2 am Wake Up

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fishbum, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. fishbum

    fishbum Out Of The Brooder

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    Can anyone shed some light on any reason my RIR Roo has started crowing at 2-2:30am. This of corse gets my OEB going and then the Wyandottes in the other pen. They go for about an hour and remain quiet until the normal 5-5:30 wake up. If this keeps up I'm sure neighbors will be knocking.
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    His internal clock is set to makemeintodinner.

    Jokes aside, I would bet you somebody somewhere within earshot has a rooster that's a nightcrower, and he's just responding in kind. As you noted, your others began answering him.

    In my experience mature roosters do not change crowing pattern without some provocation and even then most never will. Over the years I've kept many hundreds of roosters and nightcrowing is not at all a common behavioral alteration to occur... Most nightcrowers just start off that way from puberty onwards, not become that way later on.

    A predator attack or just rats running around can set them off too, if he feels unsettled at night for whatever reason he may respond this way.

    Good luck with it, it's a terrible problem for many to address once it's begun. If you're at all able, moving house to the rural areas is the best option.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. fishbum

    fishbum Out Of The Brooder

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    I've run out a few times thinking something was trying to get in but not the case. There are some other Roos around the area here. I'm pretty rural with my nearest neighbor about 3-4 acres away but with no leaves on the trees I'm sure they hear him. It wouldn't be such a problem if the coop wasnt 50 ft away from my bedroom window. Lol no I didn't build a coop there but repurposed an existing structure.
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Hmm, well, sometimes all it takes is a rat running over his feet and that can set a rooster into crowing at night. If he's a bit of a highly strung individual, that's more common. I've had hens do the equivalent, just repeating the egg song/alarm call (sounds identical as I'm sure you know) during the night because something startled them.

    I've trained mine so they shut up when I tell them to, which always helps, but in getting there I did cull against excessively anxious animals and those that wouldn't train, so it's not a bandaid solution but one which takes time and could be harder for a purebred breeder. I like my mongrels, makes a lot of things easier when you don't have rare genetics or show type to consider amongst your culling vs keeping criteria.

    Some people deal with this using anti-crow collars, some actually build soundproofed coops, some put the roosters in night boxes... Some roosters won't crow if they can't lift their heads just right, but some will crow no matter what. I had one that would stretch his neck under his body and crow into his own butt, just about, if you prevented him from lifting it to crow.

    It's not true that they cannot crow if they can't stretch their necks out, I've seen many crow with 'S' bent necks (in the resting position), it's just that they prefer to crow with neck outstretched to get the best acoustics and range. I've tried so many methods with night crowers, now I just cull, it's not worth the sleep deprivation torture, lol. But, your experience may be more successful, never know till you try.

    One thing that works well is if you have a hillside that faces nobody close by; natural hillsides and land contours can be very effective in channeling sound away, they can almost mute it, especially if the coop sides are solid and preferably insulated in the directions facing the neighbors or yourself. You can deaden the sound by at least half. Planting clumping bamboo can help, but I don't know if that works where you are, I don't know what country or region you live in. It's good info to add because many questions' answers depend on regional specifics. If bamboo won't grow where you are, other dense species of plants can help instead but may take a long time to grow so may be better bought at a good size, which can get expensive. A wall of stacked bales of hay can work well. Even constructing buildings or walls in the way can help. Putting a wall in front of the door or main open area of the roosting area could possibly help, depending on your cage style.

    Some people use sunken pits, even, just build a little cage underground, which can mute things very effectively. If you're able to, and can't retrain or stop him with other methods, it may be worth digging him out a little cellar, lol... On the plus side, if it gets very hot or very cold where you are, that will act as a temperature controlled room for them, if you get all the flock to get used to going in there to roost at night. Probably not feasible given that you have multiple roosters and it sounds like purebreds at that, so you don't want to be mixing them I assume.

    But many of those methods involve you putting the rooster in a new sleeping location every night which can be stressful for both of you.

