Tips for re­duc­ing noise levels

Your Chickens - - Feature | Crowing -

Ac­cli­ma­ti­sa­tion may help

Brits tend to apol­o­gise for ev­ery­thing and, in most cases, are very con­scious of when we are over­step­ping the mark. You will get an in­cli­na­tion as to whether your cockerel(s) is/are caus­ing dis­tress to the neigh­bours. Of course, it all de­pends where you live and some hous­ing es­tates don’t al­low the keep­ing of poul­try. How­ever, some peo­ple are in­tol­er­ant of ev­ery­thing these days — par­tic­u­larly city dwellers who have moved to the coun­try for the quiet life. But it is worth re­mem­ber­ing that new neigh­bours will get used to the noise in time if it is re­spectable. They won’t hear it the same as when they first moved in.

Ban­tams are gen­er­ally qui­eter than large fowl

Although ban­tams can have quite a pierc­ing crow, in gen­eral they have a lesser im­pact on noise pol­lu­tion com­ing through your bed­room win­dow in the sum­mer months than large fowl. True ban­tams, such as Sera­mas, Se­brights and Pekins, are tol­er­ated more than large heavy breeds. It is worth not­ing that some of the more docile heavy breeds, such as Brah­mas, Cochins and Or­p­ing­tons, have a ten­dency to crow less, but it does come down to the in­di­vid­ual spec­i­men and the breed­ing be­hind it.

Less is more

This one may sound ob­vi­ous, but the fewer cock­erels kept the bet­ter the chances of a har­mo­nious relationship with the neigh­bours. A sin­gle cockerel will crow far less than if he has com­pe­ti­tion, and ob­vi­ously the more com­pe­ti­tion then the more they all crow. It will only take one cockerel crow­ing to set them all off and this can be frus­trat­ing in the mid­dle of the day. It is also in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing when one of them sets off the panic call ev­ery time a squir­rel passes, for ex­am­ple. Poul­try all at­tune to each other, so if a hen lays and panic clucks (in­ces­sant “buck, buck, buck­aaark” noises) after lay­ing an egg, then the cockerel(s) and the whole flock will join in. Some­times it will go on for 10 min­utes or more. Imag­ine if your neigh­bour is sit­ting in the garden en­joy­ing a cup of tea and a read of the Sun­day pa­pers after a long week at work. Such re­lent­less dis­tress noise is enough to get any­one’s hack­les up. Just when it has been quiet for 20 min­utes, the slight­est thing can see it all kick­ing off again. This, to me, is far worse that an early morn­ing cock-a-doo­dle-doo.

Keep them busy

Males crow some­times out of sheer bore­dom, par­tic­u­larly when they are iso­lated. The chances of noise levels in­crease greatly when a male has no other re­lease but to de­clare that he is the boss, sev­eral times an hour. Males need to be kept busy by spend­ing time scratch­ing and search­ing for food, ide­ally with room to run, plus some fe­males to keep them oc­cu­pied.

Nightly rou­tine

It is a royal pain, but for many peo­ple the only way they can ap­pease their neigh­bours is by bring­ing their cockerel(s) into a well ven­ti­lated box and keep­ing them in a dark garage each night un­til a re­spectable hour, such as 8am on­wards.

Free eggs

This re­ally is an old one, but of­fer­ing your neigh­bours some gratis fresh eggs ev­ery now and then can help to keep re­la­tions good.

Strate­gic lo­ca­tion

The fur­ther away your cockerel re­sides from your neigh­bours, the bet­ter. Even a few feet in the right direc­tion may be enough to take the edge off any po­ten­tial com­plaints.

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