Different chirping sounds

ambe0487

Songster
Jul 6, 2015
953
275
191
Urbandale, IA
I've noticed my week and a half old chicks all have different cheeping sounds. Some have a rolling or purring sound, another a very loud peeeeepppp peeeeeeep, then some small cheep cheers. Are they telling me something with the different chirps or will they always have these types of chirps?
 

azygous

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11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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I'm impressed that you've noticed that your baby chicks are capable of a wide variety of vocalizations. Keep listening and you'll find that they are actually speaking a language, and they are using sentences (called syntax) just like we humans speak.

The most amazing thing isn't that chickens speak in sentences, but that they are born speaking their language, unlike us humans who require years to learn to speak ours.

I first noticed this with one of my first baby chicks. My cat strolled into the room while I was holding a chick, and it rapidly uttered the exact same five note phrase that the older chickens rattled out when they saw the cat approaching.

Not long after that incident, I read about a study some scientists did on wild birds. They found that all birds have a complex language and they speak it using syntax or sentences, just like we humans do.

So yes, your chicks are avidly conversing with one another, and with you, too, using a series of notes with different emphasis on some notes. You will notice though, that when they are upset or uncomfortable, the chirping becomes much louder. That's how they get our attention to let us know that something is not right, and they need us to correct it.

Keep on listening to your chicks. They'll teach you their language, and you'll find it will come in real handy to know what they're telling you, like the time they announced to me a bear was just outside the run, so I was prepared for it instead of it surprising me.
 

ambe0487

Songster
Jul 6, 2015
953
275
191
Urbandale, IA
I'm impressed that you've noticed that your baby chicks are capable of a wide variety of vocalizations. Keep listening and you'll find that they are actually speaking a language, and they are using sentences (called syntax) just like we humans speak.

The most amazing thing isn't that chickens speak in sentences, but that they are born speaking their language, unlike us humans who require years to learn to speak ours.

I first noticed this with one of my first baby chicks. My cat strolled into the room while I was holding a chick, and it rapidly uttered the exact same five note phrase that the older chickens rattled out when they saw the cat approaching.

Not long after that incident, I read about a study some scientists did on wild birds. They found that all birds have a complex language and they speak it using syntax or sentences, just like we humans do.

So yes, your chicks are avidly conversing with one another, and with you, too, using a series of notes with different emphasis on some notes. You will notice though, that when they are upset or uncomfortable, the chirping becomes much louder. That's how they get our attention to let us know that something is not right, and they need us to correct it.

Keep on listening to your chicks. They'll teach you their language, and you'll find it will come in real handy to know what they're telling you, like the time they announced to me a bear was just outside the run, so I was prepared for it instead of it surprising me.


Oh wow, that is amazing! I would love to know more about how they communicate if you have links or other information to point me towards!

I have one that we call chestnut that is always so calm when I reach in the brooder for him. He does the whirly purring sound and is so relaxed in my hands!
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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Awwww! Yes, they do speak!
I absolutely love to hear them. Mine are getting older now (22wks) and the girls are now making big girl clucks, clicks and trills. I get tickled at the cockerel he makes these noises too, but they are much deeper. He talks to the girls all the time, he can't even shut up long enough to eat, so he mumbles with his mouth full. At night, when I go out to close the pop door, I tell each one by name "goodnight" and they whistle, trill back.
 

azygous

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Try googling "bird language+syntax+study" and variations of those words. Maybe you'll have better luck finding articles that you can read without buying them. In one short decade, have you noticed how commercial the internet has become? Information is no longer free.

Anyway, here's one I did find. A bit technical, but it will give you a start. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4516810/

But there still isn't all that much info compiled on this subject. I'm hoping someone with a terrific ear for different sounds and a back yard flock will make a study of chicken language, complete with a "dictionary" of phrases. How cool would that be?
 

ambe0487

Songster
Jul 6, 2015
953
275
191
Urbandale, IA
Awwww! Yes, they do speak!
I absolutely love to hear them. Mine are getting older now (22wks) and the girls are now making big girl clucks, clicks and trills. I get tickled at the cockerel he makes these noises too, but they are much deeper. He talks to the girls all the time, he can't even shut up long enough to eat, so he mumbles with his mouth full. At night, when I go out to close the pop door, I tell each one by name "goodnight" and they whistle, trill back.


I know they talk back to me and I'm glad I'm not crazy!
 

ambe0487

Songster
Jul 6, 2015
953
275
191
Urbandale, IA
Try googling "bird language+syntax+study" and variations of those words. Maybe you'll have better luck finding articles that you can read without buying them. In one short decade, have you noticed how commercial the internet has become? Information is no longer free.

Anyway, here's one I did find. A bit technical, but it will give you a start. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4516810/

But there still isn't all that much info compiled on this subject. I'm hoping someone with a terrific ear for different sounds and a back yard flock will make a study of chicken language, complete with a "dictionary" of phrases. How cool would that be?


Oh man, wouldn't that be great! A guide to our babies conversation! That would be a hoot! Although it would probably make the fun conversations I pretend to have with them much more boring!
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
37,490
52,970
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Southern N.C. Mountains
I know they talk back to me and I'm glad I'm not crazy!

Oh, well you ARE crazy!
yippiechickie.gif
But that's the price of keeping chickens
lau.gif


Sorry. I am crazy about my chickens and drive everyone nuts about them. Hubs rolls his eyes into the back of his head and zombies out after about 30min of my daily chicken update (he really does like them though, I catch him talking to them when hes outside alone), who did what, how they did this or that, blah blah blah. The dog is jealous. Oh well, I waited a very long time for my little flock and I enjoy them. They talk to me and I talk to them, but the funny conversations are when they seem to discuss things like "what IS that squirrel up to" or "look, look a butterfly!" Today I had a Pileated Woodpecker in the yard (they are quite large) everyone's eyes bugged out, necks stretched out as far as they could go and the cockerel chucking a warning, it's all quite comical to me.
 

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