    Unfortunately it's not the easiest issue to fix, nightcrowing.

    Some people use automated sprinklers that go off if sufficient noise is made, but that could obviously be a respiratory risk or even freezing risk depending on your ambient temperatures.

    Some vets will do decrowing operations, there's a vet or two on this forum that do them, but it's a few hundred dollars and of course no guarantees your rooster survives it, birds are touchy with anesthetics and pain relief. Anyway, some info if it helps:
    Quote: That link's a general review of the threads on this forum about people trying to decrow roosters, someone even posted a video on how to do it at home. :/

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/705084/decrowing-roosters

    That one's a thread by a vet who does the decrowing operation; he has a few threads on this site including recent ones so you know he's still active here.

    Hope it works out for you. This is one issue that's hard to deal with and always a shame to cull a rooster for a fault like this one, but nobody seems to have a surefire method to fix this once it starts. Once you've lost enough sleep or have the neighbors bringing down the authorities on you though there's not a lot of options or time to experiment.

    Best wishes.
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh yeah, there is this info... You should check what your neighbors think before acting on the assumption they hate it:
    Quote: Plenty of people posted in that thread saying they love the crowing. I too have met these bizarre individuals that even enjoy crowing at night. They actually exist. You might be so lucky as to have some for neighbors; you never know unless you check.

    You might have a neighbor with hearing damage, for all you know, that's certainly common enough.

    Some people just can't be woken by even a ruckus or a legitimate earthquake once they're asleep, maybe your neighbor is one; it's possible your neighbor is a night-owl too, and might not have an issue with crowing even if they can hear it because of that.

    Going by our interactions in the other thread, I assume you're ready and willing to try everything rather than resort to the hatchet style permanent decrowing, so if you do feel so inclined and sleep deprivation or irate neighbors don't prevent you, please do let us know if you find something that works. As you know by now, I'm all for culling dangerous animals and those with detrimental traits but if a behavior that's not directly dangerous can be retrained from, I'm all for it rather than culling. It's just when success levels are too low to be worth it that I take the safest route and remove the risk.

    Best wishes.
     
  6. fishbum

    fishbum Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the insight. I live in the Catskills butted up against a state preserve. The neighbor in question is up the hill from me so it might not sound that bad. Unfortunately I have just brought the rooster in recently for breeding purposes but he is a good guardian when everyone is out roaming and he is mostly a sweetheart otherwise. I have a few chickens in the freezer coop and there are always eggs on the counter and I'm hoping that will put out any small fires that may arise with the neighbors.

    Insulating the coop was always a consideration but have heard mixed reviews on its effect on the flock as far as being more cold tolerant and promotes more moisture in the air. I've already made venting mistakes and paid for it but maybe just the walls facing houses like you mentioned will work.

    As far as rodents go I've found no evidence since this summer of any and at that point it was chipmunks living high on the hog off the feed. I will have to leave the cats out in the runs at night.

    I'll try a few things and hope he settles down. I'm also thinking that with such short days and everyone returning to their perches so early that they are just restless. It happens to me after all. Longer days out in the yard and runs I'm thinking will tire him a bit and he will sleep through the night.

    Thanks for the advise
     
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Good luck with that, please let us know if you find anything that works. I think straw bales or similar natural matting would be a better sound insulation perhaps because it will also not cause greater condensation etc but then there's always mold to consider.

    Best wishes.
     
  8. fishbum

    fishbum Out Of The Brooder

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    Funny enough they are building houses out of straw bales around here (Catskills) but I think I remedied the situation. It had rained for 3 days straight again and you know the birds hung out all day in it so I had put a heat lamp in there so they had an opportunity to dry off. It was the light keeping them up. Learning from mistakes lol
     
  9. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh lol, yeah that could do it. Hope they settle back into night time silence now.

    Best wishes.
     
  10. fishbum

    fishbum Out Of The Brooder

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    It did thanks. Funny that I started the thread asking if anyone could shed some light lol.
     

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