My chickens are liars not layers!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lisamairey, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Lisamairey

    Lisamairey Out Of The Brooder

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    My chickens have been singing their egg songs. I run to the coop to inspect...and nada, zippo, nuttin'. What's going on? Do they practice before they start laying?

    And, here's an interesting bit...when one chicken goes all operetta, the others cluck as backup! The ruckus silences the whole neighborhood. Even the crickets and crows fall quiet. And no egg.

    Has anybody else experienced chickens who lie so vocally and in complete collusion with one another?

    I'm still waiting on breakfast!
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    LOL - "egg song" is a bit of a misleading label as it is a vocalization used outside of the immediate depositing of an egg and, yes, it is a vocalization that prompts others in the flock to join in.
     
  3. Lisamairey

    Lisamairey Out Of The Brooder

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    So..I shouldn't (ahem) count my chickens whenever I hear all that yodelling? What makes them sound off like that? Is there anyway to tell the difference between a bona fide egg song and their sneaky and completely false siren calls?
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    That depends on which camp you are in on the actual meaning of the calls -- there is the "location" camp which subscribes to the theory that when one bird separates herself from the flock to lay her egg she emerges from the nest feeling the need to locate the rest of her flock (supporting theory here going back to the jungle fowl days pre-domesticated birds when the flock may have moved off through the jungle some distance from the bird who was nested down to lay) - she would sound off and the flock would answer so that they can reunite. This explanation can be supported by say one bird failing to get off the roost with the rest of the group and get out of the coop in the morning who will then start the frantic call from inside the coop, be answered by her flockmates and realize that the simple solution is to get down and go outside where her "missing" flockmates can be found.
    Other theories that I have heard through the years have to do with it being connected to the release of the next ova from the ovary - supporting argument for that has been given as the fact that the call often starts a good half hour or longer after the egg has actually been dropped in the nest box, the hen has gone through recovery and would be nearing the release time for the next egg to go down the pipe.
    Or the theory that it is triggered by the egg actually passing through the vent.
    and I am sure there are theories I have missed.
     
  5. Lisamairey

    Lisamairey Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much! Very informative!

    One last question...

    Is it also possible that my girls are just a bunch of feathered ruffians that like to make noise? Do flocks have "personalities"? Are some more quiet or more talkative than others? (I have two Buff Orpingtons, two Barred Rocks and two Rhode Island Reds if that helps to field the question).
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Absolutely! In my current flock of 16 (15 pullets and a cockerel) - I have a broad range of personalities/voices. I have two that are absolute loud mouths - two of my three BOs - they talk just to hear themselves talk, and if one starts then it becomes a competition to see which can talk over the other. I have several that can be pretty loud but are less talkative than those two (my SLW and GLW and a couple of brahmas) - and I have some that I hardly hear a peep from (the third BO, both my EEs and a couple of my brahmas).
     
  7. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting theoriess on "why". Not sure I buy the first theory, as my chickens seem to make different noises when "lost" compared to what is commonly labeled "egg song".
     
  8. Lisamairey

    Lisamairey Out Of The Brooder

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    Huh! So it's the chickens themselves (as individuals) that have more extraverted vs intraverted personalities...and not a breed thing?
    That's interesting!

    And how about IQs? Is that also individual or linked to breed?

    My Buffs are soooooo clever. The Barred Rocks are relatively brave but slow at working out puzzles (like how to find the door to their pen) and the RIRs are just stone stupid. They are always getting lost from the flock and screeching for a rescue. So is IQ a breed thing? Or did I just luck into two Mensa-level Buffs and two dumber-than-dirt RIRs?
     
  9. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pullets will start practicing the egg song and you might see them squatting on the ground in the days before they start laying eggs.

    Are these pullets? How old are they?
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  10. Lisamairey

    Lisamairey Out Of The Brooder

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    They are young spring chickens between 18 and 21 weeks old!
     

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