Fear trilling when I pick them up?


Aug 25, 2019
Hi all! I have four chickens. One is a 2 year old d’uccles who is tame to a fault. Then I have three who are the same age and they are 22 weeks. Two easter eggers and a brahma bantam!

I handled them every single day and still do handle them every single day. Chichi, one of my easter eggers, just laid and I’ve heard that that’s when hens tend to calm down. And trust me she is muuuuch calmer than the other two who haven’t laid yet, but she still will sometimes fear trill if I pick her up. She started this today. It’s unusual because I cuddle her every night and she happy trills when pet, but it’s like if I pick her up during the daytime I’m a devil?? My brahma bantam is also very skittish and fear trills like a madwoman if I pick her up. Are they just young and maturing? I know their hormones must be crazy right now because of Chichi just laying and the other two probably preparing to lay.

Am I worrying too much? Will they tame down? I’ve just spent so much time loving on them that I don’t want it to go to waste! They’re my pets first, ya know? And Gwen, my older d’uccles is my little buddy and I’d love to have that kind of relationship with the bobbins.

I've never heard of "fear trilling". Can you get a video with this sound?
I’m actually not home right now. But it sounds similar to happy trilling but a lot more shrill and loud. Definitely an afraid call. Let me try to find a video.
I've never heard of "fear trilling". Can you get a video with this sound?
This is what I was getting the name from. A website with an article listing different chicken sounds had this — “Fear trill-Loud, sharp repeated sound that says “Don't hurt me!””
Probably the word "screeching" would better convey the idea of chicken fear. Or anger. The two emotions can often overlap, even in humans.

Most of my flock of around two dozen are lap and love hogs. But a couple absolutely loathe being handled. The screeching they emit during these attempts would make anyone passing by picture chicken slaughtering underway.

It's been my experience that most baby chicks can easily be corrupted to loving and cuddling, but there are occasionally chickens that constitutionally hate being handled, and no amount of persuasion is going to change their minds. I leave these chickens alone, and if I need to pick them up and inspect them for some reason, I get it done quickly and turn them loose so they don't end up hating me even more. :th

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