Fowl Personality

Discover the uniqueness of chickens and telling signs for keeping your poultry happy.

  • Chicks make a pleasant sound that says they feel safe and warm.
    Photo courtesy Storey Publishing
  • A defensive and mistrustful hen puffs out her feathers, growls, and may peck.
    Photo courtesy Storey Publishing
  • Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow.
    Photo courtesy Storey Publishing

You can purchase this book in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens

All chicken breeds and varieties originated with ancient jungle fowl. In many ways modern chickens are still much like their ancestors, having retained some of their natural instincts, such as scratching the ground for food — something you’ll see chicks doing when they’re only a few hours old. In other ways they differ; some of today’s modern breeds no longer have the instinct to make a nest and hide their eggs and incubate them for 21 days until chicks appear. But chickens are like people — no two are exactly alike, and as soon as you make a statement about what all chickens do or don’t do, one comes along to prove you wrong.

Still, as soon as you get your chickens home, you will begin to notice certain distinctive characteristics that may surprise you.

Each chicken has a unique personality. Even if all your chickens are of a single breed and look nearly identical, you will easily be able to tell them apart by their individual personalities.

Your chickens communicate with each other, and with you, using sounds that convey specific meanings. Before long you’ll become adept at “talking chicken” yourself.

Each individual bird has a unique tone of voice — even with your eyes closed, you can tell precisely which one is making the sounds you hear. And, just like people, you’ll recognize that some chickens are more chatty than others.



Fall 2021!

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