Can you actually "de-crow" a rooster?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HJECG, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. HJECG

    HJECG In the Brooder

    Dec 27, 2013
    USDA Zone 7
    Since joining BYC, I've seen occasional references to some sort of veterinary procedure that makes a rooster's crowing very quiet. Given that I live in an urban area, but would love to have a rooster, I'd be pretty psyched to learn that such a procedure actually exists, as long as it were safe and humane. But that's the thing; I can't find any info elsewhere online offering any more details on this "de-crowing" thing. Is it real? Are there vets who will perform it? Does it bother the rooster that he no longer crows at full volume? Thanks for any info.

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    There is a procedure. It would be tough finding a vet that could or would do it and expensive. It isn't safe though since they sometimes don't survive.
    A crow is the roosters' way of communicating with other roosters and flocks.

    If you keep him locked up in the coop till about 8 o'clock or so maybe no one will care. Give it a couple weeks and ask the neighbors if they're bothered by it. A roosters' crow is not as loud as a dog bark or lawnmower but is just a sound people aren't used to so that's where the rub is. I currently have 7 roosters in my backyard and if they're in the coop, I can't hear them when I'm in the house and my house is only about 100 feet from the closest coop. I have a rail crossing about 4 miles away and I can hear the train whistle in my house.
    If the roosters get outside and come close to the house, I can hear them.
  3. Laver2k

    Laver2k In the Brooder

    May 12, 2013
    I think that in an urban area - you really need to consider your neighbours. Is the risk of having a cockerel worth giving up your whole flock if you get complaints?

    Is it right to decrow a cockerel? Have you thought about what happens when you get some baby cockerels hatch? There just seem to be a lot of things to consider.

    I would love one too...but they are so impractical in urban areas where you could be affecting dozens of other families depending on the population...
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    It isn't densely populated where I live but my closest neighbor is only about 100 ft. from 2 of my coops. The coop windows face away from her house. She actually went to city hall on my behalf when a newspaper article alerted the mayor that I had chickens. Several neighbors spoke on my behalf and she told city council that if anyone had the right to complain, it would be her as my closest neighbor but she didn't know I had chickens until I told her I had them.
    The next closest are two houses directly across the street. They're a little over 100 ft. from my house but 250 or more from my coops. They didn't know I had chickens either.

    Most of the people I know that have chickens and roosters queried their neighbors first and got permission.
    There's a lady in a very wealthy neighborhood with small yards. Her coop with 3 roosters can't be more than 30 ft. from her neighbor's bedroom. Her neighbor must be a saint.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  5. There is a vet/member on this site that sells roosters he has operated on. He has a rooster listed now.
  6. SnickersBar

    SnickersBar Hatching

    Nov 26, 2013
  7. Shalom Farm

    Shalom Farm Chirping

    Nov 23, 2013
    It is possible but the expense makes it out of reach for many. While I love my rooster's dearly, I'd have to give them up if I lived in an urban environment. Most vets aren't trained for it. $150 per bird is just too steep. The key to making De-crowing successful is not only to master the procedure safely but also cheaply. The reason Urban pets are often spayed and neutered is the access to cheap clinics. Rooster's can be easier Caponized (which may not stop crowing) but is worth a shot before the big bucks start rolling out. That being said, if it became a better procedure, for say $50, it would be worth it. As for bothering the rooster? No, I don't think they mind. They still make noise, its just softer and they are saying what they want. Roosters nearby would definitely hear what their talking about if they listen close enough.

    However a Rooster in charge of a flock's protection should never be one that is De-Crowed. Spares? Pets? Of course. The one you are trusting to maintain control and protection of your hens? No. He needs to be able to sound the alarm for predators and intruders. Without it, the hens can be easier targets for city hawks, foxes, dogs, etc. The hens will sound the alarm but with a rooster in their midst I notice they tend to lean some of the responsibility on him. When they are without any male, they are more cautious. So I'd forgo the rooster if I had to choose. This, of course, is a personal observation within my own flock.

    But otherwise, once its a perfected and affordable procedure it might be worth a look.

  8. oldrooster

    oldrooster One Crazy Nut

    You might consider having your rooster "fixed" called caponizeing if you want it as a pet or raised for meat it will still crow, but less often. there is at least one active thread here on BYC about the prosidure.
  9. outdoor family

    outdoor family In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2014
    Eastern North Carolina
    I think its great people wanting to raise flocks. Living in an urban area makes it rough. It was mentiond that a roosters crow is no louder than a dog barking or a lawn mower, 100% true - Thats really good your neighbor spoke out on your behalf. Its sad people have to go thru an act of congress to have a rooster in there backyard though.
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

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