Chickens do have ears, yes. They’re quite well hidden, but if you get the chance to take a look up close you can definitely see they have ears just above their ear lobes. Hens also have great hearing.
Where Are Chickens’ Ears?
It’s not that draft of a question. Because a hen or a rooster’s ears are not very visible, and probably because chickens don’t always respond when you call them, a lot of people ask if they have ears.
Chickens’ ears are located on the side of their heads, just as ours are. If you look at the picture below, I’ve marked where the ear is. As well as the ear lobe, which is much larger and often confused for an ear.
If you do get the chance to look at a chicken’s ear up close, you’ll see they have more of an ear hole than an external ear as we do.
This is why they’re covered by feathers, to stop bits of dirt and other debris from getting in there.
Can Chicken Hear?
Make no mistake, chickens can hear very well. If you want to test this, just shake something that sounds like food, and you’ll see their heads shift in your direction pretty quickly!
We know that chickens actually start developing their hearing from around day 12 of incubation.
They have eardrums, an inner, middle, and outer ear, just as we do. The big difference is that they just have a hole with a small flap of skin and some feathers covering it.
If you didn’t think your hens could hear because they seem to ignore you, you’re not alone. That’s just how hens behave a lot of the time - much like a lot of animals.
Related - Are your chicken’s earlobes turning white? Read this.
Can Chickens Get Ear Infections?
Chickens can get ear infections, yes. The most common infection is called ‘ear canker’, which is a bacterial infection that causes loss of balance, lethargic behavior, and some other issues.
The good news is, that ear infections are not typically hard to cure. A short course of antibiotics and your hens should be back to 100% in no time at all.
The bad news is, ear infections are one of the most commonly missed or most undiagnosed health issues chickens suffer from.
The symptoms are commonly associated with some other health issues, and of course, it’s not easy to get a look inside their ears.
If you do ever see your hens staggering around like they’re drunk, checking for an ear infection should be one of the first things you do.
Does the Color of a Chicken Ears Determine Egg Color?
There is loads of information online stating that the color of a hen’s earlobes determines the color of the eggs they will lay.
This just isn’t always true, however.
There are a number of breeds that lay different colored eggs from what the color of their ear lobes are.
It is true sometimes, of course. Most hens with red lobes to lay brown eggs, and some hens with white lobes to lay white eggs.
But if it’s not true 100% of the time, I don’t think you should go around using ear lobe color as a guide to what color eggs a hen will lay.
Some Related Questions
Do Chickens That Lay Blue Eggs Have Blue Ears?
No, this is often not the case. Most hens with blue earlobes do not lay blue eggs, and most hens that lay blue eggs do not have blue earlobes.
There are three breeds that predominantly lay blue eggs, these are the Ameraucana, Araucana, and Easter Egger.
It’s hard to see the ear lobes on the Ameraucana and Araucana as they have tufts of feathers covering their ears. But they’re not blue, their lobes are mostly red.
‘Easter eggers’ are not purebreds. They are crossbreeds carrying the blue egg laying gene from the Ameraucana or Araucana and have similar lobes.
What Breed of Chicken Has White Earlobes?
There are a handful of chicken breeds with white earlobes. The most common breeds are the Hamburg, Ancona, and White Leghorns.
As I’ve explained already, white lobes do not guarantee that a hen will lay white eggs. So, you should always check that if that’s what you’re looking for.
Related - Looking for a hen that lays white eggs? Read this post.
Chickens do have ears, both hens and roosters do. It’s just not easy to see them (the dangling red thing on the side of their heads are their ear lobes).
A chicken’s ears are essentially holes on the side of its head that are covered by a small flap of skin and some feathers.
Image credits - Photo by Jonathan Cooper on Unsplash