Of all the usual characteristics of chickens that spring to mind, you’ll probably think of egg laying, pecking and scratching, the notion of a pecking order, and maybe those funky red floppy things on their head and faces. If it’s a rooster we’re talking about, eventually you’ll mention the cock-a-doodle-doo aspect of their nature. Roosters will crow, otherwise they’re somewhat silly roosters. You’ll probably hear them crow in the morning, you’ll hear them crow throughout the day, and they’ll even crow at night. Some people may see this as a definite annoyance, but there are a few things you can do to prevent unwanted crowing from bothering you during your day or night.
Before looking at ways to reduce the noise, you may want to be aware of exactly why the noise if there to begin with. Roosters typically crow as both a way of showing they’re in charge, as well as alerting the flock to something they find particularly alarming. For instance, you’ll usually hear a rooster crow at night if something is attacking the chicken coop like a fox or a badger. The crowing is meant to get noticed, so in a way a rooster’s call is similar to a car alarm or something (and of course a car alarm can make a rooster start crowing).
If the noise is still something that’ll bother you, and when raising chickens in small neighborhoods you’ll probably need to keep them quiet anyway, there are a few things you can do to help avoid the inevitable crowing. The first is to create a less stressful environment all around for your cocks. Preferably, you should only have one so that they’re not having to battle for dominance all the time. Plus, fewer chickens in general reduces the stress they’ll all be feeling at any given time, hopefully stopping a strung-out rooster from needing to crow at the drop of a hat.
If that’s not doing enough, there are ways of soundproofing your coop, though this requires you to essentially make it airtight, a risky thing to do considering chickens need oxygen like any other animal. Soundproofing a chicken coop will make it so that the crowing is muffled, but it can also make it so that the chickens can’t breathe. This is avoided by having a larger coop with fewer chickens, but the inherent risk is still there. This also works on a much smaller level by just housing your rooster specially in a box, but again, it’s not the most comfortable solution and can harm the chicken if left for too long.
The biggest notion to consider is that roosters aren’t actually necessary unless you plan on breeding your chickens. If you just want some eggs now and then, a rooster will only complicate things. Think things through and make the best decision for not just you, but for your chickens.
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