Why do chickens screech?


10 Years
Mar 11, 2010
Frederick, MD
I have three Light Brahmas that screech their little heads off, at the top of their lungs. They are easily as loud as a rooster. Why do they do this? Are they bored?

I am not talking about the clucking egg song, they do that too, but this is a much harsher and shriller sound. It is going on mostly in the morning hours but sometimes they do it in the afternoon as well.

Distracting them with treats helps, so now I wonder if they are demanding treats when they do this.

I have never noticed that there was any threat when they did this, nor do the other chickens pay any attention to it.

Anyhow, I was just wondering. I'm selling the three as it is much too loud for our tastes and the other 11 chickens aren't doing it as loudly as these three, and I'm hoping that with the brahmas gone they may settle down a bit more and not do it at all.

Any ideas as to why? I just want to see if I can create circumstances for the other chickens so that they don't start doing it as well.
Better description of sound needed. Screech like sound I think of is associated with aerial threat like a hawk. Females also make sound despite roosters getting all the credit for such.
Thanks both for replying. There is no rooster, and the thought did cross my mind that this might be the problem. Perhaps they're not getting something that they want
if you get my drift. I sold them to a lady that has a rooster so maybe they'll be happier there.

The sound is a crow-like screech. It's loud and they do it even if there is no aerial threat and the other chickens pay no attention to it (as in run for cover). So I don't think it's predator related. They are in an enclosure that has all walls and roof covered with 1/4" hardware cloth. I think by now they know they are safe in there.

All three brahmas do it, the others do too on occasion but I think it is more copying of what the brahmas are doing than that they would do it themselves. It is louder and more frequent in the morning but they also do it sometimes in the afternoon.

At first I thought it may have to do with preparing to lay an egg, like that the egg moving hurts them but I don't think, in retrospect that this is the case. It almost sounds as if they are in distress, but when I go look there's nothing going on.
I think you got the idea but some hens are just more vocal than others. I had some Cochin hens that were incredibly loud. It sounded like a WAAAAAAAAAH...WAAAAAAAH! On occasion I will have a hen that will start up with that racket and it seems to really attract the attention of the roosters. So I'm pretty sure that's what it's all about.
Mine make a sound like AWWWWWWWWWWW when I walk outside, but it's not loud. Is that the sound you are describing ? LOL I think mine use aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwww to scold me when I won't let them out into my backyard or when I don't bring treats LOL!
The funny thing is that I made a larger enclosure for them to sort of freerange in and the three that screech the loudest wouldn't come out of the old run for two days to explore this new large area full of tasty bugs and greens, in stead choosing to be unhappy in their bare run.

Silly chickens never cease to amaze me.
Did you ever figure out a way to stop the screeching? My 5 ladies constantly screech in the morning and again in the afternoon. Rarely do they "sing" the egg song... I think they've developed their own obnoxious language. They have plenty of space but have pretty much denuded it, they know there's a fresh garden and plants outside the coop as they used to have free reign of it before I wised up. Now I'm paying the price... treats help but don't solve.

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