6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
I'm not sure if this I'd the right place to ask this question, but do chickens purr? I was sitting outside with my chicks (about 1 1/2 months old) trying to get them used to being outside. For some reason they hate walking in the grass lol and of course they both immediately jump into my lap and one on each shoulder. After a few minutes of plucking my hair, they both laid down and started making this cooing sound... Is it normal behavior or is it a respiratory problem? I haven't been around chickens since I was a child and really don't know much about them yet. I don't even know what breed they are actually, they were an Easter gift. How do you know what breed they are?
They do communicate with each other through a kind of chicken purr but you can hear the chickens voice in it too.
There is indeed a constant low and soft sort of twittering noise happy poultry make. Often they use a quieter version of the be-alert noise, which sounds a bit like a rattle or purr; usually roosters make that noise the most, and often it's used to draw the whole flock's non-panicked attention to a bird in the sky. Often it's ignored. It's not an alarm call, which sounds more like a dinosaur roar and gets all birds' attention. The rattle-purr thing is also used by hens on the nest and babies can make it before they've even finished hatching --- generally males are the most keen as they are born into the job of keeping an eye out and commenting on the world around them for the hen's benefit.

Also it's been my experience that dogs, goats, sheep and other animals that are smart enough (and some chooks definitely are) will learn to purr like cats, or some other noise, to show you their enjoyment of your presence. Often the reason they chose that particular noise is based on two facts; you respond to it favourably; and usually, it's a noise you make to them, in favourable circumstances. We often train without being aware of it. If they're imitating a purr it's often because they've seen you pat the cat for it.

For example, I tend to check on my animals at night a lot due to pythons and other reasons; when it's dark I talk softer to avoid disturbing them; also I use the softer voice when saying 'sweet nothings' as I pat them; this leads to dogs, chooks and even my sheep making a strange noise very similar to what I'm making. It's completely unnatural for them, a learned behaviour, and they use it when I pat them or when they're trying to solicit pats.
One of our orphan goats learnt to 'meow' at the door to get let out because she saw our tom doing it. No idea how she removed the usual staccato machine-gun noise from her usual bleat, but she did. People were always getting up to let the cat out... But it was the goat! She imitated it perfectly.
I am new to chickens, and thoroughly enjoying listening to their sounds. I look forward to going out to the pen to listen to the rooster, especially, going on about stuff. Amazing the range of sounds they make. This morning I went out to open the door for them to get out, and heard the softest cooing sound from inside the house. It sounded almost like a dove, and at first I paused, thinking there might have been a dove in one of the trees nearby... But then I heard it again, and i am sure it was one of the chickens.

On another note, I was whistling when I went to check on the rabbits, and they went wild, hopping all over their pens. When I stopped whistling they calmed down. Since they are also new, I was quite surprised by their reaction. From now on, no whistling st the hutch. :p
I had chickens as a child but don't remember much about them since my mom was the "sole caregiver" now as an adult I find them very relaxing and entertaining! We also have cats and hamsters to add to the minagerai (sp?) the chicks by far are the most fun lol

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