How Much Noise Do Hens Make? The Egg Song

Why a hen sings after laying an egg and what the Egg Song sounds like. It will be music to your ears when you get your first chickens.

Why a hen sings after laying an egg and what the Egg Song sounds like. It will be music to your ears when you get your first chickens.

We hear about noisy roosters all the time. You Google rooster and the first six pages of results will be about silencing roosters, irritating neighbors, muffling the sound of a rooster and so on. Yes, roosters crow, but are they really the loud ones?

My hens have various calls they do throughout the day. We have a Look at the worm I found… No you can’t have it! call. We have a She’s coming with the treat bucket!!! warrior-style call. Mostly, we have the Egg Song. Some hens relish in this particular call more than others.

Singing Hens

If you haven’t heard the egg song come from your chickens yet, it’s a bak-bak-baaaaak sort of melody. Most hens will do a line or two as they vacate the nest after laying their egg. I have one hen that doesn’t sing after laying an egg. She merely pops out of the nest quietly and continues on her merry way. Unfortunately, I have two leghorns that are happy to make up for her lack of singing. These ladies have lungs! They will sing not one or two lines, but repeatedly for over half and hour.

Watch the Video

Here is a quick video of Betsy (a leghorn) singing:

My Ameraucana is 2½ years old and lays an egg on rare occasions. You can hear the pride in her voice when she sings. The most awesome part, however, is that all the other hens in the yard stop what they are doing and sing along with her. She is the only one they do that with. I am sure I’ve built it up in my head, but I tell myself they revere the elderly member of the flock. Sort of a ceremonial thing. That, or it’s a bunch of ladies on Girls Night Out going Oh, you still got it girlfriend.

And don’t get me started on the ducks. I can hear the girls from inside the house and the drake sounds like an asthmatic old man.

The Reason for an Egg Song

There are two reasons why an hen might sing after laying an egg. The first reason is that she is celebrating and announcing it to the rest of the flock. The second reason might be that she is trying to locate the rest of the flock that she’s lost sight of. Either way, it’s a sound you will look forward to hearing as you wait for that very first egg.

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Why a hen sings after laying an egg and what the Egg Song sounds like. It will be music to your ears when you get your first chickens.

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  1. Thanks for a great article! I have very free range chickens and have a couple that lay in the nesting boxes, but due to bad might infestation the others haven’t been back to lay in them so now they hide the eggs all over the place. Did the usual forum search on hints and tips to find the danged nests and of course they said to follow the egg song, I had tried this before. The thing with our chickens is that they walk a fair way away, from the spot they laid, before letting the whole world know that they have laid. Cheaky blighters but I have found various nests every couple of weeks, but they just move on. Welcome to the adventure of owning free range chickens on 5 acres with pockets of bush. 😀 Love my Orpingtons and my Bantam Marans!

    1. Jessica Lane says:

      Those are two of my favorite breeds!

  2. Yikes! I’m not sure which song your hen in the video is singing, but it’s very quiet here right now (midnight), and when I played the video my chicken guardian dog went into a panicked hysteria. She was so convinced that her flock was in trouble I just had to let her out to do a ‘welfare check’ on them. LOL. I’m glad to see though, her devotion and how seriously she takes her job 🙂

    1. Jessica Lane says:

      LOL, I should add a caution “do not play with a livestock guardian nearby.”

  3. Alicia from Walking Softly Upon the Earth says:

    Oh. Sigh. This is what worries me. I am not allowed to have chickens by stupid HOA rule. Seeing as we own the lot next to us and are surrounded by woods and only have one neighbor closeby (across the street), I’ve been trying to convince my husband that we might get away with 3 or 4 hens “hidden” in the backyard. I doubt anyone would tell if they heard them, so my only real concern is neighborhood security driving by at the wrong time and hearing them. I’ve never heard the chickens at the farm we get our eggs from, but I guess it’s luck of the draw as to if they are quiet or loud, huh? :/

    1. Hi Alicia,

      Don’t forget, they only “sing” when they are laying eggs. That is the one you really hear. There are certainly cackles throughout the day, but only three or four wont cause too much notice. Although every hen is different, there are a few breeds that are known for being on the quieter side. I suggest you check out Brahmas, Australorps and Faverolles to see if they might be good breeds for you. If you are only aiming to feed your family, bantams might be a good option as well. Bantam roosters tend to be louder than large fowl roosters, but the bantam hens tend to be quieter than large fowl. Don’t give up hope yet. I’m a rule breaker myself 😉

      1. Also, since the eggs are laid in the coop, you may want to insulate your coop to reduce any noise the lovely ladies make. In a small coop for 3-4 hens, it wouldn’t be much of an investment for the peace of mind.

        1. Alicia from Walking Softly Upon the Earth says:

          Thank you! 🙂 I think it’s ridiculous that I need to be a rebel to keep a couple of chickens on my property, but I have a problem with people setting rules which keep families from being more self sufficient and leading more natural, healthy lifestyles. Thanks for the recommendations!! I’m still working on the husband. I’ll get there eventually. 🙂

          1. I am with you there. I’m a rebel with a cause. I wasn’t suppose to have a produce garden in in the first 25′ of my property. I’ve got one currently growing corn, zucchini, pole beans and pumpkins. I wasn’t suppose to have more than 8 chickens. I’ve got 13. I’m not suppose to have roosters. I’ve got two.

            Sadly these rules are in place due to irresponsible people. I think if you are responsible and respectful, you can make it work. I am a firm believer of live and let live. If what I’m doing doesn’t negatively affect what you’re doing, leave me be.