What does this noise mean?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by DonnaS53, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. DonnaS53

    DonnaS53 New Egg

    Jul 31, 2014
    Occasionally when I go out to the coop the chickens are all standing completely still,staring off into the woods and making a strange growling,cooing noise. Not sure how to describe it. But I have seen them do this in places all around the yard. Is there something they feel is a predator to them? I have a small flock that free range the yard and go into a fenced coop at night. Most of the time they are out and about,other times they will not leave the woods. Or is this just a normal behavior for chickens? They don't even flinch when I walk around them,they just keep making that noise and standing totally still.

  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Chickens can produce multiple flavors of growling noises. Some can indicate do not touch me or settle down while another in your context can mean threat in distance that does not see us, be still and watch.
  3. WthrLady

    WthrLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2014
    WestOak, Nebraska
    Mine do that when they see a threat. It's a high pitch coo/trilling noise, like the dinos in jurassic park. One will do it, and the others will freeze, even mid step.

    Freaks me out, as the odd duck member of the flock, I don't speak chicken and don't know what they're looking at. I keep waiting for something to pounce.

    Great, I'm the red shirt of the flock landing party.
    1 person likes this.
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 25, 2012
    The sound you hear usually means an airborne threat has been detected. This threat can be anything from a Blue Jay, to a jumbo jet, to a hawk. Even the Sun going behind a cloud quickly will trigger this sound, that is if your chickens are free range material.
    2 people like this.
  5. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

  6. WthrLady

    WthrLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2014
    WestOak, Nebraska
    They better fill me in 'cause I'm the one with the keys to the Enterprise! Does RosettaStone have chicken as an option?
  7. windwalkingwolf

    windwalkingwolf Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 13, 2011
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    I call it the "shut up!" noise. They are telling each other to be quiet so they can hear lol. They will sometimes make it at night too, when they want to go to sleep but another chicken is rustling around or clucking. Your birds likely hear a squirrel rustling around, and want quiet so they can determine if there's a threat or not.
  8. DonnaS53

    DonnaS53 New Egg

    Jul 31, 2014
    Thanks everybody. I figured it was a "warning" noise of some sort. We live in a rural area with lots of nighttime predators but my dog and cats usually keep most things away. And during the day if a sky predator is around they won't leave the wooded area next to the coop but they don't always make that noise so I guess when they do,they really feel threatened.

  9. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2013
    Atlanta, Georgia
    My flock does this all the time (we have hawks around). I know it's their "aerial warning" sound.

    Last week we were free ranging in the fenced back yard and they all came running up behind me on the patio making this sound...every head was cocked towards one particular spot in the woods. I knew it was a hawk, but couldn't remotely see the thing.

    After a few minutes of everyone (including myself) holding completely still, the hawk took off...**** thing was about 2 feet back in the trees behind my fence line...and very clearly visible once it moved.

    I've resigned myself to just watching/listening to the chickens rather than scanning for threats...they will always see the threat before I can.
  10. cackleberrycam

    cackleberrycam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2013
    Quote: I agree. My hens often mistake things like small birds for hawks and airborne predators.

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