Chickens are fascinating birds. And one question that’s commonly asked is whether or not chickens have ears. This is likely because, unlike humans and many mammals, the ears aren’t clearly visible. That begs the question – Do chickens have ears, and if so, how well is their hearing?
Chickens have two ears, one on each side of their head. They have an eardrum, outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. However, they do not have external flaps. Instead, their ears are protected with a layer of delicate feathers that do not infringe on their hearing abilities.
If you’ve ever been curious about chicken ears and hearing, this article will help. Below, you will discover an immense amount of information regarding chicken ears and how well they hear, including some amazing facts you might not have known before.
Just like humans and other mammals, chickens have two ears – one ear on each side of the head. The main structure of the ear is precisely the same as humans and mammals – with an eardrum, outer inner, middle ear, and inner ear.
One of the most significant differences between “regular” ears and chicken ears is that chicken ears do not have an external flap. Instead, the ears are protected with a layer of delicate feathers that do not hinder the chicken’s ability to hear correctly.
In fact, the chicken is known to have pretty impressive hearing that will not deteriorate with age – which is a common problem for humans and some mammals. That’s because chickens can regenerate hair cells located inside the cochlea or inner ear.
With this ability, a chicken will continue to have 100% hearing from the moment they start to hear things (around day 12) to old age.
Covered in a layer of feathers, it can be easy to assume that chickens might not hear that great. But the fact of the matter is, chickens can hear impeccably well – and it’s essential, considering they’re low on the food chain.
Good hearing is essential to a chicken’s well-being. That said, a chicken is built with a pair of ears that can tell the direction a sound is coming from. They can also indicate how far away the sound is, ensuring they can make a clean break before the predator arrives.
The nerves of the chicken’s feet work hand-in-hand (or ear and foot) to protect the chicken from potential downfall. The feet contain sensory nerves that feel vibrations in the ground, allowing the chicken to escape in a timely fashion.
Here’s a video showing you where the chicken ear is and what it looks like, with more info below:
Although you can’t see them without maneuvering the head feathers around, the chicken has two ears – like humans and most mammals. The ears are placed on either side of the head. Yet, there are no external flaps, so the ears must be covered with a layer of feathers for protection.
It can be challenging to understand what chicken ears look like, especially because they are not clearly visible and don’t come with external flaps like other mammals.
The best way to know what a chicken’s ears look like is to go hunting for them. Start by looking at the side of the chicken’s head. The earlobe is located behind the eye and above the wattle. It appears as a small patch of skin that may vary in color from white to red to brown. Right above the earlobe is the ear.
Needless to say, a chicken’s hearing is critical to its livelihood. But what is the actual range of a chicken’s hearing?
Interestingly enough, a chicken has much better low-frequency hearing compared to adults (source: utoledo.edu).
They can hear sounds down to the 10-12,000 Hz range, while humans can’t divulge below the 20,000 Hz range. That said, a chicken can hear sounds a human cannot.
There is a popular myth that the color of a chicken’s earlobe coincides with the shade of its eggs. And while this is primarily true, it’s not entirely accurate.
For example, the majority of chickens with white earlobes correspondingly lay white eggs. However, the Penedescencas and Empordanesas – both of which have white earlobes – layer dark brown eggs.
The myth is also dispelled for Easter Eggs, Araucanas, and Ameraucanas. These breeds have red earlobes, but their eggs come out a thrilling blue or green shade.
With that in mind, you can’t rely entirely on the earlobe color to determine egg shade – although it can be a guide for the bulk of chicken breeds and varieties.
Any beloved chicken owner will be happy to know that their chickens have ears. After all, you talk to your dog and cat all the time – why should it be any different for your chicken?
If you’re looking for an egg-straordinary chat with your flock, you should conversate with them. Will they know exactly what you’re saying?
Likely not. Yet, chickens are vocal by nature and enjoy a good conversation. If you talk to them by name, they will begin to learn their name and respond when given a chance.
Talking to your chickens will develop a bond between the two of you. It’s even good for their brain development. So, go ahead and give it a try. Whether you’re chatting it up with the flock, singing a song, or even crowing back at the herd, your chickens – and yourself – will enjoy every second of it.
Although a chicken’s ears don’t look like a standard pair of ears, they’re there – and they’re hidden behind a layer of feathers for protection.
Regardless of being hidden behind feathers, a chicken has impeccable hearing and can hear low-frequency noises. With the help of the nerves in their feet, chickens can hear noises at far distances to help them hurry off before predators arrive.