Chicken Calls, Vocalizations and Sounds

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When we first got chickens, I had no idea the huge variety of vocalizations they use in their daily goings-about.

So, I thought I’d do my best to capture as many chicken calls and sounds as we can and post them here, along with what we think they mean.  If we get it totally wrong, please let us know in the comments below!

Two Young Roosters in a Crow-off (Our two young roosters are learning to crow.  These guys are 22 weeks at the time of this recording – one has been crowing for about 4 weeks, and one is just starting.  I think you can tell which is which…)


Mama Hen ‘Talking’ to Her New Chicks (This was a recording of our Lucky Wattles with her little brood in June 2012)


Buff Orpington Rooster Crowing (This is what we awaken to every morning… and many times throughout the day. I love the sound, though I know many aren’t so enamoured with rooster sounds.  Good thing we live far away from the nearest neighbour!)

Rooster Feeding His Girls (These low tones are the sounds our rooster makes when he has ‘found’ food and is calling the hens to come eat.  The other sounds are happy hens eating the organic lettuce trimmings we got from our local health food store.)

Just Laid an Egg (Two hens announcing their new eggs as they move off the next – or rather, the vocalization they apparently make to lead any predators away from the egg… I sort of like thinking they’re proud of themselves… 😉  The beginning of this recording was outside the coop, so the vocalizations aren’t as loud.  The clicking you hear is the electric predator fence that runs around the coop that we leave on if we’re not outside, are away, or at night).

Warning Call (Rooster and hens – see if you can pick out the rooster.)

‘We Want to Free-Range’ or ‘We Want Treats!’ (This is the sound the hens make every time I approach the coop run.)

Waiting for a Nest Box (The first vocalization on this recording is a hen waiting at the edge of the communal nest box for her favorite space in the.  The low, rumbly tones later in the recording are the hens actually in the nest box, laying.  Or telling the other one to back off – I’m not sure which… 😉  The tapping sound throughout is rain falling on the roof of the coop.)

Revised on November 20, 2012

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz Clark April 21, 2013 at 11:23 am

You’ve made my 8yo’s day; our hens are HER girls, and I played the tracks for her, without telling her what they were. Of the “let us out” vocals, she said, “Oh, our ladies say that when they’re ready to come out in the morning!” and of waiting for the nest box, “Everyone makes this sound when Fluffy is hogging the favorite nest. They’re saying, “Hurry up! I have an egg!”. With the egg-calls, she grinned and said, “That sounds like Daisy’s egg song… but you know, every one has a little bit different song for their eggs. You can tell who just finished.”

And then she trotted off to cuddle the new baby chicks. :)


Victoria Gazeley May 26, 2013 at 11:11 am

Love to hear this. Amazing what children pick up on when they’re ‘connected’ to something other than an iPod, isn’t it? :)


Tracee November 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I really enjoyed reading your articles and I especially liked the recordings. We only have one chicken…a stray…she showed up in the alpaca barn late last fall and has never left. No idea where she came from. With only one chicken many of the sound tracks don’t apply. However, ‘we want treats’ is one I hear every day. Great fun to listen! And I’m learning lots from your site. We’ll be getting more chickens now that we have the alpacas kinda figured out. (emphasis on kinda) Looking forward to reading more, keep up the great work!


Victoria Gazeley December 14, 2013 at 4:01 pm

:) How lovely of you to make a home for the little stray hen! And thank you for the encouragement to write more – I haven’t written much since summer, but just reading all the recent comments on a number of my articles lately has inspired me. Thanks again!


aart May 28, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Very cool, thanks for putting it together, was steered here from BYC


Victoria Gazeley June 12, 2014 at 9:02 pm

You’re welcome! :)


Sandra July 1, 2014 at 4:04 am

I don’t now if it’s me but apart from the two first clips – the rest sound identical – like white noise with a couple of thumps in the background. :/


Victoria Gazeley July 1, 2014 at 11:18 am

Could be your speakers? They are all different, but they were done at a distance just with the iPhone recorder, so not the best quality, for sure.


Laurel July 7, 2014 at 5:30 am

Really enjoyed your recordings of chicken sounds since I’m a new chicken keeper. I want to understand EVERYTHING about my chickens, so listened to them a couple of months ago when most of my flock were teens and just changing from their peep vocalizations. I just listened again to check the egg laying sound. Mine have been practicing it occasionally. Now they begin to do it with meaning. I’m getting a few eggs. In my experience, you have described the hen sounds quite accurately. I don’t have a rooster.

One sound some of my chickens make, which I didn’t see recorded, is a sweet soft kind of peep which says notice me and give me a treat before the other chickens come. They do it at the fence of their run when one of them is separated from the flock and I’m there to poke grass or weeds through the fence. I’ve begun letting them out in the evening for a while before they go to roost. Last night we had dinner out there with the chickens roaming. I had to laugh when they came up to the table making that sound. They were begging.


Victoria Gazeley July 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Thanks so much for your comments! The sound you’re describing is one I haven’t caught yet with the recorder, but thanks for reminding me… :) I get it in the morning when I say good morning to them before opening up the coop. So fun!


Meg July 7, 2014 at 8:54 pm

This is really cool! Thanks for sharing how awesome chickens are… My favorite sound has to be when the rooster calls his girls over when he finds something tasty:) If you are interested, check out the article The Startling Intelligence of The Common Chicken by Scientific American. I thought it was very interesting!


Leanne November 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Before owning chickens I was oblivious to how much communication went on between them. I now enjoy watching my chickens interact…we hand raised a young chick and she would have all these different noises she would make..a bring bring would often indicate a worry or fright. She has since established herself with the older girls…lowest in the pecking order…but they have worked out that she can talk us into giving her treats….Lately though when she is by herself and after food (at or in the back door) she fluffs up and makes a real loud cluck clucking like you see when a clucky hen has just got of the nest …I’m starving in a hurry need to eat..looking so cute all fluffed up. Can’t ever see myself without a chicken as a pet now.


Victoria Gazeley March 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

They ARE quite amazing, aren’t they? Thanks so much for sharing your story… :)


cheryl December 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Thank you for this, I have been telling my friends that my chickens talk to me and they just laugh, I laugh with them, but it is true. I can tell by the sounds they make what they want, they are so much fun. The first time I heard the whole flock make a growling noise, I thought what the heck? but my husband said it’s there danger from the sky sound (like a hawk or owl). Right now, I’m raising a baby chick who lost her whole family. “lucky” talks to me and calls peep, PEEP! like shes calling for her mother, she does this whenever I leave the room. She has really become a pet and quite a character!


Victoria Gazeley March 23, 2015 at 10:44 am

They sure do! And re your ‘Lucky’, how sweet! Our ‘Lucky’ is quite a character as well – must be the name… 😉


Andrea Rea February 2, 2015 at 4:13 am

I love hearing these vocalizations so that I can better comprehend what my chickens are saying!!! Thank you so much for website!
Andrea Rea


Victoria Gazeley March 23, 2015 at 10:35 am

:) Glad it’s helpful. I just wish I had my recorder with me more often – we do get some awfully funny sounds. Yesterday, one of the hens decided to crow with the rooster!


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