Chickens are like humans, they have feelings as well. Knowing that your chickens are happy will also make us happy as owners. When chickens are happy, they are less likely to become ill. Also, egg-laying hens that are happy will lay large and great-tasting eggs. As a chicken owner, how can you tell whether they are happy or not?
I have written this article to show you 10 important indicators that your chickens are happy in their daily life and are acting as you would anticipate.
1. They Make Satisfying Noises
Chickens communicate with each other via a variety of sounds, which are frequently indicative of how they’re feeling at the moment.
Chickens make soft clucking and purring sounds as they go about their business when they are happy and satisfied.
When a chicken is disturbed or scared, its noises tend to get louder.
You may be able to hear your birds softly purring if you sit with them when they’re sunbathing or preening. It’s not a sound you’ll hear very frequently unless you pay close attention to them. If they are, it’s a sure indication of a happy chicken.
2. Chickens Are Foraging For Food
When a chicken is grazing and scratching for natural food like insects, worms, bugs, and seeds, it is at its happiest.
When a chicken is given the freedom to graze and free-range, it is acting normally, and this is a sign of happiness and contentment.
The majority of chickens tend to spend most of their days foraging for food. They’ll take a quick nap throughout the day, but once they awake, they’ll start looking for food again.
If chickens are not allowed to free-range, they grow bored and irritated because they want the freedom to do what they want.
3. They Take Pleasure in Sunbathing
Chickens like sunbathing and will take advantage of any warmth in the sun on a bright sunny day. This is particularly true if you live somewhere where winters are harsh and lengthy. They will try to find a spot in the dirt somewhere to sunbathe.
Chickens are happiest when the temperature is warm because, although they can cope with cold and rainy weather, they do not like it.
When the sun is shining, hens will make the most of their time by resting, mingling, and cleaning their feathers while sunbathing.
In cold, rainy weather, all of these tasks become more difficult. Most chicken owners will have a shelter over some part of the dirt or grass for them to clean themselves.
4. Chickens Are Dust Bathing
Dust bathing is a cleaning method used by chickens to eliminate parasites and dirt from their feathers.
When the sun is shining and the dirt or soil is dry enough to do an excellent job of exfoliating and washing their bodies, they will dust bathe.
Dust bathing is a sign of happiness in a chicken since it is exhibiting a natural behavior that they usually perform in a small social group.
It’s also common to hear chickens making happy sounds when dust bathing.
5. They Are Relaxing
Chickens will frequently take a break from foraging in the afternoon to sit and sunbathe, mingle, and preen.
On a hot day, they may even shut their eyes for a little sleep in a location where they feel secure. Chickens tend to take naps close to each other to keep themselves safe from predators and other dangers.
A happy chicken that does not feel frightened or disturbed will be calm and satisfied.
6. They Are Preening Their Feathers
Preening is another example of natural chicken behavior that shows they’re satisfied and happy.
Chickens typically come to a halt to preen their feathers with their beaks in order to reshape them and remove any dirt.
As the flock relaxes and takes a break from grazing, preening is usually done as a social activity. Preening in the sun is very enjoyable for chickens, and they will combine it with dust bathing.
7. They Are Socializing
Most hens are sociable animals that like to spend their days in small groups.
Chickens will produce pleasing noises and even perform some mutual preening when they are calm and happy with each other socially.
Tensions within a flock may produce anxious and unhappy birds at the bottom of the pecking order. Individual birds often establish smaller social groups within the flock, and in other instances, they just prefer to be alone.
8. They Are Acting Normally When It Comes to Eating
Normal feeding habit is another excellent indicator that a chicken is happy and healthy. If they are ill or unhappy, chickens are known to reduce their eating or stop eating their food.
Chickens love to eat since one of their favorite activity is foraging for food. They will spend most of their days scratching and grazing the ground for delicious bits of food.
In addition to grazing, chickens should be fed when they first come out from the coop in the morning. Then again during the day and in the evening, depending on your feeding schedule.
9. Hens Acting Normal When It Comes To Laying Eggs
A regular laying pattern indicates that a chicken is happy. They are following a schedule, and that they are at ease laying on the nest.
When a chicken is worried or upset about anything, it will stop laying for a while until the situation is resolved.
Because all of these factors may contribute to a pause in laying, it’s not always simple to detect whether there’s a problem when a bird grows older, goes through a molt, or when the weather is poor.
So, although it’s not necessarily an indication that a chicken is unhappy, it’s a good idea to double-check that there isn’t an underlying issue that may be creating the problem.
10. Chickens Are Interacting With You
If you raise chickens, you’re undoubtedly aware that they love being near people and interacting.
This is one of the things that people find most shocking about chickens since it’s easy to think of them as dumb animals that simply forage for food all day.
When a happy chicken sees you, it will rush up to you and make gentle, pleasing noises.
Chickens may chase you, and this can be a good thing or a bad thing. More than likely, you may have food in your hand, or they know you’re coming to feed them.
Of course, each bird is unique, and some will be more sociable than others, but spending time with your flock may help them grow happier and more comfortable in your presence.
So, if your flock exhibits all or most of these behaviors, it indicates your birds are happy and enjoying their lives as they should.
If you don’t observe your chickens performing all of these activities every day, don’t be too concerned. It’s natural for them to get depressed from time to time, like when it’s chilly outside or when they’re molting.