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Are Backyard Chickens Noisy?

Are Backyard Chickens Noisy?

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There is a lot of misconception surrounding backyard chickens. While others are true, some are just hearsay and speculations.

So, I don’t get surprised when I hear different people ask whether backyard chickens are noisy. We will find the truth, whether this is an assumption or a fact.

So, are backyard chickens noisy? In general, all chickens are relatively peaceful and quiet animals.

And this is the same case with backyard chickens which spent most of their time foraging in their coop during the day.

While doing so you will hear them clucking and cackling occasionally, particularly when laying eggs or feeding. 

What of the roosters? More often than not, you may come across roosters making a lot of noise that is annoying to some extent. Luckily, you don’t need them for your hens to lay eggs.

This explains why several communities have avoided raising roosters in their backyards. At least, their decision to do away with roosters has helped reduce the noise significantly. 

Different Breeds Can Make Backyard Chickens Noisy!

Different people have mixed feelings about raising backyard chickens. While others are of the idea of keeping these chickens, some are skeptical for various reasons, and noise is one of them.

Such people think the chickens’ crows and squawking will become a nuisance to their peaceful and quiet lifestyle. 

Contrary to their thoughts, most chicken breeds are gentle and quiet animals. The most you can hear about them is a yelp of their excitement after laying eggs or panic when faced with dangerous situations.

This is quite normal, especially among different species of birds. Anything beyond that needs some scrutiny to establish the main cause of that behavior.

However, different noise levels from chickens tend to vary with individual breeds.

Most significantly, several popular backyard chicken breeds are peaceful, apart from occasional clucks when laying eggs or foraging in the backyard. 

This is to say that most chickens raised in the backyard are virtually undetectable and are likely to get vocal only when they’ve just laid eggs.

Otherwise, their noise won’t last for long to the point of upsetting your neighbors or your family members.

It is correct to say that some breeds are noisier than others but this depends on different situations besides those mentioned above.

Despite being noisy, the loudest breeds have more or less the same decibel levels equivalent to that for human conversations. 

This is something close to 60 or 70 decibels utmost. Backyard chickens cannot be regarded as noisy animals compared to the dogs’ barks (which can go as high as 90 decibels).

But for every rule, there is an exception. Even though most chickens are quiet and gentle, the roosters are something else.

These male birds will constantly crow all day long, and this cannot be very pleasant for some people.

That is why most backyard chicken keepers avoid them to minimize cases of noise in their residential places. 

Different Chicken Noises and What they mean

Surprisingly, chickens can produce well over 24 distinct sounds or calls, and if you think this statement has surprised you more.

You should brace yourself for other interesting facts about the different sounds chickens produce. 

Each sound has its own meaning and researchers have come up with interesting facts about this strange phenomenon in chickens.

So, here is a compilation of different noises made by chickens and what they mean:

The Egg Noise

The egg noise is the most common vocalization everyone has heard several times. This is the happy crackling noise your hen makes after successfully laying an egg. 

It is like a celebratory song to welcome a new egg. The noise is usually initiated by that particular hen that has just laid an egg.

They are joined shortly by other hens around her to make it sound like an orchestra. 

The egg noise can continue for a certain period, especially when more layers are simultaneously involved. Perhaps this explains better why this type of noise is called “Egg Song.” 

Usually, a slight variation on this song may occur where the nest box has been removed. In retaliation, the hen preparing for her nest box would start to make what may sound like an urgent egg noise rendition. 

Coop Chatter

This refers to the noise made by chickens under different circumstances. For instance, your backyard flock will start making this noise when you step foot in their coop.

Maybe they do so as a way to show you that you are an intruder who is infringing their living space. 

On the other hand, chickens can make this type of noise when locked in their pen for too long longer than usual.

The same is true when they are returned to their shelter for the night. You may hear their trills, murmurings, and contented sounds if you are keen enough.

Broody Hens and their Grumbles

If you have encountered a broody hen, you are familiar with their grumbles. This happens often when the hens are about to sit on their eggs to hatch.

These broody hens will always grumble when they feel you are about to invade their territories.

Of course, these hens have all the right to defend their eggs because they become “mothers” once the eggs hatch

As a matter of fact, they are likely to get physical if you don’t heed their early warning through endless grumbles.

This is when broodies become bad-tempered and spend most of their time clucking constantly and urgently. They even become hostile to other hens and are ready to pick a fight if challenged. 

Content Murmurs

Any time you see your flock of backyard chickens free-ranging, you may hear what sounds like low murmurings.

This is a sign of contentment your chickens display while moving around, looking for food.

Also, close observation will reveal that chickens range close to each other to communicate effectively if one raises the alarm.

Danger Sounds

Chickens, especially hens, have evolved to make very sophisticated ranges of sounds when they sense danger.

Some of their distinct sounds may include calls for ground or aerial predators.

Therefore, you should always be on the lookout whenever your chickens make urgent crackling sounds while they appear very agitated. 

In most cases, you may not be able to know where the danger is coming from but is prudent that you apply the necessary precautions to protect your flock.

Your presence alone can deter most predators, thus saving your chickens

A Hen and her Chicks

Are Backyard Chickens Noisy?-

Hens and chicks seem to be constantly communicating while moving around. This type of communication is evident right when the chicks are still unhatched.

You may always see your hen clucking and purring softly while sitting on her eggs or notice it moving them from spot to another under her.

As time passes, the unborn chicks pick out their mother’s voice from other hens. 

Studies have shown that mother hens can modify how they teach their chicks based on their aptitude and understanding.

That is why you should not be surprised to find those chicks separated from their mother hens making distinctive sounds while searching for their mothers.

The mother hen will instantly recognize the distressed chicks’ sporadic ” whimpering ” and rush to save them. 

Hens also make a soft and unique sound to alert their chicks of imminent danger. In response to this warning, you will see the chicks freezing in position or scampering for safety.

Sometimes the mother hen uses a low-pitched clicking sound to warn the chicks to stay still. 

In short, soft peeps or trills made by chicks show that they are contented or happy with their immediate environment.

But high-pitched beeps indicate that there is something wrong with the well-being of the chicks. 

Food Calls

This is exciting to watch and listen to, especially when mother hens call their chicks to share food.

Automatically the chicks or other chickens will know they are being summoned to have a share of their favorite meals. This type of sound is only used exclusively for particular moments such as treats.

Related Questions

Do you need roosters in your backyard?

It depends on your decision, but roosters are unnecessary, especially when keeping layers only. This is because layers don’t need roosters to produce eggs. 

What is the best way of keeping your backyard chickens contented to reduce noise?

The only effective way of keeping your chickens contented is to provide them with a good chicken coop.

This way, your chickens will feel secure and satisfied; in return, you will not hear their consistent squawks of irritation.

In Conclusion:

Backyard chickens are known to be quiet and peaceful but can become slightly noisy for several reasons. As such, you can listen to their noise and understand why they are doing so.

After all, chickens are like other animals and make different noises in different situations. 

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