I had never spent time with chickens until I bought four adorable little chicks this time last year. In fact I had only seen chickens up close once, the year before, when I stopped in at Schuh Farms and wandered away from the selling area.
I had always imagined them clucking quietly and peacefully about their day. Most of the time, they do. But when a hen lays an egg, she announces it. Loudly.
That’s Martha, announcing her success. (You can hear Ethel getting caught up in the excitement and clucking, too. That happens. Usually one starts, and then the other three chime in. Dolly and Harriet would have started cackling as well, but they were busy jostling each other in the nest box.)
Pretty loud, right?
Here’s the thing: Martha’s the quiet one.
Of the four of them, Harriet (the red one) is the loudest. Harriet will literally make your ears ring.
And this happens up to four times a day. For about ten minutes per egg.
Some day I hope to borrow some kind of decibel meter. I’m positive that Harriet is at least as loud as a car horn.
Just, you know. Something for potential urban chicken-owners to keep in mind.