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Hen making lots of noise when other hens are in the nest

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 64peeps, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. 64peeps

    64peeps Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2013
    I have one hen (EE) that occasionally makes lots of squawking noise before laying an egg.

    She did this a couple days ago and it was so loud and for an extended time that one of my neighbors came out and yelled at her. I live in a city that allows up to six hens and six hens is what I have. She has been noisy several times in the past and I don't want to be a terrible neighbor, so I try to keep her quite. Nothing works unless I get out a broom handle to startle her and I don't like doing this to her. Does anyone know why she is so noisy?
    I have a chicken tractor type hen house that has the roost above the run and two separate nesting boxes in the end. She makes this noise upstairs inside the roost with all doors and windows closed except the ladder and she is very LOUD! Only one bird was in a nest and she normally lays her egg in the opposite nest. It seems that she wanted privacy, but has several times nested together with one of my RIRs. I do not know what her problem was. She even went out of the coup a couple times today for over an hour before she finally went up to nest with the RIR.
    Any help would be appreciated!
    Thanks,
    64Peeps!
     
  2. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Some hens are simply noisier than others. And hens make the egg song after laying or just before laying or squawk at others who are in the nest they want to lay in.

    There may not be much you can do other than try to provide her with access to her own nesting box when she wants it and see if there is any other environment arrangement that may make for a better life (be sure food and water never run out). But she'll likely just squawk because she's a noisy girl.

    I have had to re-home a couple of my really loud hens to my daughter's farm...they were driving me nuts (neighbors never complained). They got to be known as the loudest hens in the county there.

    Good luck.
    Lady of McCamley

    EDITED TO ADD: Without seeing your tractor arrangement, I can't say with certainty, but she may also simply need more room to roam. Some birds simply do not tolerate confinement as well as others...and a lot of chicken tractor type facilities don't really give free movement. She may settle if she can free range more, but she will probably still squawk around egg laying. Most do.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  3. Kazfam

    Kazfam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh my! Ours are terrifically noisy.
    At first we were concerned that a predator was afoot but now know it is related to laying.

    Not sure how to eliminate this - seems to be a natural thing.
     
  4. 64peeps

    64peeps Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2013
    Lady of McCamley,

    Thank you for your reply. The best I can ascertain is the hen noise is related to laying. She does this about an hour before going into the nest to lay each and every day. I have two nest boxes and she is normally the only hen to use one, while the others share the other nest.

    I believe my six hens have plenty of space to roam as the tractor measures 8' L x 6' W x almost 6' tall and is an "A" frame type tractor. The run area of the tractor is 31" tall and the roost space is approximately 36" tall. Additionally, I have the tractor butted up to a run area that is 8'L x 8'W x 2' T. They have a total of 112 sq ft of ground space to run. I move the tractor/run weekly. I have not moved it this week due to the wet weather last week and then the extreme cold this week. Tuesday, we are supposed to get a little warmer weather so it is getting moved then.
    Additionally, they are let out to roam our yard each day after we arrive home form work and all day on the weekends. The windows in the roost are plexi-glass, so they are able to see out of the roost and makes for some enjoyable viewing moments for me watching them look outside.

    This morning at 5:30, she was waking up the neighborhood and was able to get one of the RIRs and a Buff to join her. However, I have to attribute this to me leaving the heat lamp on in the run over night since the temperature has dropped to 17 degrees for the last three days.
     
  5. 64peeps

    64peeps Out Of The Brooder

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    I too believe it is a natural thing they do. Sometimes I say that she is telling the other hens that she needs her space and to leave her alone. :)
     
  6. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like you've got plenty of room and let them roam...so likely she is just a noisy girl. She may never change. If you are bothered you may need to find a nice farm somewhere for her to sqawk.

    While the egg song is natural to almost all hens...some take it too far.

    Like I said...I had a couple of Rhodies...one in particular...that were incredibly vocal. It was either the soup pot or my daughter's farm as they were driving me up the wall...and frequently causing commotions in the flock. This hen was a good layer so to farm she went. She's happy (even if my daughter is rethinking taking her for the extra eggs) [​IMG]

    Lady of McCamley
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  7. Bocrates

    Bocrates Out Of The Brooder

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    My Coop
    We have 2 "load mouths" in our flock. In the warmer weather, when the windows and doors are open, I can time when an egg has been laid just by their excessive noise. The only other time they get loud is when they hear or see me coming, because they are anticipating a treat. The other chickens, hardly ever make a noise above the standard cluck. I think some hens are just higher strung and more excitable. Our girls are very used to us and have been easy to behaviorly condition, but I can't envision a strategy to break our two loud hens of their vocal exuberance.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  8. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My dominique (the breed is known for being quiet) raises hell about egg laying. She carries on just before laying or if someone else is in the nest. It's not a pretty song either. [​IMG] I'm far enough away from my neighbors that nobody has complained. It's not as loud as a rooster crow but it is a little annoying.
    But if I had to birth a baby every day, I might squawk a bit too. [​IMG]
     

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