Baby Talk

Baby chickens have a language all their own. You’ll hear a number of different peeping patterns coming from your brooder . As they grow, you will start to hear different sounds coming from them as they go from being babies to grow-ups. Here are some different sounds you will hear.

Happy chirps: The happy chatter between babies as they talk with each other. This is the noise you will hear most often from happy, well-cared-for chicks.

Something’s Happening: When something happens like a hand reaching into the brooder or a chick discovers a treat, chicks will cheep at a faster pace and also run around.

Distress chirps: A high pitcher, loud “cheep! cheep! cheep!” repeated is a call to their mother or you that something is wrong. Maybe their water dish fell over. Maybe they got stuck. Maybe they are lonely. Maybe they are cold. Better go check it out.

Sleepy noises: This sounds like a soft cooing or purring noise. You will hear them make this noise when they get comfortable and settle in for the night. If you are lucky they will also make this noise when they settle in to take a nap in your hand.

As you raise your babies you will grow accustomed to their sounds and know exactly what each sound means, without realizing it.

So now we will move on to sounds chickens make as they grow up.

Most people are familiar with a rooster crow, but do you know the sounds that hens make as well. they definitely have their own chitter-chatter.

Greeting clucks: Sounds similar to “Brr-gup”. Chickens make this noise when they greet and interact with each other.

Check this out: Low noises like ” buk buk buk bu-bawwwk”” is how chickens tell each other to come check stuff out. Maybe they have discovered a tasty treat and want to share.

Alarm noises: If your hens start making a noise loud like a fire alarm, drop everything and go see what’s wrong. They make this sound to warn each other that a predator may be present and they may need your help to protect them.

The Egg song: Chickens like to announce that they have laid an egg with a sound something like this. “brr brr br-kawk!” Sometimes they will even get excited when their hen friends lay an egg and will make the same sound as if to say “Congratulations.”

Crowing: When juvenile roosters learn to crow, watching it happen is quite a sight! It’s almost as if you can see a crow rolling up their throat. If a full-grown adult hen starts crowing, however, that’s a different story. In flocks without roosters, the lead hen may take on the rooster role, complete with crowing! Sometimes she will also stop laying eggs while assuming this role. Most times this will be temporary but at times it will be permanent

Growling: If you find your hen spread out on a nest and growling at you or any other chickens that come near her, you probably have a broody hen. If you are looking to expand your flock, this is good. However, if you are all about the eggs, this broody bird isn’t helping you meet your goal.

If you realize one of your chickens is broody, it’s important to take some action as they may only leave the nest once or twice a day to poop, eat and drink. Allowing a hen to brood indefinitely can cause major problems for its health, as a dedicated broody will sit for weeks at a time hoping to become a mom. Her health may suffer.

No 1 option: Let her raise her babies. This is one way to expand your flock.

No 2 option: Break her. It’s simple to do but requires consistency.

Pick up your hen off their nest and lock her outside the coop so she cant sit on the nest for the rest of the day.

Promptly remove all eggs from nesting boxes after they are laid to prevent her from sitting on them.

Block access to nesting boxes at night to encourage her to sleep on the roosts.

You could also keep her in a crate lifted off the ground, for air and comfort, and provide her with food and water. You can leave her there for a few days, bring her out try again. If she still shows signs of being broody give her a cool bath, put her back for 2 or 3 days, and try again until she resumes her normal chicken activities.

research done from Keeping Chickens Healthy by Carissa Bonham