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Egg Song bothering neighbors

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by STLchicken-chick, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. STLchicken-chick

    STLchicken-chick In the Brooder

    Jul 11, 2011
    For some reason my hens are much noisier than I remembered as a child. They are up at the very first crack of dawn and their egg song is very LOUD, but they usually quiet down within a few hours and are pretty much slient for the rest of the day. It doesn't bother me at all and I wouldn't be as worried about the neighbors if it didn't start so early in the morning. I live in a typical suburban neighborhood. I did talk to my next door neighbors before getting chickens and offered to give eggs when they started laying. Yesterday I went to deliver my first batch and the neighbor's older mother informed she is allergic to eggs and they don't really eat eggs in their household. She also informed she has a sleeping disorder and has to sleep with her window (which is right above my coop) open. She was very nice and said she hadn't said anything because she had seen me with the chickens and could tell how much I love them. I do love them, but I feel really bad. When we first decided to get chickens, I planned on keeping them on the other side of the yard, however being that DH and I are not very handy at building, we decided instead to house them in a converted metal shed that was already on the property. The setup has worked great, (except for the location) and it's pretty open sothere is NO sound barrier. I can keep an eye out for a more insulated coop on craigslist but was wondering if there was anything else I could do in the meantime to reduce the noise in the current set up. I tried turning their nest boxes to face the inside of the coop and even shut one side of the double doors, but they sounded louder than ever this morning. Maybe its just a situation that will have to wait until we can buy a more insulated coop, I just hate to be a bad neighbor. Any thoughts from this lovely community would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening!

  2. Crippledturkey

    Crippledturkey Chirping

    Aug 26, 2011
    Poplar Bluff, Mo
    Ya really cannot stop a hen from singing her song, it is natural. I would reccomend keeping the coop closed until they are done laying which can vary greatly. I have some hens who lay when they first get down, and had one laying until ten minutes after dusk lastnight, she went from box to roost. They did agree that ya could have chickens, and in time she will get used to it. Our roosters would wake me when they first started crowing and I do not notice them now unless they do it at night, and or we are tring to have a conversation by the coop lol. So I would not feel too bad about being a so called bad neighbor, they do kinda sound two faced anyways, unless you are an outlaw owner, enjoy your girls.
  3. Arcnadius

    Arcnadius Songster

    Aug 1, 2010
    Western WI
    I'm new to chickens, so hearing "egg song" brought images of cooing like a dove. When I heard it for myself, I thought the bird was in distress so I can see how it might disturb the neighbor, but if she can hang in there, she'll probably get used to it like I did. Is it practical for you to put up a fence or plant some shrubs?
  4. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

    Apr 27, 2011
    Browntown, VA
    I also find the egg song quite alarming and run out to see if all is well.

    Is the tin making the echo greater?

    Some old folks (like me) love to complain. They also love to list their ailments.

    If I were you, I would provide understanding and talk to the woman. Give a few ideas of what you think may make the situation better, and ask her opinion. Also, explain about the egg song.

    I wonder if you kept the coop dark for longer, if the hens would lay later? My 2 that lay started first thing in the morning, but are now laying around noon or thereafter. I am not sure why they changed schedule. I let them out of the duckhouse about an hour to 2 hours after sunrise.

    The woman does seem really sweet to notice how you love your chickens. Show her some love - perhaps a plant or flowers?
  5. STLchicken-chick

    STLchicken-chick In the Brooder

    Jul 11, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately her window is only about 20 feet away from the coop door and it's up high (my coop is at her basement level) so I don't think there would be a way to plant any sort of sound barrier. When I shut the one side of the door last night it did keep the coop quite a bit darker this morning, which I didn't like because that can effect egg production and it didn't keep them any quieter. I'm not sure if the metal makes them sound louder. I'm sure, given how close they are, with an open window they probably sound like they're in her bedroom. I can hear them quite well from my kitchen which is about the same distance. If I wanted to be a really considerate neighbor, I guess I could buy a dog crate and keep them in the garage overnight. I'm not sure how practical that would be. Hopefully I'll figure something out.
  6. oxfordethan

    oxfordethan In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2011
    Do what you can and what you feel resonable to be a good neighbor. I can hear dog barking from the other side of the neighborhood. I can barely hear my hens if I'm in the front yard. Compared to dogs, I don't think they are loud. The location of the coop should be the only concern I'd worry about and try to change. YMMV.
  7. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Songster

    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    There is no such thing as a sleeping disorder that makes you sleep with your window open, especially in the city (maybe she has apnea and can't afford the machine), but you can't fix crazy. If you can relocate your coop, that could be an option. I put mine as close to the house and as far away from neighbors as possible but haven't yet figured out whether they will be bothersome to the neighbors... The chicken pioneer on my block has a rooster, so I'm hoping the hens aren't as problematic.

    ETA: I lived in Atlanta for 20 years and regularly awoke to leaf blowers, lawn mowers, garbage trucks at 8am. I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as morning noise ordinances in most places, especially those that allow chickens.

    You might try offering a pack of the Hearos skin-tone (softer) earplugs instead - they drown out everything except Call of Duty auxiliary.

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011

  8. franko

    franko Songster

    Oct 22, 2007
    Hunt, Tx
    Look at it from her point of view. She is trying to sleep. She is not bothering you, you are bothering her. Good neighbors don't bother other neighbors. I think your best bet is to move the chickens over to the other side of your yard. I know it's a pain but I bet she will start complaining more and more, for the dye has been cast. Before you know it the cops will be at your door. I live in the country, have chickens, dogs and make sure I don't infringe on neighbors down the road.
  9. K8tieCat

    K8tieCat Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Northern California
    There is no such thing as a sleeping disorder that makes you sleep with your window open, especially in the city

    I agree 300%. She can open her bedroom door as easily as she can open a window. Also, most ordinances limit noises to about 8:00 am. Do your chickens start making noise before then?

    It is important to be a good neighbor, and while it is admirable that she admitted she could tell you love your chickens, being untruthful is not OK. Look up your city's ordinance to see if you are in violation. If it is possible to move your coop, that would be a viable option.​
  10. bleith

    bleith Songster

    Aug 10, 2010
    West Dundee IL
    I have noticed just in the 2 short weeks that my birds have been laying that they have quited down considerably. I dont know if that is typical, but just what I have noticed.

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