How to plan for noise management?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Cinnabar, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. Cinnabar

    Cinnabar Just Hatched

    Apr 10, 2016
    Hey everyone! I'm brand-new to chickens. My husband and I plan to get just a little flock of three hens for our backyard soon, and are currently designing the coop! Our yard is about 1,100sqft, full fenced with a 5.5ft sturdy fence and the hens will have free-roam access to all of it most of the time. We have neighbors directly on either side of us who are very nice and are fine with a few chickens, but I imagine that that attitude would run thin very VERY quickly if the girls chose to do their "egg song" in the early hours of the morning and it was loud enough to wake someone up. This is my main fear.

    We were given one of those "little tikes" plastic playhouses and we thought it would make a good, easily-cleanable coop for just three hens. We already own a 5x10ft run that we plan to attach to the playhouse so they have access to outside space even when they can't be in the whole yard. We'll be putting a nest box outside one window.

    Again, my primary source of anxiety right now is the potential for noise and how to deal with it. Past around 9:00am, people are up and the noise of the day has started and I'm not worried about letting the girls do whatever they wish. Before 9:00 though, I need to know what is possible to do to help keep a lid on things and ensure that they aren't going make a racket.

    Is there a material in particular that I could use line the ceiling of the playhouse (underside of the roof) that would provide some sound-dampening without being hazardous to the birds or retaining moisture? What about insulation around the outside of the nest box? Can I close off access to the outside run until 9:00am or will that make them MORE likely to make a loud fuss than if they had access to it? Would they get used to that routine if I was very consistent? I assume that a good, deep layer of bedding will help with any noise they make inside the coop (and is good practice anyway, from what I've read). Anything else I can do to my hutch design?

    Also wondering if there is anything else I should expect about the typical timing or volume of the "egg song" squawking. I seem to have read that noise potential isn't that related to breed, but maybe it still is, to some extent? Any breeds to avoid? Have access to primarily Australorps, RIR's, Red Stars (sex-link, right?), and Orpingtons, I'm mostly sure.

    TL;DR. I've got a plastic playhouse and a run at my disposal, a fenced yard, and neighbors on both sides that I don't want to wake up in the morning. How would you design things in my position? What would you have wanted to know, going in?

    Sorry for being such a chicken newbie! I know what it's like to hear stupid questions from newbies, when it comes to my experience with other animals. But, I'm learning. :)
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! Chickens wake up and eat at dawn, and go to roost at sunset. They will talk, but dogs are MUCH louder! The birds will lay eggs in the morning to early afternoon, and that's when the most 'talking' will occur. Make sure that you observe all local rules on setbacks, etc, and try to face the windows of the coop to the south (depending on your location). Your female chicks are 'pullets' until they are one year of age, then they become 'hens' Mary
  3. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2016
    San Diego
    It's not clear where you live. But if you're allowed to have them and they make a little noise here and there... well, people will have to get over it. We live in an urban setting and we're not alone in having poultry. No one has complained to us about the noise and sometimes they are pretty loud singing that egg song. It's usually mid-morning to afternoon, but sometimes it's more like 7:30 in the morning.

    Most of our immediate neighbors just either don't know we have chickens or don't care. It's actually interesting to us how few of our neighbors ever go outside in the backyard at all.
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    I don't know of any particular insulating material you could use to sound dampen, but if you go that route make sure it's fully encased as chickens will pick at foam, insulation, etc.

    I think a routine would help with the noise. Like most animals chickens will adapt to a schedule. When I go out in the morning I let my dogs out first - my chickens make a little noise in anticipation but don't kick up a big fuss and I deliberately don't pay them much attention at that time. They know the dogs come out, dogs go back in, and then several minutes later, I'll be back to let them out. At that time they really start pushing against the door and fussing, then once they're out, they're fairly quiet again.

    On the other hand you could try an automatic coop door so they can get out at the break of dawn, as they'll be more likely to be quiet if released into the run, but that means they'll be expecting that too.

    Some breeds may be noisier than others but a lot of it is the individual birds as well. I don't get an egg song every day but when they do it, it's usually midday or early afternoon and sometimes it goes on for a few minutes, other times it's less than a minute.
  5. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio

    I agree. As long as you follows the rules, you are well within your rights to have chickens. I'd rather listen to chickens than someone's barking dog or loud music. The "egg song" isn't an obnoxious sound and really doesn't go on for long.

    We live in a semi rural area, we have acreage but most around us do not. We've had no problems and most neighbors didn't even know we had chickens. We aren't permitted to have roosters in our township though.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    "How to plan for noise management"
    How to acclimate your neighbors to chicken noise:
    -Make an eggsong mix 'tape', many versions available on youtube.
    -Play it several times a day, increasing decibels over a few weeks or so.
    Just kidding.

    Welcome to BYC!
    1 person likes this.
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan

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