Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Secret Life of Chickens

Nettie is only three days from her official due date and she’s just started bagging up.  The past two years her bag was sooooo full a week before kidding that I thought it was going to explode.  Her ligaments have been here-today-gone-tomorrow the past week; they are “gone” in the mornings, but “back again” in the evenings.  She’s also still carrying her belly kind of low.  Hope everything is ok.  Guess I’m just being a worry wart.  
I’ve got the kidding pen all cleaned out and my birthing kit has been replenished and ready to go.  Paul ran the electricity out to the barn yesterday (hillbilly style via long electric cord) so I put the lights and goat (baby) monitor out there this evening.  I wasn’t going to lock Nettie in the kidding pen yet, but last night the wind was blowing & it was in the lower 30’s, so I ended up waking up a little past midnight, went out to check on her & put her in the stall.  She’s been hanging out underneath the barn & I although I don’t expect her to kid for several days, I don’t want to have to crawl under there if she does go into labor early. 
I put the monitor in the barn in the kidding pen and plugged it in this evening.  Even though I didn’t put Nettie in the pen, I’d be able to hear her if she were yelling from labor pains.  The barn houses both the goats and chickens; goats on one side, chickens on the other.  When I got in after putting the chickens away for the night I turned on the handset for the monitor. 
For some reason, I had thought that once it got dark and I shut the chicken coop door, everyone would just sit on the roosts, fluffed up with their heads tucked beneath their wings and sleep silently through the night.  Last year we had it on for two, maybe three evenings after dark and all night long we heard the low, but quite audible cluck-cluck-clucking of the chickens.  Every once in a while there’d be a buc-KAAW! But mostly just cluck-clucking.  Tonight was no different.  It’s like they’re a bunch of kids staying awake after bedtime & trying not to make too much noise so Mom & Dad don’t yell at them.  Cluck, cluck, cluck.   Flapping of feathers.  Quick, high-pitched buc-caaawww because somebody got too close to a crabby hen.  Cluck, cluck….scratch, scratch.  Cluck. 


  1. I have had the baby monitor on for a month now and still not use to all the nightly noises. The guard dogs, geese, ducks, chickens, and goats. Even hear the new baby goats making soft noises in their sleep. The only problem is a couple of the goats seem to know what the monitor is and will stand under it early in the morning and scream for their breakfast. LOL

  2. You taught me something....I didn't know chickens made any noise at night either.

    Goats: I know nothing about them.

  3. Peggy, I hope my goats don't catch on to that! They are plenty loud withOUT the monitor. Room service....Naaaaaaaa!

    gld, If I were a betting lady, I would have lost that one. Who would have thought chickens "talk" in their sleep.