Most people associate the crowing of a rooster with an early morning wake-up call. However, roosters can crow any time of the day. Crowing is a sign that the rooster needs something or is alarmed by threats. Roosters also crow to establish dominance or a pecking order, in their flocks.
So, now that you know all the reasons why roosters crow, can you do anything to stop it? While you cannot ethically stop a rooster from crowing, there are a few tips that can help you reduce it:
12 Tips to Help You Stop Chickens from Crowing
Identify The Triggers
Chickens and roosters will crow if they have unmet needs. Make sure to stock up the coop with enough food and water at night for all your birds.
If needed, observe your chickens over a few days to see what triggers the crowing. Try to remove said stimuli so your chickens do not have a reason to crow. Try to maintain a calm and serene coop environment as much as possible for the birds.
If your hens are constantly crowing during the day, it could be due to some threat. Even factors like vehicular noises, the neighbor’s lawnmowers, etc. could scare the birds. Find out ways to make the coop safer or at least appear safer to the hens.
Keep the Chickens in Darkness
One effective idea to keep your chickens quiet in the morning is to keep them in complete darkness. You could try covering the coop with blankets or keeping the rooster inside a blackout box to keep it from crowing in the morning. Delaying your birds’ exposure to natural light can help prevent that annoying 4 a.m. crowing.
Use Artificial Lighting
By using artificial lighting in the chicken coop at night-time, you can push back your chickens’ sleep cycles. This will make them wake up later and delay the crowing.
Keep Bantam Cockerels or Roosters
This is the easiest way to prevent being woken up by a rooster’s crowing. While Bantam cockerels or roosters do crow, they aren’t too loud. So, if noise levels are a concern, consider keeping Bantam chickens.
Keep Hens Instead of Roosters
One way to curtail the noise levels of a flock is to only keep chickens. Chickens are a lot quieter than roosters and they mostly only cluck and do not crow. By keeping hens, you can reduce the complaints you get from your neighbors.
Conversely, if a hen starts crowing in a flock, make sure to get a rooster, as that will reduce her need to show dominance. Having a rooster helps maintain balance within the flock. So, keeping a rooster in a flock of hens could prevent a chicken’s crowing behavior.
Keep Adequate Roosters for The Hens You Have
Roosters tend to be competitive and often crow to establish dominance and show the other roosters they are the boss. They may also crow due to sexual frustration. Make sure to keep an optimum rooster-to-hen ratio. Experts recommend keeping one rooster for every 10 hens. This keeps the rooster busy and helps quell its “dominance spirit ”.
Provide Mental Stimulation to Your Flock
Roosters and hens could get noisy if they are bored. Crowing is a sign that your hens don’t have a job to do. Try giving them some pecking toys, hay, perches, ladders, etc. to alleviate boredom and keep them engaged and entertained. You can also hide their food or make puzzle feeders to keep them engaged.
Increase The Distance Between Your Home and The Coop
If your chicken’s crowing is disturbing you, try increasing the distance between your bedroom and the coop. If possible, relocate the coop farther away from the house.
Add Some Sound Barriers Between You and The Coop
You could also consider adding some barriers, like fences, trees, etc., between your coop and the house to prevent the sound from reaching you. Installing sound-proof windows or adding some white noise in your bedrooms can also do the trick and help you get sound sleep.
Use No-Crow Collars
This is one way to prevent crowing in hens and roosters – however, it is not the most ethical one. You can buy an anti-crowing collar or make one at home. Place the collar around your rooster’s neck so it can still breathe but it cannot open its windpipe wide enough to crow loudly.
This isn’t the most ethical way to stop chickens from crowing so it should only be used as a last resort.
This is another unethical way of preventing hens from crowing. Your vet can trim your birds’ trachea, which will remove their ability to crow. This could also be an expensive option.
How Do I Quiet My Neighbor’s Rooster?
Rooster’s crows can be extremely loud and can reach sound levels between 90-140 decibels. This can be deafening. Here are some ways to quiet your neighbor’s rooster:
- Politely ask your neighbor to use anti-crowing collars. If possible, buy one for them.
- Ask your neighbor to introduce adequate hens for every rooster in the flock.
- Tell them to keep their birds engaged with puzzle feeders, toys, and other entertainment.
- Suggest they use blackout curtains or blankets to keep the coop dark so the birds do not crow early in the morning. Politely ask them to keep the crowing rooster inside a blackout box to delay its 4 a.m. crowing.
If the above means do not work, complain to the local town council. Since roosters crowing can be deafening, the council is likely to take the complaint very seriously. Many cities do not allow keeping roosters so check out the laws in your area.
How Do I Shut a Rooster Up?
There is no way to shut a rooster up. However, you could take certain measures to reduce its crowing.
- Use a stretchy, fabric-based, anti-crow collar around its neck.
- Introduce more hens if there is competition between roosters in the flock. Hens should reduce sexual aggression and related crowing by keeping the roosters busy.
- Craft a simple puzzle feeder or hide food for your birds to find. This will keep them engaged and entertained and prevent unnecessary crowing.
- Ensure that the coop is safe and that there are no imminent threats from predators.
- Put the rooster in a blackout box at night. This will delay it from crowing in the morning.
- Try to block out as much light from the coop with blankets, dark curtains, etc.
- Use artificial night-time lighting to delay the bird’s sleep timings. This can get them to wake up later.
- Keeping the flock size small could reduce crowing. When one rooster starts crowing, others may follow suit, asserting dominance. A smaller flock might minimize this behavior.
- If two or more roosters are crowing to compete against each other, try giving a couple of roosters away to the humane society, your neighbor, or fellow chicken keepers. This will reduce the crowing contests.
How Do You Get Rid of a Rooster Without Killing It?
There are a couple of humane ways to get rid of a rooster without killing it:
Give it Up for Adoption
You can approach your local animal rescue center to see if they take roosters. Most centers only take cats and dogs, so do inquire first.
Try Rehoming It
You may have to find a home for your rooster by advertising on social media, etc. Ask your fellow chicken keepers or friends – perhaps they are looking for a rooster and may take it off your hands.
Why Is My Chicken Crowing So Loud?
Chickens/roosters crow for the following reasons:
- To let other roosters know of its presence. They are trying to establish their territory through their loud crowing, which all other roosters are meant to hear.
- Roosters also crow according to light stimuli and body clock. While most roosters crow in the morning at daybreak, some crow all day. Hearing one rooster, the other roosters will start crowing too – as per their flock hierarchy.
- Multiple roosters may also crow to establish dominance. Sometimes, keeping just one rooster in a flock of hens can give you a quieter yard.
- Unmet needs – perhaps the rooster is sexually frustrated as there is too much competition from other roosters and fewer hens. Maybe it is hungry or sick.
If the crowing gets out of hand, do consult your vet.