Acoustic Signals in Domestic Chicken (Gallus gallus): A Tool for Teaching Veterinary Ethology and Implication for language learning

  • M Tefera
Keywords: Animal behavior, bio-acoustic, bird-song, Imprinting, language-learning, poultry-welfare


In this study chicken were able to express about 30 sounds (Words/syllables) of which 19 were distinctly identified as: warning, alarm, contact, territorial, laying, nesting, mating, threat, submissive, distress, fear , contentment, food, dust bathing, perching, battle cries, privacy, dominance and time calls. And short sentences (A combination of two and three syllables/ cackle). There were also some sounds that were not deciphered. Local chicken have had a good sense of hearing to these sounds as observed from postural, visual and auditory displays. It was found that baby chicks from broody and non broody breeds responded to the acoustic stimulus. While the adults of the commercial breed, did not respond to the acoustic stimulus, showed less motor reactions, postural and vocal displays. Also they produced less syllables. It was concluded that they do not know the language. The songram indicate that chicken produced sound frequency ranging from 50Hz to 10 kHz, this hearing range is within the hearing realm of humans which is 20-20,000Hz. Thus, Birdsong can be used as a biological model of human language, and acoustic communication in chicken can be demonstrated to students without the requirement of special apparatus. The results showed the usefulness of the chicken model in teaching acoustic communication, animal behavior and the importance of imprinting in language learning.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2221-5034
print ISSN: 1683-6324