the plight of an overzealous egg song

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sore Thumb Suburbanite, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got several breeds of laying hens to make sure I could have at least a few quiet birds in the end. I researched the typically quiet breeds-breeds that are friendly and bear confinement well (chicken tractor inmates)...So I got an Australorp, a red and black star layer, a cornish and a rhode island red. The Australorp was supposed to be the quietest-but her egg song-which starts hours before she lays (she does this hopping in&out of the nest box dance for hours) is terrible! It sounds like she is dying-None of the other egg songs from the birds are like that-they are quieter and much shorter and correspond to the laying of an egg. My birds have been laying for 8 days now-some for less-but I think everyone has laid at least once-and the Australorp has been laying the longest. Will her behavior change or should I eat her? I wish I could keep a good layer like her-but the sounds are incredibly outlandish by comparison. Do the egg songs change? Is she possibly uncomfortable or maybe a little ADD? Ugh-I'm a few days away from a chicken dinner if this doesn't change.
     
  2. Cheryl1948

    Cheryl1948 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You would really kill her for that? Come on.....that's like expecting a dog not to bark. That is how they communicate. If you have chickens you have to expect some chatter. It's not like it goes on all of the time[​IMG]
     
  3. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is she head of your pecking order? My top hen will sing for herself, for the other girls, for no reason at all! None of my other five hens sing at all, maybe an occasional cluck if excited. With my hen, if I go out and interrupt her she will stop. She may start back up, but a little distraction (treats, free ranging) works wonders. She also might calm down some as she lays for a while. This is a pretty big deal for her, and she is still getting the hang of it. My noisy one is also my sweetest and most social, I think she just wants to share!
     
  4. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think she must be singing for the other hen's accomplishments too. I will keep her a little while and distract her as much as I can but if free ranging and treats don't calm her down enough-she'll have to go or be dinner. she isn't particularly friendly or unique-except that she'll lay for many years and 2 of my flock will only lay a few-so the longevity would be nice to have. But, culling was my plan all along anyway-to weed out the loudest birds-I live in a small neighborhood and although there are plenty of barking dogs-her squawking is intense and so impossible to tune out, plus it is driving my husband and I crazy. None of the other animals we have make that much noise or so frequently.
    I am not keeping hens as pets-though I do like to handle them every once and a while-give them treats...I don't want to kill her because she lays eggs-but the noise factor does matter in a small neighborhood-even if its legal to have chickens. I tried all I could to get the most typically quiet chickens so I could keep more...
    I certainly don't hold the "singing" against her-but its never been my intention to live with an extremely cacophonous animal in such a neighborhood scenario. The rest are quiet so without her we'll be almost noiseless.
    Thanks for the suggestions-hope they work!
     
  5. Scott H

    Scott H Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have one who was quite noisy at first but her song got much shorter as laying got to be "old hat." Here's what she sounded like.....I had to go in the house to get my phone and she was "singing" the whole time.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Nice looking coop Sore Thumb. Did you get a sore thumb building the coop? If your Australorpe truly drives you crazy, I'd suggest that you re-home her instead of eating her. A nice bird just coming into lay is worth more in eggs than she is in the stew pot. I agree with Scott that she will probably mellow out with a bit of age. My girls are just coming into their second season, and my noisiest girl is not noisy at all. I only heard the egg song from her yesterday, though she has been laying for a good week. She used to be a multi occasion singer, but now, only sings the abbreviated version after producing an egg.
     
  7. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yup-same song...my bird starts out loud and then graduates to shrieking & then cuts off. Its quite odd. she still hasnt laid today-she just talks about eggs all day-like my 19 month old. He loves getting eggs in the afternoon-he begs all day to get eggs. Well, I am going to change their feed schedule so they hv food in the am-will free range them once our lawn goes in in a few weeks, will keep some decoy eggs in each box to confuse her (it wont be like a surprise every time an egg appears), I'll put a shiny bell on a string in their coop & run the string inside so I can jingle it & distract her when she does go off & I'll pray she pipes down. I really like getting 3-4 eggs a day-its perfect for us. I have only one australorp left (gave my other one to my friend months ago) & I do want to keep her for many years if possible!
     
  8. Scott H

    Scott H Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We thought it was kinda cute.....now that she's been laying for several months she just quietly gets in her box, lays, gets out and sings for about 10 seconds and it's over. Give her a chance.
    Oh, and I asked the neighbors if they heard her and they hadn't. It doesn't seem to carry as far as you think cause it sounded LOUD when you were right by her.
     
  9. Her behavior may change in a bit. Some of my birds sang the egg song loudly when they first started laying.
     
  10. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so we have our game plan now and we are going to give her a month to calm down...I really do want to give her a chance-I definitely appreciate her daily egg contribution...My husband says these are the best eggs he has ever had and we buy only organic pastured chicken eggs fresh...so the fermented feed must be the difference. Anyway-thanks for the tips and info-now I really hope I can keep her around.
     

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