There are many reasons that you would want to raise a single or a flock of chickens. They don’t urinate, so no nasty smell is included, they are not picky about the food and are happy with any food that the owners give them.
However, there are also just as many reasons that people may skip this idea; and noise is one of them. They think that chickens crow all the time, and they can’t stand the noise. So is it true? Are chickens noisy, loud?
Are chickens noisy, loud?
Chickens don’t usually make a lot of noise, that is if you only keep hens in your flock. Roosters can crow really loudly and often, so much so that there are many rural places banning rooster’s presence.
Hens are not usually noisy
Hens, in general, are quite peaceful and quiet. That doesn’t mean they can crow though. Hens can make some noise when showing their excitement of laying an egg or their fear when there is enough prominent danger lurking around.
With that being said, hens’ noise is pretty minor. They are less noisy than large cats or dogs, and their noise won’t be enough to bother you.
Different chicken breeds will have different levels of noise, but most stay in the comfort zone where humans don’t find them annoying.
The loudest a hen can get is about 60 to 70dB, which is roughly the same as human conversations and way smaller than a dog’s barks of up to more than 90dB. Hens can’t be considered noisy at all.
Further reading: Why do roosters crow at night?
Roosters are noisy… a lot
In contrast to hens, roosters can crow really loudly, at multiple times a day. Their noise is loud enough to disturb the peace and quiet in certain places, so that’s why most residential areas ban roosters.
Similar to hens, a rooster crowing means he is experiencing something dramatic. But it can crow a lot of times a day, so it would be hard to know why it crows in all of those situations. Some crows are cute quirks, others are warning signs.
Why do roosters crow?
Here are some possible reasons why roosters crow:
Responding to the dawn
This reason is only half-true. Many people assume that roosters crow to respond to a day emerging since they observed that roosters crowed a few hours before the sunrise, which roughly matches dawn time.
But, it is because the chicken’s body tells it to do so. It possesses an internal circadian rhythm clock – or just biological clock for more simple meaning – that has a cycle of 23.8 hours, and the rooster will crow at a particular range of time.
The rooster still does crow when there is a light stimulus. But for early morning crows, it is mostly like thanks to the rooster’s biological clock.
This behavior originated from the chicken’s ancestor – the Red Jungle Fowl. It came from many East and South Asian countries like China, East Indies, India, Myanmar, and Thailand.
The Red Jungle Fowl’s main natural habitat is the jungle, which is dense with vegetation. As a result, a chicken’s territory in this jungle would be hard to see by other individuals.
Crowing can solve this problem. The sound will act as an announcement for fowls around the area that this area is “owned” by a rooster with its hens so that other fowls won’t try to touch the area.
In chickens, they will crow back and forth. And with the roosters’ excellent sense of hearing, they will be able to tell if the rival rooster and flock are nearer or further than before. And they can even tell where a noise comes from.
Also, letting others know where they are can reduce the chance of fighting rival roosters. Although roosters are often aggressive, they don’t like fighting that much, since there are risks of defeat, injuries, or worse – death. Injured roosters are easy targets for larger predators.
Crowing at night
The potential reason for crowing at night is that a rooster senses that danger is lurking near the flock, and its crows warn other chickens about it.
Another one is that there is a strong light source around where the chickens perch. And as mentioned above, light exposure can make a rooster crow and it sees the light as something unusual.
Some certain sounds can also make a rooster crow, like a tractor or car sound. These sounds can be considered as a potential danger to the rooster and it will warn others about it like with the light source above.
Crowing after mating
Some roosters are fond of crowing after mating like it has achieved something great.
There are theories showing that morning crowing rituals are the results of morning testosterone surge. And early morning is when the roosters’ crows are heard more often.
It is the rooster’s own preference
Sometimes a rooster will simply crow because it feels like it. Roosters’ personalities are unique and some will like to crow for apparently no reason.
How loud does a rooster crow?
A rooster’s crow is annoying to some people indeed, but it is actually not too loud. It can get as loud as about 90dB, which is roughly the same as a dog bark, and people have no problem enduring a dog bark.
One of the possible reasons that people find rooster crows annoying is that they usually crow in the early morning, which, in the residential area, people would be startled and annoyed a lot.
So, are chickens noisy, loud? Hens are typically pretty quiet and gentle, and their loudest sound won’t be enough to bother people.
However, roosters can crow really loud, and multiple times in a day. And there are many reasons why a rooster crows, including biological clock instinct, stating a territory, and more.