Chicken Language: Listen to Common Chicken Vocalizations

April 25, 2018

I’m having so much fun traveling and sharing my new book, How to Speak Chicken. I can’t tell you how many emails, messages, and in-person requests that I have received to create recordings of the chickens’ vocalizations that I share and “translate in my book”. Chickens have their own language, and over the years I have been able to decipher what they are saying. I am excited to share with you my insight into some of the more common phrases. Yes, the vocalizations that you hear in the sound bits below are me. This is my “chicken voice” and how I “speak chicken” with my flock. 


How Chickens Say Hello

This is the first sound that you hear from your flock when they come up to greet you. Listen for “buh-dup” when you are out in the coop. They will use it with you and one another. Think of it as a “Hey”, “What’s up?”, or “How are you doing?”.


Broody Hen Warning

This is the sound you will hear when a broody hen is on her nest and she warns you to stay away from her eggs. Sometimes a hen will peck at you too. Her eggs are her babies. The sound reminds me a bit of a dinosaur yell mixed with a bit of broody growling!  “SCREE-oop-oop-oop”  Take a listen to Storey and I.


Danger/Alert Vocalizations

This is a low growl that goes through the flock during the first sight of a potential predator. This is to let the flock know that something dangerous is potentially nearby. Most hens freeze and try to “see” what the perceived danger is.

After the growling followed by confirmation that the thread is indeed real, the growling is followed by loud and repetitive alert calls with lots of frantic calling out. This sound encourages the flock to seek safety or hide.



Egg on the Way (I Have to Lay an Egg)

Sometimes hens will announce that they are ready to lay an egg. Usually this is the call that a hen will do when her favorite nesting box is already occupied. I like to think of it as her saying to her flock mate, “Hurry up, I’ve got to lay an egg!”


Egg Song Vocalizations

Once a hen lays an egg, she will announce its arrival. “It’s here!” Sometimes she sings alone, or sometimes her flock mates join in to celebrate the egg’s arrival.


Good Night

This recording happened during the middle of a snow storm. It was dark and cold as I went to lock the girls up for the night. The coop was so nice and warm. It was a refuge from the cold winter night. Little did I know, chickens say goodnight. Listen to them purr with contentment and say goodnight with breathy little “doh-doh-doh” as we all say goodnight after they have gone to roost.


Do you understand chicken vocalizations?


I Have a Chicken Name, Do You?

Yes, I do indeed have a chicken name and I bet you have one too! My dear friend, Sy Montgomery, helped me to realize this. You can read the story of how my chickens named me here. Three flocks later, they have all taught one another my name, and it all started with Tilly.


For more on flock emotions, smarts, physiology and chicken psychology please check out my new book, How to Speak Chicken.

If your sound is not working, try using a different browser such as Google Chrome. If you still cannot hear the sounds while viewing the post in Google Chrome, click here for further trouble shooting.


Author/Blogger/Freelancer-Sharing adventures with backyard chickens, beekeeping, gardening, crafting, cooking and more.



35 thoughts on “Chicken Language: Listen to Common Chicken Vocalizations”

  1. Hi Melissa,
    I was trying to listen to your recordings, all but the last one doesn’t work.
    Will you put the on again please.
    Thank you!

  2. Just wanted to let you know that none of the sounds are working on various browsers and devices that I have tried.

    • I’m sorry. I can hear them all on my end, it both where I can edit the post and also what the reader is seeing live. I don’t know how to fix the issue you are experiencing.

  3. My “chicken name” is a sort of “hmmmwuuuuuuuuuuhk?” that sounds like my girls are very suspicious. They even give me these funny little critical glances with their head cocked as if to say, “Where are your treats? I know you have treats somewhere.” when really I almost always don’t. They all run up to greet me when I step into the yard, making hilarious stampeding noises on our hollow deck. I love my girls. 🙂

  4. Hi! I unfortunately can not hear any of the recordings from
    “Chicken Language:
    Listen to Common Chicken Vocalizations”

    If possible, I would appreciate if you could email them to me?
    My email is
    I own a copy and have read
    “How to Speak Chicken”.
    Good information but difficult to completely interpret without recording the noise.
    Thank you so much!
    Carol Kester

  5. After Much searching you are the only one who actually has Sounds!
    If you have uploaded to YouTube could I get the link?
    We’ve got a mixed flock ranging in age from a month or so to 11 months. 3 known roosters (7 month old Brahma who we bought (1) because he’s beautiful and was/is sweet (2) to make our 3 month old Sebright stop being so mean to the original 8 (TSC chick days, 3 different crews) alas I’m rambling, sorry.

  6. Thanks for this beautiful article, I enjoyed reading and listening, this combination is new to me and I love it. I have only 1 problem, the 4th last audio didn’t work is it possible for you to send it? Please send it when you find time, thanks

  7. Hello! Did you post the YouTube link? I have tried Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Sound doesn’t work on any of them. Thank you!

  8. Thank you so much that was really enlightening. We love our chickens. They have become pets very quickly. Now we know how they communicate and what they’re saying! Now if I could only mimic them.

  9. Someone said growling is the rooster warning the hens of a predator. When my rooster does it, it’s because he’s ticked with me, and is about to pull a ninja move . Meh. I like him because he’s TOUGH, and good against predators. Even humans.

    • He perhaps is leary of you as a potential threat. I have had a couple of roosters that were not too friendly with humans. The hens do the growling as well. I”m glad you have him and he is tough!

  10. I have 6 chickens and Im 10 my name is Gwen what is that in chicken? My 6 chickens names are Pango, Browny,Shadow, Boat snake ,Flame ,and Chuck what are they names? The Chicken love Gwen!

    • I’m not sure what you name is because, your chickens have named you and I don’t know them. Listen closely for a sound they make when they see you. Or when you are across the yard and they call to you. You might be able to figure out what your name is. As for what the chickens have named one another, only they know. That will take a keen ear to decipher but pay close attention and you may find out some answers.


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.