TWO questions: 1/ Blood curdling noise - what does it mean? 2/what goes on inside the chicken with a

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NjoyNjoy, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. NjoyNjoy

    NjoyNjoy Out Of The Brooder

    I am forced to revisit this question I will ask, since... about one month ago a chicken appeared in my enclosed front yard and has not left! I have had chickens before but none in the yard until this hen joined me.

    I would really like to know what it means when they let out the drone of a sound. AS though someone is strangling them. This new hen does the same as previous hens have done. The first time I heard it I was horrified thinking something horrid was happening. But no.

    However it is a behaviour that I am curious about. I am sure they are in distress about something. It is only here and there in any one day. Some days bad. Some days not at all. I though about 'egg development' pains, since it takes 24hrs for an egg to begin and then be layed (apparently) I thought maybe there is something in that process. And then I though no how cruel it would be to live that all your laying life - that cant be right.

    The past two days she has reason to be in distress, and she is still doing it. (not necessarily related but if the noise is a distress message I would love to understand this especially if I can relieve her or whatever).

    Night before last, she did not sleep in her usually natural setting bedding (she chose it not me - she has a cosy bedding waterproof and can be enclosed but she chose a completely new area to bed down at night).
    I was worried when she wasn't about in the early morning when I went out to water my food garden before sun warmed up (Spring time here in October). A little later she appeared from her 'day resting space' under thick low bush. She had not been to her nesting box to lay either. SO I was curious. Under the bush area I could see a soft egg beside the fence. And she was quite mellow all day.

    Today she again has not been to the nesting box, but did sleep in her normal natural bedding area evidenced by fresh chook poo. So good she is in her own bed again.

    What I think has happened is she chose to sleep under the bush for the night, and someone walking past the fence or something in the night scared her and she layed the egg prematurely. However.... when they lay prematurely in stress /fright does this mean that the chemicals that were going to make the egg shell two nights ago are building up and making her feel over whelmed or otherwise? OR what is the response to stress premature laying. OR is there something else that is going on for her.

    In the month she is with me (unknown age since she just appeared in my urban yard) she layed the first day, then not for two weeks. Then the past two weeks has layed daily in the nesting box. Until the soft egg story above.

    Any tips from anyone? tips on the strangling noise they can make which is mod to loud and really intrusive. Or knowledge on what is going on inside the hen when they do a stress lay resulting in a premature egg which is soft shelled?

    Peace and Harmony
  2. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2013
    My Coop
    I'm trying to understand what the noise sounds like that you're hearing. Are you sure it's not what some call the "egg song?" It sounds like "BAWK, bawk, bawk, bawk, BAWK" and this is repeated for sometimes a very long (maybe a few minutes) time. The first bawk is really loud followed by several less loud ones, then another really loud one, followed by several less loud ones and so on. It's sort of a similar sound to what they make when they're in distress, just majorly upset about something or afraid of something. Maybe google videos of chicken sounds and see if you can find a match?

    Or, try to describe it in how it sounds phonically, like my BAWK, bawk, bawk, bawk, BAWK description.

  3. NjoyNjoy

    NjoyNjoy Out Of The Brooder

    Oh Guppy,
    I never did get your post sent to my mail box all this time ago. And I thought no one responded so I abandoned the search.
    And I am only online again because of a more serious matter with another chicken that I found this old post.

    I know the 'egg song' - which she rarely sings, she is more strained than that. I think she is may going on four years. She is an Isa Brown who wandered into my urban yard and has no left since! That was maybe a year or so ago. So it may be that she is tired of laying eggs daily. When she first arrived, and settled in, she began laying two/24hrs maybe once a week. So she has been quite productive. I would be exhausted if it were me.

    YES she continues with her weird noise. The vet didn't seem to know it either.

    It is like she is trying to communicate her annoyance. It is usually when... it seems... as if she wants a different sort of food. or more food - but not eating that stuff again!!!

    The noise is really bad. Others who don't know chickens may not know the difference. But I do.

    It is like a blood gurgling sound.
    And yes it is in a bawk manner but deep and wrenching cry, that demands attention. She will go from the front of the house to the side of the house and the back door. Trying to get my attention.

    It demands attention but I am not sure if it is a learned behaviour, or whether genuinely she is hungry and just cannot stand eating mash any more. She gets a variety of foods and has the entire garden/yard at her disposal.

    I weigh up the situation each time.

    She might make the noise once a day, or sometimes many times in a day and other days none. So there is no pattern.
    AND if I do give her a scattering of seed or corn, she might eat some and wander off and then later start again with the deep wrenching bawk.


    B>>>A>>>>>>>>>>W>>>>>>>>>>K, bawk bawk, and then repeats the big long slow deep wrenching hawk again and again.Not the normal brief bawks.
  4. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    I know when one of my hens gets seperated from the group they often start a "where are you" kind of call. Could it be that? Chickens are pack birds, and she might not like being alone.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I venture guess no rooster around?
  6. NjoyNjoy

    NjoyNjoy Out Of The Brooder

    Hi there, thanks for your responses above.

    I really have exhausted all avenues of what the intrusive noise is. So that is why I threw it into the forum arena.
    I am more at ease with it mostly but without understanding it leaves me in the dark.

    She was an only chicken when she arrived over a year ago. Just one Sunday morning she appeared in my front urban yard and hasn't left since. Made her self at home the first day by pooping on my front door mat and started laying 2days later. So she has been alone in my yard sine her arrival mid-ish 2013 until Feb 2014 when she hatched 2/3 fertilised eggs (because she was clucky I optimised on the opportunity).

    So the noise was before and after chicken company.

    And the noise they make when they realise they have separated from each other during their foraging, is notably different.

    Speaking of rooster Centrachid, one of the 2 that hatched, as it turns out is a rooster! But otherwise she has been the only chicken in my yard since her arrival.

    I will try and look on you tube. I can go to uni and put an ear plug in and start listening to chicken noises to see if I can find hers. I remember I did this way back when it was pressing on me, to no avail. But maybe a new search won't do any harm especially as I have a little more down time from uni this semester than the past 18mths.

    bless you both for caring.
  7. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    Can you post a youtube video of it maybe?
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    If "rooster" is not an adult, then as far as hen is concerned it is not a rooster.
  9. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    One of my speckled sussex makes these LOUD noises that sound very much like a distressed goat. Honestly, it's so loud and quavering--nothing like a chicken is supposed to sound. She does this when she's about to lay. When she's done laying. When she wants out of the coop in the morning. When she wants treats at 5pm every day. When she can't find her hen buddies. It's totally unreal and every day my I have to laugh because so many folks say they only got hens cause roosters are so loud. Glad I don't have neighbors-she probably scares the wild turkeys!

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