Did You Know That Chickens Have Ears?

Chicken Care Taker Chicken Ears 1
First off, chickens do have ears but they’re very small and covered by feathers. Chickens can hear perfectly fine, even as young chicks, and it’s their main way to communicate with other members of the flock.

Many questions like this have long surrounded chickens.  Why did the chicken cross the road?  How do chickens fly?  Do chickens have lips? Can a chicken dance? Can a chicken do the chicken dance?  Jokes aside, this leads us to the pressing question; are there really such things as chicken ears?

The Mystery of the Chicken Ears

Chicken ears have been a mystery but we have an answer: Chickens DO have ears.

Chicken ears are not human ears. If you are looking for your standard human ear in your search for chicken ears, adjust your expectations, chicken ears look quite different. Chickens do not have external ears.  It may be tricky to actually find where their ears are.

Chicken ears are hidden by feathers. Placed on the side of the chicken head, as you would anticipate, you will need to push back the feathers to reveal an opening. The chicken ear is not attached to an outer ear of any kind, so it may be hard to find what you are looking for.

See Also:  What is a Lash Egg? Causes and Treatment

3 types of feathers don the chicken head that hides the opening to the ear:

  1. The large feathers are called primaries
  2. The long middle feathers are called primaries
  3. And the small feathers are called the coverts

Chicken ear VS Human ear?

Besides the outer ear difference, chicken ears have all the parts of a human ear and essentially work the same way. Chicken ears have eardrums, and inner, middle, and outer ears, just like a human ear, and they may also suffer ear infections too.

Chickens have amazing low-frequency hearing that is better than human hearing. The average chicken ear can hear sounds that humans are unable to hear.

Chicken ears are good for what?

The chicken ear is especially good to hear a predator and know the exact direction that the predator is approaching from, this allows them the advantage to flee as quickly as they can. They can also hear and communicate with their mother, other members of their flock and listen out for the roosters who are on the prowl.

Do they lose their hearing over time like humans?

Chicken ears will never lose their hearing, their hearing stays sharp their whole life, it has been said a deaf chicken is a dead chicken.  The chicken ears have an amazing regenerating ear.

What does the chicken ear tell us, the lobe specifically?

The chicken ear lobe is located below the ear canal on a chicken, and it tells us something about the chicken that is quite unique. You can tell what color of the eggs the chicken will lay by looking at their earlobe. Yes, their earlobe color typically represents their egg color.

See Also:  How Do Chickens Mate? All You Need To Know
a chicken with a dog

A white ear-lobed chicken will lay white eggs (or at the very least eggs, that are very light in color) whereas a chicken with black/brown earlobes will lay darker eggs. The same gene that determines the color of the earlobe also determines the color of the egg.

Do chicken ears work right away?

Yes! In fact, baby chickens can hear their mama on day 12 of the incubation period, while they are still in the shell. Baby chicks hear the other chicks in the eggs and all that their mother is doing. This is important so as soon as they are born they can communicate with their mother.

Are chicken ears accurate?

Indeed, they are, chicken ears can accurately tell the distance that a predator is in relation to where they are located, and this helps them when they are being hunted.  They can judge distance and this can save their life, even if they’re merely existing as backyard chickens.

Can chicken ears help humans?

Currently, there are studies being done to see if humans can learn from how chicken ears can help with hearing loss.  Chicken ears do not lose their hearing in fact their ears can regenerate their ear cells and repair any damage, this breakthrough information can help humans with hearing loss problem that plaque thousands of people. 

Humans lack the ability to regenerate ear cells which can lead to permanent hearing loss. Perhaps it’ll be the chicken that will help us cross the road after all.

In Closing

Chicken ears are real, we can learn so much from them, and you may never have given them much thought. This could be the very reason why the chicken crossed the road, he heard something on the other side. 

See Also:  Chicken Raising Basics: Our Comprehensive Beginner's Guide

Ode to the chicken ears

Chicken ears are creative

Chicken ears neat

Chicken ears are nowhere near chicken feet

Chicken ears are useful

Chicken ears you do not compete

Chicken ears tell a tale

Chicken ears indicate the color of egg we eat


A longtime resident of Southern California, Christina recently moved across the globe to Austria, where she bought land specifically to build a small house with room for a backyard chicken coop. Christina spent her childhood summers on a farm, raising and caring for a flock of hens owned by her grandparents, which prompted a lifelong love of chickens, and other farm animals. Christina is passionate about writing, having written hundreds of articles for well-known websites, and uses her English degree in service of her love for animal welfare, most recently taking on a writing position at Chicken Care Taker in 2022.

Recent Posts