Did my chicken just purr? Okay, maybe a chirp?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by amyfitz100, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. amyfitz100

    amyfitz100 Songster

    Jul 10, 2013
    South Carolina
    I am clearly a newbie to having chickens, and today when I took 2 of my 4 out to play, they did the normal scratching, pecking, eating... And after a while they stood perfectly still and started making this other noise. They both did it, like a conversation, but neither moved a muscle. I tried to get it on video, but they were not completely cooperative. After several minutes, they just sat. Eventually, (seemed like an eternity) they got up and started acting normal again. What was that? Scared chickens? Tired chickens?
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  2. reckless

    reckless Songster

    Apr 4, 2013
    My Coop
    It's called "trilling!" From what research I have done, they do it when happy usually. Sometimes as a warning or if they're surprised. My silkies do it a lot- mostly my young silkie pullet, Sunflower. She does it so much.. so cute! My barred rock hen, Berzillia, does it when she's content. My silkie rooster, Albedo, does it when startled. I guess it depends?

    Here's Sunflower doing it in response to me making squeaky noises- she was confused!

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong please, or add your knowledge. :)
  3. DLV58

    DLV58 Chirping

    May 19, 2013
    Hi, my Welsummer trills... she also honks at me
  4. amyfitz100

    amyfitz100 Songster

    Jul 10, 2013
    South Carolina
    Huh -- had no idea of all the sounds they'd make. I guess my (what I think is a) rooster should start crowing soon, too...
  5. memphis

    memphis Free Ranging

    Aug 6, 2012
    Mine do the trilling & freeze when they sense a preditor or some kind of danger. Then they usually slowly sit down. When one starts the whole flock responds to it & freezes. I've never had them do it when they are happy. When happy they just quietly cackle amongst themselves. I think they are gossiping! And if they want a treat they all loudly whine at me! They make all kinds of noises. The longer you observe them the more you' ll learn what all the different noises mean! They do have a language!!
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    In my experience, hatchery bred birds who never knew their mothers for many generations of artificial brooding, hatching, and rearing are the most likely to make the noise as an expression of happiness. In general it is an alarm call but chickens use the same noises to mean different things. The hen's 'egg song' is something also only made as an alarm call by naturally bred birds whereas hatchery birds tend to start screaming on and around their nests, which obviously in the wild would bring predators straight to them. I have had chicks that are still wet from the eggs take a peek out from under their mothers and make that alarm trill at me. I also had one gizzard bound male who I detected was unwell because he was making that sound rapidly and nonstop on the perch, as a symptom of poisoning. Chickens can use one sound to mean a variety of different things, just like a cat's purring being able to mean it is happy, or in pain.

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