Honking Silkies

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by linta325, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. linta325

    linta325 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2012
    San Leandro, CA
    From what I had read in my research on chickens, before I got my Silkies, my understanding was that as prey animals, chickens are usually quiet, other than the occasional sound from laying an egg or alarming other chickens of a predator/danger. That has not been the case with the Silkies that I have. I had ordered 6 Silkie chicks, one of which turned out to be a rooster and I had to re-home. The remaining 5 hens have laid eggs, and gone in & out of broodiness many times, as was noted about this breed. What I did not expect was loud squawking that won't cease, and honking like geese, early in the morning, sometimes before the sun has complete risen. My husband is completely annoyed at this behavior, and we worry it will bother neighbors.

    The chickens are allowed free run of the backyard during the day, so they are not confined to their run. They are free to peck at the weeds and veggies growing in the yard, and to scratch up soil that I did not cover properly. I check for eggs constantly when they are squawking. Sometimes there's an egg, many times there aren't. It would seem they are announcing before and after laying. I also check for predators. Rarely, there is a cat walking by on the fence or a bird flying by in the sky, but usually, there are no visible threats around.

    Does anyone have any ideas on calming their vocals? If not, I may have to end up re-homing them, as waking my family up at 6am each morning is one thing, but becoming a nuisance to the neighborhood is another. Thank you very much for your time.
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hate to tell you this, but chickens make a lot of noise. Anytime they find something to eat, when they are socializing, predators, and when they talk to you. They seem to get quieter (in sound level) as they age but they still peep a lot just like any other bird. Most neighbors don't mind the noise if you don't have a rooster. What some people do is give a few eggs to the neighbors every now and then just to make sure. You might want to talk to them and see if they mind.
     
  3. linta325

    linta325 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2012
    San Leandro, CA
    Thank you very much! I wished that more pages devoted to chickens had made mention that they could be noisy. I opted for bantam sized hens in hopes that if they did make noise, it would be on the softer end. But maybe it's little chicken syndrome in which they need to increase volume to make up for their small size.
     
  4. Island Roo

    Island Roo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: [​IMG]

    I don't know about silkies but some breeds seem to make more noise than others. My orpingtons are chatty and very vocal when they have something to complain about - although I can't usually figure out what has their feathers in a knot.

    My brahmas are fairly quiet. They seem to hum a lot but that can only be heard at close range.

    The morning noise you hear might be them telling you to open the door to let them out for the day. I've heard of automatic chicken doors - maybe that is one thing to consider. I doubt it would solve all your problems but might help.

    Try to get up earlier for a few days to let them out. See if that reduces the noise.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Silkies are very quiet, and I have a rooster. They carry on when they've laid an egg or if there's something bothering them and my rooster crows a few times in the morning, but otherwise you'd never know they're there. I wonder if them coming from a hatchery has something to do with their noisy personalities? Mine all came from a breeder or were bred from my breeder birds. Mine also don't see very well either, so that may have something to do with it as well :p
     
  6. linta325

    linta325 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2012
    San Leandro, CA
    Thank you for your inputs, Island Roo & howfunkyisurchicken!

    The silkies have already been let out for free roam of the backyard before they start squawking and honking. So it isn't because they want to be let out.

    I did get my chicks from a hatchery, and only 2 showed initial signs of feathers that would obscure their sight. However, as time has gone by, the feathers have dirtied from browsing the backyard and thus pulled back, allowing for clear view of everything around them. Maybe I should wash their heads to re-fluff their head feathers, and at least calm 2 of them down? I have yet to give them water baths to clean them up. If the weather warms up some, maybe I can do so without affecting their health. However, considering the way they take dirt baths, the bath may not make too much of a difference in cleanliness.
     
  7. linta325

    linta325 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2012
    San Leandro, CA
    Another thing I forgot to mention. I've noticed that most silkie pics show the entire body of the chicken with fluffy feathers. Mine for some reason, still have normal looking feathers at the end of their wings. The feathers aren't the fluffy kind that cover the rest of the body. I guess they might not be purebred. And another odd thing I notices, is that the hens that have enough fluff to cover their eyesight have no feathers on their legs, while the ones who can see fine do.
     
  8. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens really love baths, they are unsure at first but when the water hits them they like to fall asleep. I put my wrist out there for them to rest their head on while I am bathing them. Hatcheries are known for sending out pet quality birds. They breed so many they have to mix the blood lines sometimes. If you need pure true to breed birds you need to find a good local breeder.
     
  9. linta325

    linta325 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2012
    San Leandro, CA
    Thank you for your input, foreverlearning.

    If chickens do indeed love baths, I will attempt to clean them up in the next day or two. I did attempt, with a wet rag, to clean the feather on the top of the heads of the 2 hens that when clean have their vision impaired by the feathers. I think they were dirtier than I anticipated, as their feathers did not fluff up as I had hoped. I'll just have to try again later.
     

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