Unusually Talkative Hen...Now she's loud before it gets light out?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by billygoat162, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in a city and have 4 ~14 month old hens (3 buffs and one that I'm pretty sure is a RIR), and all of them are very calm and friendly. All the hens will run up to me when I go outside and will allow me to pick them up and hold them. All of them are virtually silent except for the largest buff and second in command to the RIR. The two are very bonded and Nell has a habit of standing outside the roost clucking like a lost chicken (cluck, cluck, PECKAW) when the RIR is in a nesting box (which can be for 20 minutes at a time) and this is usually around 8-9am.

    It's gotten so bad that I started keeping a box near the back door to put her in every time she starts up, and the other hens are dead silent as long as she is in the box. Sometimes I just see her out in the yard clucking loudly because she got distracted by a worm and lost sight of the other hens, but this is usually short-lived. She also seems to 'talk' to us whenever we go outside, but it's the continuous clucking that is a problem.

    Today I was woken up an hour before sunrise by a clucking chicken and sure enough there she was on the ramp to the roost with two other hens sticking their heads out looking at her. I opened the coop door, but she didn't want out, so into the box she went and the others went back to sleep. I didn't see any signs of predators and the motion lights were all off.

    Is there anything I can do to quiet her? I tried bringing her in one night, but the RIR made a fuss in the morning looking for her (the only time the RIR has ever been loud). I would rather not get rid of this chicken, but I'll have to if she doesn't start being quiet, and just hope the RIR adjusts quickly instead of taking her place.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    She's apparently has become the look out in the absence of a rooster. Some hens are just more chatty than the others. I would find her antics endearing, but I guess it's all a matter of perspective.
     
  3. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Out Of The Brooder

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    She really is an endearing little chicken (well, not so little) and is by far the tamest. She actually seems to like being held and even being held laying on her back for a belly rub (do chickens actually like this? I can't tell if she just tolerates it or likes it, but it's fun to show to guests either way).

    It's really just the lot size that is making things an issue--I sleep next to the window facing the coop, and she's loud enough to wake me up pretty quickly. I haven't asked the neighbors yet, but I would bet they can hear her pretty well too. Do you think one of the others is likely to become the lookout if she goes away?
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    It's hard to say for sure what would happen if you removed her, I always have those talkers in the bunch, it does seem to be uncommon though, and sometimes is breed related, like australorps are talkative. Sometimes if you remove the town gossip another one can take over her place. In spring there are surges in hormones in chickens and they are at their most loudest, as summer heat comes on many become too hot for all the antics. Also younger hens in their first season seem to be more excitable over everything, it's possible she might quiet down in a month or so.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    OHLD has pretty much nailed it......just wanted to chime in(haha), hens can make a lot of noise but usually only during daylight.
    I agree your early shouter is playing cockbird.
     
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  6. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Out Of The Brooder

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    I can see how she is trying to be a rooster now...today when I tried to pick up another one of the hens she ran over and started pecking my hand like she was protecting her. I googled "hen thinks shes a rooster" and found some videos of hens clucking the exact same way my hen does. It would explain why she has such a large comb and isn't laying as many eggs as she had been.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  7. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Out Of The Brooder

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    There isn't usually a hen that tries to be a rooster in the absence of a rooster is there?
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Your sentence doesn't quite make sense to me.
    But if there's isn't a rooster in the flock, sometimes a hen will take on some of the roles a rooster usually plays.
     
  9. ChickenLover200

    ChickenLover200 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'll be in the barn!
    Sometimes... Never really does the "duties of a rooster", but might crow sometimes..
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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