What Noise Does a Chicken Make?

Chickens are pretty talkative and social birds. Again, only some of their chirps and clucks sound the same.

Chickens have different sounds with different meanings. For anyone wondering how chickens communicate, it’s easy to find out what your chooks are saying by understanding and interpreting their noises, depending on the context and how the birds sound.

Different Types of Sounds Chicken Make

Chicken make different types of sounds, noises, and calls. The dominant chickens in a flock make the most sounds to communicate with the entire flock.

When raising chickens, it’s essential to understand the different sounds these birds make. These are some of the common sounds chickens make.


Clucking is the most common chicken sound, particularly in hens. Hen mothers usually make the clucking sound to interact with their baby chicks, even before they hatch.

Hens also make clucking sounds when sitting on the eggs to communicate with the hatching chicks.

Clucking is crucial for hens because it helps them communicate with the hatching chicks, making the little birds feel comfortable and safer while hatching from the eggs.

Mother hens make clucking sounds when encouraging their baby chicks to drink or eat. They also make low-pitched clucking sounds to alert their chicks of danger, prompting the little birds to come close to their mothers.

Besides hens, roosters may also cluck to express themselves and communicate with the entire flock. Chickens cluck whenever they want to communicate something to the other flock members.

For instance, chickens cluck when they lay eggs. They also cluck loudly when they feel a predator is too close.


Crowing is a distinct sound from roosters. Male chickens start crowing once they reach maturity. They crow at dawn as a wake-up call. Roosters crow to let all the flock members know it’s time to get out of the cage and start foraging for bugs.

Furthermore, roosters crow to let other roosters know their territories and warn rivals not to get close to their territories. The head rooster, or the dominant rooster, is usually the first to crow when there are other roosters in a flock.

Some roosters crow at night once the chickens retreat to the coop to ensure all the flock members are safe inside.


Chickens make a purring sound when they feel relaxed and calm. Your chickens can also make this sound when you are petting them. Furthermore, some chickens purr when they notice some food lying around.

Purring can be intense when your flock discovers a unique treat. Chicken also purr to communicate contentment and happiness. Hens purr to inform you they are broody.


Chirping is common in chicks, and it helps the little birds communicate and express their feelings.

All your chicks’ chirping sounds may be similar, but there are slight differences in the chirps. Different chirps have different meanings.

For instance, soft chirps mean the chicks are happy and contented. High-pitched chirps could indicate that the little birds are in distress.

Furthermore, high-pitched chirps could signal that the chicks are cold or hungry. Your chicks may chirp loudly if you surprise or scare them. For instance, a chick can chirp loudly if you try to take it away from its mother.

Chicks can also chirp out of excitement. Furthermore, your chicks will produce chirping sounds when they are sick, afraid, or thirsty.

Your baby chicks could be chirping loudly to voice their discomfort, mainly due to temperature changes or external parasites.


Growling is a familiar sound in hens, indicating that they are broody. Hens are hormonal and grumpy when waiting for the chicks to hatch. Such hens will growl loudly, especially if you try to move close to their nests.

Chickens can also growl while attempting to defend themselves. Hens are pretty defensive of their eggs and won’t hesitate to growl when an intruder approaches their eggs or nests.

Broody hens growl the most, one of their ways of letting flock members and intruders know they shouldn’t bother them or their hens. Once a broody hen growls, it shows the hen means business, so it is always best for everyone to keep their distance.

Hens growl after hatching as a way of defending their chicks. Growling will continue until the chicks are old enough to protect themselves.


Squawking is the most common chicken sound, especially among hens. Chickens squawk to communicate different messages.

For instance, hens squawk to interact with their offspring, even before the eggs hatch. Chickens also squawk to communicate important messages between flock members.

The dominant chickens in the flock, or the chicken that occupy the top rank of the pecking order, will squawk to warn the flock of imminent danger.

These chickens will also squawk to inform the flock members when an intruder is coming toward the flock. Chickens will squawk when chatting with each other. Hens will squawk before and after laying.

Roosters also squawk delightfully to let the hens know they have found food. Chickens use a distinct language full of different squawking sounds to communicate with flock members on various issues, including possible danger and food availability.


The high-pitched calling sound that your chickens make can be an alarm cry. When your chickens make a calling sound, they could be warning the flock of a predator lurking near the cage, ready to attack, prompting the birds to take cover.

Hens also make calling sounds when searching for their lost chicks. They will stop calling once the chicks come to their mothers.

On rare incidents, hens make lonely calls to let the roosters know they are around.

Warning Calls

Warning calls are common in roosters responsible for guarding the flock. Roosters will make high-pitched warning calls when they detect a predator, such as a dog, hawk, or cat approaching the flock.

Hens can also make warning calls to warn their chicks of danger. Roosters make warning calls to warn other roosters from a rival flock not to intrude into their territories.


Chickens are thrilling and fascinating birds that never cease to amuse us. They can make all types of noises and sounds to communicate their needs and emotions.

It’s wise to understand the different kinds of sounds your chickens make to help you decipher what they intend to communicate.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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