I fancy waking up and hearing the Cardinals or other song birds singing in my window… My reality? I wake up to hearing loud decibel yelling of a hen announcing the arrival of her newly laid egg.
Did your Mom yell for you while you were outside playing at a friend’s house? Mine did. It was a great bellowing banshee type yell that God and every existing person in the neighborhood could hear. Yea, so do chickens. I was not quite ready for that with hens. Yes, I knew roosters crowed a good bit, and quite persistently so, which is why I elected to omit roosters from my flock of birds.
This sound is not lightly taken, really. You might assume that it’s a nice easy to get-use-to cackle. Oh, let me assure you; this sound will jar your nerves. The announcing of an egg arrival will last quite a while. Twenty and maybe Thirty minutes. Now, multiply that by 5 or 6 hens all doing the same announcement at the same time.
After all the hens have laid eggs for my day, I’ve heard that song maybe 10-15 times just for egg arrivals.
Then, they make that same sound when they have been forced off a nest by another stingy hen who wants her nest. Ah! Add another Twenty times… No, maybe more…
Hey, take a listen to this Youtube video from a fellow chicken lover, of a hen doing what hens do. This is just one bird. Hen NOISE!
They also make a broody hen noise when they decide it’s time to have babies and sit on a nest for days and days… Broody Hen Noise!
I’m typing all this so you can determine if you have a neighborhood which would support this racket. The Noise Factor. Most people never consider the Noise. Heck, I didn’t even consider the noise. Well, lets just say, I did underestimate it.
Also, while outlining my Chicken Keeping plans, I might have undervalued the noise while deciding the placement of the chicken yard. I thought it would be a nifty idea to put the chicken pen near the house (shaking head). Not a great idea. It has worked, but really it should have been in a different spot. I mean we do have a quarter of an acre in the back, which would have done just fine. Fear of their demise from outlying neighborhood dogs prompted me to keep it close. That way I could hear if there were danger or threat to the hens. Well, I succeeded that Just fine…
The down sides to this arrangement, is the noise and the occasional flooding to the lower quarter of the chicken yard. Oh man, does chicken-shit stink when wet, mixed with a bit of left over feed. Yes, “Stink” is an understatement. It will gag-a-maggot. I have a strong whiffer constitution and can stand most noxious, odoriferous emissions.
If you have a situation where you can manicure your chicken yard and hen-house, and roof the whole bit, God Bless you. I do not. I keep it clean as I possibly can, yes. Even that is a daunting task. If you read my blog you know how hard it is.
Our hens yard is Fifty feet long and Twenty feet wide. I’d say 1000 sf. is a lot of space to manage for one person with this many birds. However, I do dream of whitewashed board fences and a lovely cottage type hen-house… Those, get shit on too, By-The-Way.
If you do still decide you want hens, maybe just get a very few? Another suggestion, is go babysit for another who has hens. Getting your feet wet (pun intended) is a good way of finding out if you really want to do this.
The Chicken Mom 🙂