Really LOUD noisy hen, as loud as a rooster! What to do??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Beakaboo, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Beakaboo

    Beakaboo Out Of The Brooder

    Hello to all!

    We are new chicken owners. We have 2 hens, a buff orpington and a silkie, and we keep them in our coop outside. We have had them since March, and they have become our beloved pets. We see them every day, we pick them up, they love the attention, and we love having them. They bring us a lot of joy (and just recently started laying eggs), and we give them treats a couple times a day, scratch seeming to be their favorite. Unfortunately, all of this seems to have created a noise problem we didn't anticipate.

    We live in a neighborhood where homes are fairly close together. It's not illegal for us to have hens -- keeping them is allowed in our city, but if they become a noise problem to our neighbors and they start complaining about our hens we would have to find new homes for them. Our chickens are smart & they love our attention so much they figured out that making a lot of very loud crying will get us to go to see them & give them treats whenever they want us to (it seems they own us rather than the other way around). The problem is they now have started doing this at around 7:00 a.m. and we're very concerned we'll start getting our neighbors upset. The noise they make is VERY LOUD - my buff orpington in fact makes a noise which sounds very much like a very loud goose !! Going out there to see them only stops it for about 10 minutes - after that they go off again. We can't always go out there to see them all day long, we work, we have errands to run just like anyone else, so I'm not sure what we can do.

    I fully realize we unwittingly created this problem by giving our hens so much attention. But I really did try to do my best to read as many books & forum posting here at this site for months & months before taking the plunge and getting a few birds. In all of my reading I don't remember reading *anything* about excessively noisy hens possibly becoming a problem in a living environment like where we are (roosters, YES, tons of references to that problem, but I don't remember seeing a single thing about hens who are very much just as loud as roosters are -- seriously, no rooster I know of could top my buff orpington's goose scream!).

    This morning at 7:00 a.m. my buffy starting going off again. Not knowing what else to do & wanting to try to create some sort of deterrent, I went out there & sprayed her several times with a water spray bottle. She panicked and ran trying to get away from me. I really feel bad for that and don't want to do that again. We spent so much time trying to get them to trust us, and now here I was trying to make them fear us. That obviously isn't the right solution.

    I might be able to sound proof the coop to some degree, but it still needs to have windows so they can get air, so that wouldn't really help that much.

    Please, if anyone has any suggestion or knows of a solution for how we could modify their behavior, please let me know.

    1 person likes this.
  2. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2012
    South Central WI
    are they only doing this in the morning? when did they start? the reason im asking is because my chickens will do the same just after they lay an egg, but it stops after 5 min or so, and theyve almost stopped it altogether now after their third week of laying.
  3. Gofygure

    Gofygure Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2012
    My Coop
    If you've trained them to make a lot of noise to receive treats and affection, you'll have to break them of it. It's really simple- just ignore them while they squawk. Don't go out and look at them, don't give them anything, just ignore them. They'll figure it out in time.

    And yes, as another poster said, they do sing a song in the morning after their eggs have been laid. That's just part of being a chicken.
  4. Beakaboo

    Beakaboo Out Of The Brooder

    Hi Y N dottes, and thank you for your reply.

    This started about a month or so ago, and it's not just morning, they do it at random points throughout the day - morning and afternoon. They stop at night. I wish they only did this during egg laying, but unfortunately it has nothing to do with that -- in fact my buffy is out there goose-squawking right now, and she just laid an egg yesterday, so it will be a couple more days till the next one. She makes this noise because she wants us to go out to see them, she has become very much like a little child demanding attention.
  5. ChickNhood

    ChickNhood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2012
    Decatur IL
    I think the spray bottle is a great idea for being noisy....with that being said when they are being calm and quite that is when the reward should be given...only give treats when the are calm quite and docile!

    Hope this helps!
  6. Beakaboo

    Beakaboo Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you for your suggestion.

    I have considered this, and it makes sense, and we might give this a try. My hope (and fear) is that we aren't forced to get rid of them by complaining neighbors during the *noise breaking* period. Even if we ignore them, we still have to go out there to feed them & change their water, which might get them started again after we leave. But we do have to start somewhere.

    Thanks again!
  7. Beakaboo

    Beakaboo Out Of The Brooder

    The spray did seem to work, at least for 20 minutes or so. But I was concerned that by doing that I was stepping over the line into being abusive. I do agree with you about the positive reinforcement when they are quiet and calm, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks!
  8. ChickNhood

    ChickNhood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2012
    Decatur IL

    I wouldnt consider it abusive...simply decipline... You have to teach your hens that u are their rooster and to follow your rules... Then all will be well
  9. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2011
    I had one that did this...she 'crowed' just like a rooster, although I'm positive she was a hen; she layed great eggs!! Unfortunatally we didn't find a way to make her stop- we gave her to a person we had bought chickens from before (however she turned out to be too loud for them too, and they sold her again). Hopefully you have better luck!
  10. Beakaboo

    Beakaboo Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you for your post. Hopefully some of the suggestions from this thread will help. I'm sorry to hear in your case it didn't work out. :( This is my biggest fear also.

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