Only Roosters Are Noisy?

Myth…and unfair to roos. Our New Hampshire/Brown Leghorn rooster, Fache, crows periodically throughout the day, usually to call the hens back. He’s not the noisy one, though – a few of the hens make him look quiet and restrained.

One loudmouth is Rosie, an Australorp. She’s bossy and quick to start complaining, loudly, if another hen is in the nest box she wants. And she goes on and on. Not only is she loud, but the squawking is in a register that’s pretty unpleasant, and she seems to build to a crescendo. Rosie’s vocalizations probably wouldn’t be appreciated in a more suburban “backyard chicken” setting, even though she’s a hen and can’t crow.

Today’s drama was related to another hen being happily settled in the nest box Rosie apparently wanted. It’s “first come, first served” for the 7 nest boxes (plenty for all), but hens can be adamant about getting “their” nest box to lay in – we’ve seen hens get into a nest box already occupied by another hen or stand in front of the chosen box and just stare at the occupant. Getting the chosen nest box is serious business. It doesn’t matter that there are 6 others available that look exactly the same.

Despite the racket, the New Hampshire Red hen who was in the nest box Rosie coveted just ignored Rosie and went about with her egg laying. Did Rosie wait her turn for box #4 or did she lay in another, less favored, box? Apparently, she decided another nest box (#6) would work for today, since only the New Hampshire’s egg was in #4. The drama will undoubtedly resume on another day…