I need some advice about roosters, since this is my first year of having them "on purpose."
My best black/lav split Orpington cockerel crows like a mad fool. I still have two other cockerels from his hatch that I could keep who don't crow at all. I only want to keep ONE, but the crowing is driving me nuts.
IF I decided to keep one of the quieter boys, and culled Mr. Loud Mouth, how likely is it that that a formerly quiet boy will become a big crower?
I know part of the problem (probably a large part) is that these guys are living with the layers, and my lights come on at 4 AM. That's when the incessant crowing starts. My four older roos don't crow much until later in the morning, at a more respectable hour. I don't want my neighbors (I live on an acre in a suburb) to hate me!
My other alternative, I guess, is to provide a light tight separate crate for Mr. Loud Mouth within the layer coop, which is possible. Once we made the other roos "apartments" more light tight, it did help reduce their crowing. We don't have a third permanent space for the black/lav splits, and plan to let them hang out with the mixed layer flock until late winter/spring, when I will house them in a temporary breeding pen with my lavender hens.
Also, has anyone tried using a radio (set to a talk station) to reduce crowing? I know that my older boys hush up when I am around, because they know if they crow much, I'm going to give them a walkabout upside down for a minute, and they don't much care for that. I actually got up at 4:30 last night and did that with the black/lav cockerel, but all he did was go back into the henhouse to get away from me, and continued to crow in there. He isn't stupid.