Chicken Warning Yells????

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ruth, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Hi all - have a question. I've noticed from reading posts that many of you have lost chickens to predators - some during the night - some during the day. My question is: If a predator gets in the chicken coop, let's say at night, do the chickens make a lot of noise, try to escape, alert you that something is going on? Or, do you just find them massacred the next day? My coop is near my bedroom window and their guard dog sleeps out there as well. But, I keep getting up during the night thinking I'm hearing something and turning on spotlight to look out window. Wondering if I would really hear anything at all, or if the dog would, if something did get in coop. My run is open at top (I know, I know) and I leave the chicken's door to the coop open at night so they can let themselves out in the morning. (I'm not a morning person). My theory was that if something got in, most of them could escape and not be trapped in with predator. However, after visiting the coop/run while they were sleeping I was able to easily pick up and move them without anyone making so much as a peep. Yet during the day, they screech and yell and run and fly if so much as a shadow scares them. Today I was sitting out with all of them, with Ruth on my lap as always when I saw her staring off into the woods as if seeing a ghost (or cat) and she started a sort of high-pitched screech. Then all the others froze where they were and started making the same sound. I couldn't see what she was looking at and I kept looking around for a cat or dog - and suddingly saw a hawk fly over. After it passed, they all went back to scratching and pecking and doing normal chicken stuff. Anyway, whole thing got me to thinking whether they can warn us or each other if something gets in coop while they are asleep.
  2. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    oh yea a chicken will go down sqwalking they will sqalk holler scream flap there feather but i dont think chickens can see in the dark so they dont have a good chance in a preadator attack ,,i personally keep a window opende at nigt so i can here i they are stared or somthing. [​IMG]
  3. blossom hen

    blossom hen Songster

    Feb 20, 2007
    NE Tx
    Ruth, I purchased a baby monitor at a yard sale and put it in my chicken house when I moved my chicks out at six weeks old. They are now 17 weeks old and I still have the monitor out there. My coop is about 35 feet from the back of my house. It just gives me peace of mind since I hear them settling down for the night and hear them starting to stir in the morning before dawn. I think if anything disturbed them during the night I'd hear that too.
  4. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    mine make tons of noise when a cat enters the yard. stupid things run over to it and circle it a couple times, still sqwaking. when i hear 'em i just yell through the window or open the door and yell to have the cat run away.
  5. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    ruth that is a good question, i have thought about it but never asked anyone. i guess we would hear some noise. i like the baby monitor idea too.
    i had that same aviatar as you do Ruth and i changed it when i saw yours, i thought i was orginial on here [​IMG]
  6. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Thanks all for the posts so far. I appreciate it. Thought the baby monitor was a good idea too. Still wondering if anyone has heard their chickens at night when a predator struck. I'm such a light sleeper that I usually hear everything - have to sleep with earplugs or I would never get any sleep. I've been afraid to wear the earplugs since I got the chicks because I'm afraid I wouldn't hear them if they were being attacked. They seem to sleep so soundly at night that you can pick them up and move them and combined with being night blind I'm wondering if they have a chance if struck at night. If anyone has heard their chickens yelling at night I would love to know. So far seems like all posts are about finding them dead the next morning and then trying to solve the mystery.

    ps to Wendy - you didn't have to change your Avatar. Looks like you were on here first - I'll gladly change mine. I didn't know you had the same one till today when I saw it on a post. When I signed up for this site I didn't know what an Avatar was. I kept trying to use various photo editors to reduce a digital photo to fit within the small size limit. When I found that impossible I did a search online for Avatar and found a few sites that had free ones and that was one I picked. Told my husband I learn new things every day (and we are in the computer/website/photo business). Since then have found lots of great sites with Avatars and many that I have considered switching to or even create my own from personal photo. So - if you want Tweety I'd be more than happy to switch.
  7. ratlummountain

    ratlummountain Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    barkhamsted, CT
    Quote:this is a fantastic idea!
    thank you SO much, i haven't slept much since putting the girls out in the coop.
    thank you thank you thank you!

    *sound of car peeling out of driveway on way to store*
  8. usbr

    usbr Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    They will squack and make noise, sure but the problem is by that time, something is going to be dead. As you notised, the birds can be handled easily when they are roosting so the coon or whatever gets a quiet and peaceful snack for the first bird or so, after that, it gets loud. Depending on sound from the chickens is probally not the best way to prevent losses.

  9. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    I made the terrible mistake of leaving my pen and coops open at the end of March, went to bed and forgot. Lost 10 big gorgeous hens and a very big rabbit that was in a split pen within the chicken pen. I never heard a thing and the dogs never barked. Woke up to piles of feathers all over my property, it was terrible. It was the first time I had ever forgot to lock up and that was all it took. Needless to say I had to practically start all over again this spring.
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
    We've been using a Safety=1 (twenty buck) baby monitor for over two years. It has a tiny green indicator led on it (provides minimalist lighting in coop if pitch black).

    It is great in the summer (all three coop windows have shutters propped open at night - double layered .25" hardware cloth screwed into frames from the inside). The girls GROWL when something is approaching and WHINE when that something gets closer.

    If the Barred Owls are engaged in mating cacophony in the Hickory branches directly over the run - the growling is pro forma (they've heard the terrible cacchinations so often that they're pretty much used to it). If there is a coon or `possum in one of the traps they make the same growls for a bit and then get quiet.

    If something is moving in through the woods or snuffing around close they put more `grrrrr' in the growls and will take turns whining. If it's really close the roo starts up with something between a growl and the repetitious `ground' predator cluck. Shot a `possum' the night before last at about 03:00 (chooks/roo were commenting, and then I heard the `poss' give out with its little `snuff/bark' sound).

    A couple of observations on chook/turk vocal behavior that isn't `predator' related: 1. When either Cass, or I get home late the chooks will often chortle in unison (didn't believe it until I heard it several times) when the hear the car turn into the drive. 2. Turkey toms sleep like the dead, the hens are a little better and will sometimes join in with the chooks (`whoot' pred. alarm). However, we live directly under some `exercise/training' path that the B-2 bombers sometimes take from Whiteman, AFB, at night. If I happen to be outside I can see the lights on the approach (fly low) but can't hear it coming. After it passes one's teeth will resonate with the dissipating roar. The turks, however, ALL gobble/whoot when one is approaching (low frequency?), though now that they're older they don't get nearly as excited; the chooks ignore AF equipment.

    Just crank the volume and place the unit at the head of the bed. I often won't wake up for someone banging on the front door, but growling chickens will cause me to surface pretty quick (cass does have to punch me into full consciousness, on occasion [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2007

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