Decreasing Noise

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BladeDuck, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. BladeDuck

    BladeDuck Out Of The Brooder

    62
    4
    43
    Dec 10, 2011
    Well, I got my first noise complaint from a neighbor saying, "the quacking in the early morning is unbearable!" But to clarify that statement, I don't let my ducks out of their coup until 8:30am and rarely do I actually hear them chattering from inside their coup while I'm in my house (which is much closer than the neighbor to the ducks!). They ARE noisy when I first let them out since they are so excited to take their morning dip and stretch their wings but I think they quiet down pretty quickly and I don't think its unacceptable to have some noise at 8:30am.

    Nevertheless, I need to change something because I want to have a good relationship with my neighbor. I also want to keep my duck hobby. Maybe I should complain about their screaming grandkids at the nearby playground?? (just kidding)

    I have 5 females (2 khakis, 1 white metzer hybrid, 2 golden metzer hybrids). They are about 19 weeks old and should start laying any day[​IMG]. There are two ducks that are noisier than the others (1 khaki, 1 golden), which I would also consider them to be the dominant ones of the group.

    Theroretically, if I could erase the noise those two make, it would be quieter. However, if I got rid of those two, would the other ducks just get noisier?

    I have also been reading on here that Muscovy's are really quiet, I am not sure I'm a fan of the carbuncles (sp?). Perhaps I could replace a couple ducks with Muscovy. Are they good egg layers compared to the duck breeds I have chosen? I think someone around here has them, I've seen ads online - so it may not be too difficult to find some. I really would like adult ducks, as cute as ducklings are - I have been not-so-patiently waiting for my ducks to start laying eggs.

    Any ideas? Thanks you in advance, you all are so helpful!
     
  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,837
    187
    224
    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    First, I'd respond to the neighbor saying thanks for letting you know and give you some time to try to fix it and keep in touch to see if it is getting any better.

    My runners went through a noisy stage. They were LOUD. But then they quieted down.


    Find out when exactly they think the noise is really bad. If it is in their house, then you can work on making their house more sound proof (insulate it).
    If it is when they are let out, maybe letting them out later would help. If they are noisy when you let them out, maybe you let out a couple at a time?
    And when they start laying, placate the neighbor with eggs.
     
  3. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    999
    16
    123
    Jun 4, 2011
    Maine
    As far as decreasing noise, I started to let my girls out later before they came into lay - so I wouldn't have to do an egg hunt every day.
    I let them out around 11. If they'll sit tight until 10 a.m., when most noise ordinances end, that may be your simplest solution.
    The quacker choir won't start up until 10 then.

    I have heard - from many friends who raise Muscovy - that they are better brooders than layers. I think being bred as meat birds predisposes them to hatching chicks. If you are looking for an egg laying flock you may not be thrilled with them.

    I think if you removed your noisy ducks others would just fill that void.

    As a side note: when I go out to bring new water, etc to the ducks at 7 a.m. I usually give them a "treat", too. A bag of peas in the water, or some oats, or peels from last night's veggies, and that seems to occupy them until they get jealous of the chickens & demand to be released around 11.

    I am told that if I am not here they make no noise what-so-ever.
     
  4. ChicagoDucks

    ChicagoDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    266
    17
    108
    Feb 27, 2012
    Chicago
    I wonder what would happen if you piped in some muzak into the coop? Isn't muzak put into elevators to keep people calm and quiet? hmmm. I wonder if your neighbor would prefer Kenny G or the morning quacking serenade.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,795
    5,495
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    The ducks might like Kenny G!
     
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    183
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I let my ducks out at 9 AM. There is a brief period of a lot of noise when I let them out, but I figure anything after 9 AM, the neighbors just have to put up with brief bouts of noise. If someone wants to sleep later than is socially the norm, then it becomes their problem and not mine. I don't have to tiptoe around so my neighbors can sleep during the day.

    However, it is rude to make a lot of noise during normal sleeping hours.

    You might pay closer attention to see if your ducks can be heard while they are in their coop. If they can be heard, then a bit of an insulation job should fix that issue. Although with summer coming, windows to duck coop are going to be open at night.

    Muscovy are very quiet. You will learn to love the way they look. They are seasonal layers, though, and you won't get eggs all year.

    Another reason I don't let ducks out until 9 is I want everybody to finish laying before they go out. That way, all the eggs are in their coop when I go out,

    My guys have a secure night run and can go in and out when ever they please, and there still isn't any noise until I come out. All day long, with ducks inside or outside, there is a greeting chorus when they see me.
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    183
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Another thing that will help is to plant something thick and tall on the property line next to your neighbor's house. If lots are small, then plant a thick vine on a tall trellis. Maybe grapes. They grow fast and huge
     
  8. BladeDuck

    BladeDuck Out Of The Brooder

    62
    4
    43
    Dec 10, 2011
    Thank you all for the suggestions! I talked to the neighbor and they said they can hear a constant low quack-quack-quack through the night a lot. So it sounds like I need to sound proof my coup more. I think the music is a great idea! [​IMG] My husband played pandora "Hans Zimmer radio" (movie soundtracks) for them the first few days we had them as ducklings - it kept them nice and calm.

    Its 11:30pm here and I keep going to the closest window to listen for them and they are quiet as church mice. I really wasn't aware they were making noise at all in the night and still can't catch them making noise - I guess it probably starts in the wee hours of the morning. My neighbor also mentioned that the quacking in the night didn't start till a few weeks ago. I've had them outside since January, so that's kind of weird. Maybe that means they are getting close to laying eggs[​IMG].
     
  9. Lute

    Lute Chillin' With My Peeps

    296
    9
    103
    Feb 25, 2012
    Socorro, NM
    You might want to be a sound recorder in their pen at night and see if the sounds are coming from yours or some wild duck somewhere else.

    Yours are almost as old as my girl Helen, she's 5 months (20 weeks) and have already started laying HUGE eggs.
     
  10. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    999
    16
    123
    Jun 4, 2011
    Maine
    I bet you're right, they are puttering around in the mornings as they approach lay.
    My ducks were well past 20 weeks when they started to lay, the winter just put the brakes on them. They started laying like champs 2 weeks ago.

    How is your coop set up? Do the ducks have access to a night run?
    Could you put shrubbery or plant a tasty vine around their coop? That could help to absorb some sound.
    I wish knew what the invasive vine in my garden is. That thing is thick, unstoppable, grows SO FAST & the ducks love it.

    It sounds like you are blessed with reasonable neighbors. I hope if you involve them a little bit / keep them informed about how you are working to make the ducks more neighborly that they continue to be patient while you figure this out. I found an article last night ...

    maybe this one:
    http://ahdc.vet.cornell.edu/sects/duck/housmngt.html

    or maybe this one...
    http://ahdc.vet.cornell.edu/sects/duck/duckhlth.html

    I think it was one of those articles that had a lot of info about keeping noise down for your neighbor's sake.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by