Chickens are social creatures that make a wide range of sounds and noises for a variety of reasons. The intensity of the noise, however, varies from individual to individual and also depends on the breed of chicken.
Overall, chickens can be noisy, but not all the time. They mostly make noise when they are either excited or stressed. Roosters are typically considered noisier than hens because they make loud crow noises that disturb many people.
If you want to keep chickens but are concerned about how their noise will affect your neighbors and community, you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading for a comprehensive guide on whether or not chickens are noisy, whether they will bother your neighbors, and why they make noise.
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Chickens are not as noisy as you might think because it all depends on the situation. Sometimes they can be so quiet that you will not even feel their presence while other times they can be extremely noisy.
Generally, chickens only make a lot of noise when they are stressed or excited, among other reasons.
The noise that chickens make is also determined by their personality, as some are less chatty than others.
When it comes to making noise, chicken breeds such as Ancona, Buckeye, Delaware, Japanese Bantam, Leghorn, Minorca, New Hampshire, Andalusian, Rhode Island Red, and a few others are considered noisier than others.
When it comes to noise, roosters are usually the main source of concern because their crows can be quite loud and disturb the peace of most people. A rooster crow is about 90 decibels, which is almost as loud as a dog barking. However, typical hen sounds range between 60 and 70 decibels, which is as loud as a normal human conversation.
Normally, you won’t hear more than a few clutches from hens and a few crows from a rooster in a single day. There is, however, no chicken breed in the world that is completely silent and makes no noise at all.
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Some of the factors that influence the noise level in chickens are as follows:
The younger the chicken, the less loud noises it will make. Chicks make squeaking sounds all day, but they are not as loud as an adult rooster’s crow.
Some chicken breeds are louder than others, resulting in more noise. Ancona, Buckeye, Delaware, Japanese Bantam, Leghorn, Minorca, New Hampshire, Andalusian, Rhode Island Red, and a few others are among these breeds.
Another important factor influencing noise levels in chickens is food. If your chickens are hungry, they will make a lot of noise; however, if they are full and have plenty of food laying around, they will be quiet and prefer to rest.
The presence of predators near the coop causes constant fear and stress in the hens, causing them to become more vocal. I would recommend putting up a fence around the coop so your chickens feel safe, lowering their stress levels and causing them to make less noise.
The living conditions of the chickens also have a significant impact on their vocalization and noise levels. Your chickens will be noisier if they live in a small coop with limited living space.
However, when it comes to chickens, noise is not always a bad thing because if you provide them with plenty of living space and a clean environment, they will still make noise, but the sounds will be gentle and relaxing, indicating that your chickens are happy.
Following are some of the reasons why your chickens make noise:
The primary reason your chickens are making noise is to express their feelings. As previously stated, when chickens are excited or stressed, the first thing they do is make noise. When chickens are in pain or distressed due to the presence of a predator, they will make a variety of sounds.
Chickens are highly social creatures that communicate with one another. For example, when a hen finds food, it clucks to alert its chicks to the location of the food.
Chickens establish a strict social hierarchy in their flock, and they communicate and enforce their status through vocalization. Roosters will crow to assert their dominance over other males, whereas hens will squawk or cackle to defend their position in the pecking order.
When egg-laying hens are about to lay an egg, they make gentle noises.
Chickens can also make noise in response to environmental cues such as temperature changes and the transition from darkness to light and the other way around.
Your chickens may or may not be noisy for the neighbors, depending on how far their property is from your place and how many chickens you might have. If the chicken coop is within a few feet of your neighbor’s property, the chicken noises will certainly bother them.
Since roosters make loud crow noises, they will surely disturb your neighbors unless you live on a large farm with plenty of wide open space. This is also the reason why it is not allowed to keep a rooster in many residential areas.
Your neighbors won’t be disturbed by the noises of your hens until and unless hens invade their property and sit right next to their doors and windows.
I would suggest building your chicken coop as far away from your neighbor’s property as possible and avoiding having a rooster, especially if you live in a residential area.
I would also recommend putting up a fence so your chickens do not stray into your neighbor’s property and make a nuisance of them.
Different countries have different rulings and laws regarding nuisance complaints involving disturbance caused by the noise of chickens. However, residents living in the USA and UK can certainly complain about any nuisance or disturbance which involves chicken noises.
Thus, if you live in the UK or the USA, your neighbor can complain about chickens, including their noise, smell, or the fact that your chickens have invaded their property, and the authorities will take legal action against you.
For instance, in the UK, the Environmental Protection Act of 1990, which deals with public health and nuisance issues, enables a resident to complain about their neighbor’s hens if they are in any way disturbing them.
Many states in the USA have different laws, but for the most part, if your neighbors find your chickens to be a nuisance, they can complain. The city’s Animal Care and Control Department handles nuisance complaints in numerous US states.
Since most hens sleep or roost at night, they are very quiet and peaceful during this time. You won’t hear any loud noises once the chickens have settled down for the night in their coop, however, you could occasionally hear very faint clucks or murmurs.
The only time chickens make noise at night is when something is wrong. For instance, you will hear loud noises if a predator has entered the coop and has caused havoc among the chickens, or if there is a problem with the coop if it is raining and water is seeping, etc. Under normal circumstances, chickens don’t make noise at night.
To keep your chickens from making too much noise, I advise you to implement the following strategies:
- Although you cannot tell your chickens to be quiet, soundproofing your chicken coop is an excellent way to keep the noise of your flock under control. But, make sure to keep ventilation vents open so that chickens don’t suffer from health issues.
- You should only keep as many chickens as you can appropriately care for. Having too many chickens that you can’t properly care for can cause distress and chaos in the coop, which will result in increased noise from the chickens.
- Because hungry hens are the ones who make the most noise, ensure their feeders are always full and that they are well fed.
- Chickens can’t be trained like dogs to be quiet, but there is a strategy you may follow, I only recommend it for pet chickens only if you have one or two.
If you have one or two noisy pet chickens at home, gently spray them with water each time they make a noise, being careful not to get water in their eyes or to spray in the cold.
As chickens dislike being sprayed with water, if you repeat this strategy a few times, they will eventually learn to stop making noise. However, it can’t be done on a large number of chickens.
Although no breed of chicken is completely silent, there are several that are quieter than others and make less noise, such as the following:
- Buff Orpington
- Nankin Bantam
- Plymouth Rock Bantam
You can learn more about the various breeds of chickens in these other articles on the website:
- Why Do We Have Different Breeds Of Chicken? (How to choose?)
- What Are The Most Common Breeds Of Chickens And Their Uses?
- Is Mixing Chicken Breeds Bad? (Pros & cons)
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