Conversing chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hensonly, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    I have 26 nine week old Dorkings. Since I got them, they have kept up a constant low-level peeping. They do this every minute except when they are sleeping.They don't all talk all the time but there are always some of them peeping.

    This is my third batch of chicks and none of the others have ever done this. Is it a breed thing, does anyone know? I have four Orps mixed in, too, and they talk right along with the Dorkings. Anyone?

    It's very cute, they sound so content... Just curious why they do it.
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I've had some groups that do that and others that haven't. Weird.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Maybe the OTHER batches o' chicks just didn't have anything to say? [​IMG]

    Sorry. Couldn't help myself. Although I too have had chattier broods. [​IMG]
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Contact calls. I will bet all your cohorts did it, just that either you did not notice or volume was lower. They do it to keep group together and indicate all is well in respect to threats. Calls vary subtly in respect to activity engeged in (feeding, dusting, preening and settling into roost). Sometimes volume picks up when cold.
  5. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It may sound like random peeping to you, but it's language identical to adult chickens.

    And, they have syntax!

    I discovered this at the beginning of this summer when I had just gotten my first batch of baby chicks. I was holding one tiny three-day old in my lap when my cat strolled into the room. The chick spied the cat and peeped out a perfect five-note phrase with the accent on the third note, identical to five note phrase my adult chickens utter when the cat approaches their pen.

    I was utterly astounded! To confirm that this wasn't just an anomaly with my hearing, a little later I tried it with a different chick. I called the cat, and this chick immediately piped up with the identical five-note phrase with the accent on the third note. In comparison, when I approach the brooder or the adult chicken pen, they utter the same five-note phrase, except there is no accent - just five staccato notes.

    Over the course of the weeks the chicks were in the brooder in the house, I had plenty of time to hear this phrase confirmed, so there's no doubt in my mind that chickens, not only have language, but they have syntax, and they have it from birth!

    Those of you who have a cat or dog, try it! The chicks will not disappoint you!
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Your observation holds true with arial predator calls as well. And tidbitting, and maybe several others....... Most differences between young and adults is pitch.

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