and listen and understand… I’m talking about my farm animals of course. They all have their own languages to talk to each other but I wish they could speak mine. It would make life so much easier. Like telling me when they’re ill and what the problem is…
Chickens are the most vocal of my menagerie and also the most susceptible to illness. Although all pests and diseases came with the birds, I suspect being mounted a few times every day and quite aggressively, doesn’t help their overall wellbeing! The cockerel does take care of his harem by sounding the alarm when a predator is spotted, though I think his loud cock-a-doodle-ing also lets the them know where to look!
The hens themselves are very vocal when they’ve laid an egg and I’m not surprised. The enormous size of my eggs compared to a hen is beyond thinking about. And a mother hen constantly clucks to keep her brood close and also shrills to tell the others to keep away from her babies. They don’t seem to have grasped any of my vocals, and when I want the chickens to go to bed early, they break ranks and divide up around the garden. And always when I’m running late!
My donkey’s way of talking is more like deep breathing. Braying is his only form of audible speech but a huge effort, his whole body straining to release sound. So for requests, like when he wants extra food or water, he simply inhales in short fast bursts, creating a wheezing sound with the air sucked in. His big ears pick up sound very well but explain as I might, I can’t stop him walking into a freshly mucked out stable, after being out all day, and relieving himself!
With their super large ears, the rabbits are actually the quietest. They are nearly always silent. The only vocal noises are the males grunt when near females and the pregnant females squeak when scared by grunting males nearby. Just like Sooty in Sooty and Sweep (if anyone can remember that children’s show!).
Sound plays an important role in their lives so regardless of whether they understand me, I talk to all my flock. Animals talk to each other with visuals and smells. We’ve shut down our audio receptors and rely heavily on visuals. As well as covering up natural scents with perfumes… but thats a whole other blog!