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LH 129: Understanding the Behavior of Backyard Chickens

How to Better Understand Your Backyard Chickens

If we understand the behaviors and mannerisms of our pets, we can have a better relationship with them.

And so it is with chickens! Everything they do (and say) has meaning.

In this week’s episode, I invite author Melissa Caughey to teach us a thing or two about our chickens and their personalities.

You will learn:

  • That chickens are smarter than we realize
  • How they communicate without sounds
  • The main factor that determines pecking order
  • The role of the sentinel in your flock
  • Why your hens all cackle at once
  • The sound they make as greeting
  • Why chickens might growl and why
  • And other interesting facts about our feathered friends

Melissa Caughey:

Chicken Behavior in Backyard Flocks with Melissa Caughey at LivingHomegrown.comMelissa Caughey is a nurse practitioner, backyard chicken keeper, beekeeper, Master Gardener, crafter and cook. She proudly contributes to HGTV, DIY Network, Angie’s List, Grit Magazine, Community Chickens and Keeping Backyard Bees. She travels the country presenting on chicken keeping, bee keeping, gardening and crafting at the Country Living Magazine Fairs and the Mother Earth News Fairs.

Her first book, A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, and her website have won multiple awards including The Blue Ribbon Blogger Award from Country Living Magazine, Top 10 Gardening Blogs by Better Homes and Gardens Magazine in 2014 and 2016.

A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens has won the 2016 Learning Magazine Teacher’s Choice Award and the 2016 American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) /Subaru Science Book &Film–Prize for Excellence in Science Books. Her second book, How to Speak Chicken, was recently released. She currently calls Cape Cod, MA home, where she lives with her husband, two children and a menagerie of animals.


Resources & Links Mentioned:

Tilly’s Nest – Melissa’s website

How to Speak Chicken * – Melissa’s book

A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens * – Melissa’s first book


Other Related Episodes You Might Like:

Podcast 84: Raising Backyard Ducks

Podcast 76: Becoming a Backyard Organic Egg Farmer

Podcast 32: Chickens & Your Garden



Click here for the full transcript for Episode #129

*denotes an affiliate link

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.