Why Are Chickens Clucking After Laying an Egg?
There is a behavior that chicken farmers observe after keeping chicken for a while, especially egg-laying chicken. This is the squawk that accompanies the egg-laying exercise. It is a ritual that stuns most new farmers, making them concerned for the safety of their flock.
Some have even gone as far as wondering whether their hens were in pain after laying an egg. That has never been the case.
The squawk that hens do after they lay their eggs is called the “egg song”. This is common in most chicken breeds and serves many purposes. As chickens were once wild birds, they still keep some of their survival instincts, even after years of domestication.
This is what the chicken song is, a characteristic that was adapted to keep them and their nests safe in the wild. There are many reasons why chickens cluck after they lay eggs. We will explore some of them in this article and hope to pass on some valuable insights to some new farmers.
3 Reasons Chickens Cluck After Laying
Here are three main reasons why your chickens will cluck after laying an egg.
– Distracting Predators from the Nest
If you are keen enough, you realize that most chickens perform the egg song some distance away from the coop. This is done as a tactic to distract the predators from the true location of their nests.
As chickens are flightless birds that lay their eggs on the ground, they needed to distract things like snakes from finding out the location of their nests while they lived in the wild. This trait has remained with them even after their domestication.
The egg song in most cases is usually performed at the opposite end of the yard from where the egg laying has taken place and this serves to throw off the predators and keep them searching for the nest in a completely different location than where the nest is located.
– Communicating the Fact to The Flock
Clucking is a way that chickens communicate and share their thoughts. One of the reasons why hens perform the chicken song is to alert the other members of the clock that there is a new egg in the coop. This helps the other hens know that should they encounter a strange egg in the coop, it is from one of their flock mates.
It is also a good way to tell other chickens to keep an eye on the coop in case of danger or predators are lurking in search of the eggs. This helps to keep the flock alert so that they may spring into action to protect the eggs should the need arise.
– Signal to the Rooster for Mating
Once a chicken has laid an egg, it is ready to start the process all over again. If you have a rooster in your flock, this clucking will usually be directed at it. It is usually a signal to the rooster that the hen has completed the egg laying and will soon be ready to go again.
If you observe keenly, then you will see that some roosters respond with a cluck or a little dance ritual. This is a signal of congratulations and encouragement from the rooster. This helps to acknowledge the efforts of the hen. It also helps to put the hen back on the radar of the rooster for further mating ventures.
Do All Chickens Squawk After Laying an Egg?
This is a question that I get often from both new and seasoned chicken farmers. The answer is no. Not all breeds of chicken squawk after they lay an egg. The level of noise from the squawking also varies from one breed of chicken to the next.
The squawking phenomena usually come down to the specific chickens. Some are loud about it, especially after they lay their egg. Others are more subtle about it and don’t produce as much noise. While some are silent before and after they lay their eggs.
There are those breeds that are silent and those that are quite noisy. Some breeds will do the egg song in a very subtle undertone that you will not even realize, while others will put on a whole 5-minute rock concert in your backyard and get everyone riled up.
If noise is a concern for you or your neighbors, then it is always advisable to steer clear of Cornish hens, Polish hens, and faster eggers. You can instead opt for the Rhode Island Red breed of chicken as well as the Boff Orpington or go for the Bantam breed of chicken.
While they are not guaranteed to be silent, they are the least noisy before and after laying their eggs. This should keep you out of trouble with the homeowner’s association.
Why do Rooster Cluck After a Hen Lays Egg?
There are times when a rooster clucks, just before the hen lays an egg. This usually happens for many reasons. The first is to inform the hens that the coop is safe for them to lay their egg in.
The roster will usually scout out the coop before the hen lays the egg once it hears that a hen is ready for the process. This is done to ensure that the coop is safe from predators and any sort of interference.
Another reason that the roosters will cluck is to guide the new hens to the location of the coop where the others lay their eggs. During the first one or two egg laying sessions, a rooster will guide a new hen to the location of the coop where the others lay their eggs to ensure that the eggs are laid in a location that is safe and easy to access later on.
The last reason the rooster clucks before a hen lays an egg is to encourage it to go forward. It is just a way to boost the morale of the hen before it goes forth to reproduce and increase the size of the flock.
Some rooster breeds are very supportive of their mates and this usually drives them to drop some songs of encouragement before the hens seclude themselves for egg laying. Do not be confused when your rooster clucks and the hen lays an egg. It is a good sign that the rooster is doing its job and looking after the chickens under its care.
Do Chickens Cluck Before Laying Egg?
Yes, some chickens cluck for a short while before they lay their eggs. This is done for a very simple reason, to request space and privacy in the shared coop. Every once in a while, especially if you have a flock sharing the same coop, you will notice a buck-buck-buck just before one of them goes in to lay an egg.
This is done to inform the other hens that she is ready to use the common laying area to lay her egg. Some hens don’t mind sharing the space and others that do. The cluck signals to the others that it is her turn on the common laying area. If there is a hen just languishing in the shared space, this is usually the signal to haul out and leave room for those with serious business.
I hope that you now have a better understanding of what the egg song is and what it is done for. However, most of these are only theories. Nobody can speak chicken and as such, the true meaning behind the egg song may never be fully uncovered.
This may seem like something annoying to new farmers but it is essential to the egg laying process and it is essential to the survival of your entire flock. It also could be used as a signal for you to go and collect your egg. Learn to enjoy the chicken song and you will be more in touch with your hens and roosters.