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 🙂
My dogs are quite eager for us to get chickens (*evil glint in their eyes*) but our zoning does not allow it. We have parrots, though, which do not lay eggs. They scream, though, which can be heard outside the house and down the street. The up side is that their poop doesn’t stink and they have a truce with the dogs. Just to be sure the dogs fear and respect him, the alpha bird nips their tail when they aren’t looking (fear factor) and feeds them food from the dinner table or that we’ve given him whenever he can get a chance. He’ll sit on my shoulder, eat half of what I give them, and drop the remainder to the dogs. He’s pretty smart when you think about it. The bird way of thinking is different, but they are pretty smart.
Oh my goodness! LOL I bet the dogs cut a clear path around the parrots! I sure would. I don’t want my tail nipped. – The parrot across the street is quite vocal. I think it’s an African Gray. He learned some new words this summer while their teenage son is off from college. “Yes Sir, Mr. Ass-H _ _ _! My My… I wonder what my birds would say, if they could repeat what I say? LOL
Parrots take quite a bit of attention! You have more than one? Wow!
My Senegal “Baby” was quite demanding, hated my kids and would bite anyone who got close to her. Except me… (grin).
All Pets make noise of some sort, don’t they? LOL Oh well….