearing distance a dozen eggs now and then.

Edited by aggiemae - 6/20/13 at 5:14pm
post #8 of 14
I Am glad to see that I am not alone. My Australorp is dominant and has had spurs for 6 months. She just recently started trying to crow, sounds like a rooster with a sore throat. She puffs her chest out and flaps her wings. She also lays eggs and is quite fine with me handling her still. She is 1.5 years.
post #9 of 14

That is exactly what mine are doing only as someone mentioned this is nothing compared to my little banty EE.  That girl is 3 times as loud as that chicken in the video at least.

City dweller, mom to 2 girls, 2 cats, 4 banties - buff brahma, EE, 2 birchen cochins/3 new baby full sized chicks - copper maran, olive egger, laced bernevelder   


City dweller, mom to 2 girls, 2 cats, 4 banties - buff brahma, EE, 2 birchen cochins/3 new baby full sized chicks - copper maran, olive egger, laced bernevelder   

post #10 of 14

I did a stake out on my 5 gals (8.5 months old RSL)!  I found the third in the pecking order doing all of the crowing, with 2 others (always different) clucking a chorus beneath the main honking/crowing.  No one is in the nesting box.  There are no eggs to be collected.  They are all downstairs in the coop pacing frantically.  No hawk is overhead, the coyotes aren't around, even the cats aren't within sight when this is going on.  Both food and water are abundant.  So why, oh why, does this happen?  We're thinking of slaughtering her early because of the noise (even though she is the most consistent layer).

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