Squawking when laying?

fiddleblue

Songster
10 Years
Jul 19, 2009
189
4
111
I have noticed that at least one hen and possibly more seem to squawk loudly at times when they are in the nest box, apparently laying an egg. Sometimes too this commences a group squawk where others join in. Is this common behavior? I am worried the loud crying out might bother my neighbors, and wonder if there's anything I can do to calm the girls when they lay eggs.
 

Dread Pirate Roberts

Songster
11 Years
Jan 20, 2009
1,168
15
161
NorCal
It's called the "egg song".

Totally normal.
smile.png
 

scooter147

Songster
11 Years
Jul 30, 2008
2,042
77
221
Missouri
The theory behind the egg song is that some domestic chickens have kept the trait of the wild jungle fowl of squawking after laying an egg. It is done in the wild so that the hen who went off to lay her eggs can communicate to the rest of the flock that she is done and so they can squawk back to let her know where they are so they can reunite. It's the best theory I can find and it makes sense if you think about it. Wild turkeys will do the same.
I have a flock of about 24 and only a few of mine squawk after laying. My EE's never do.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
312
421
SW Arkansas
Quote:
That's one theory. There's another theory that I've read about and makes sense too (at least to me). Hens sing the egg song as they are exiting the nest as a message to (egg) predators - "Follow me! Leave my eggs alone!" Also, goes back to the wild origins. I read it in an article on chicken vocalizations in Backyard Poultry. The article also mentioned that roosters can make up to 50 different distinct sounds, predator warnings, based on whether the predator is airborne or ground and what type of predator.
 
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scooter147

Songster
11 Years
Jul 30, 2008
2,042
77
221
Missouri
Quote:
That's one theory. There's another theory that I've read about and makes sense too (at least to me). Hens sing the egg song as they are exiting the nest as a message to (egg) predators - "Follow me! Leave my eggs alone!" Also, goes back to the wild origins. I read it in an article on chicken vocalizations in Backyard Poultry. The article also mentioned that roosters can make up to 50 different distinct sounds, predator warnings, based on whether the predator is airborne or ground and what type of predator.

I do remember reading that article now that you mention it and it makes some sense too. The only arguement I would have against that is why draw attention to yourself or your nest, why not just sneak away from you nest as quietly as possible?
 

chickenjen

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 17, 2010
75
0
39
Highlands, NC
We were outside a few weeks ago and my other half heard the "song" and he goes "Was that ours? It sounded so far away." I said "Nope, but the neighbor just got an egg!"
 

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