Do you hear what I hear? All About the Hearing of Chickens


Chickens hear as well as people. They have two ears - one on each side of the head, membranes, outer, middle and inner ear, like ours. They are able to capture sound waves and transmit them to the inner ear.

Ears in chickens are practically invisible, as they are covered with feathers. However, the lobes of the ears are usually well distinguishable. It is a myth that the color of the ear lobules in the hens can determine the color of the eggs, although often, indeed, chickens with white lobes carry white eggs, and with reddish-brown - brown. Nevertheless, in the chickens of the Ameraucan breed, carrying blue eggs, the lobes of the ears are not at all that color!

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Unlike people who tend to deteriorate with age, the chickens are able to repair damaged hearing cells, so their hearing remains good throughout life. For chickens, this is vitally important, since they are on a low stage of the food chain, and any signal about the approach of a predator is crucial for the bird. It's true that chickens can see how far the source of sound is, judging how long this sound has reached their ears.

Chickens, while still in the egg, are able to hear the cackling hen hen. The embryo begins to pick up sounds around the 12th day of the incubation period. Hardly hatching, the chicken already reacts to the sounds that the chicken makes, searching for seeds or bugs in the ground. And if you tap your finger near the feed, the chick from the brood will hurry to explore this place.

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Based on my personal experience, I found that the chickens do not care about loud noises. They are not even afraid of fireworks. And when I built a chicken coop a few years ago using an electric tool, they did not even blink an eye. But a piece of canvas that flaps from the wind above their heads makes them panic. My theory is that loud sounds do not cause chicken associations with danger, but the sounds of a clapping tarp resemble the flapping of the wings of a hawk, an owl or an eagle.

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It seems that the chickens like to listen to classical music. The results of the research have prompted some commercial farms to include classic works in the chicken coops. They believe that this calms the dominant hens in the pack, and therefore the number of behavioral problems decreases. In addition, such music beneficially affects the number (and size) of eggs in laying hens. So cut Mozart and get ready for collecting eggs!

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