Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MisfitMarie, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Songster

    Oct 20, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I live in a suburban neighborhood in the SW area of Washington State. Technically, I believe I am allowed roosters, being outside of city limits and living in "unincorporated" Clark County. Oodles of research have only left me more confused, but still hopeful! So, here is my game plan, since my cockerels are now approaching four months of age:

    This weekend, I will be introducing my neighbors to my Ameraucana cockerels, Stark and Lannister. I will be leaving a flyer at their door describing my flock and why I chose to have backyard chickens. I will also explain my two biggest reasons for having a rooster: to protect and to fertilize.

    My little cockerels will become roosters soon, and that means they are going to start learning how to crow. There will be a few days transition time, during which crowing will be heard. This is when I will begin Plan A: The No Crow Rooster Collar. As mentioned previously, it might take a few days to configure the correct fit. In some cases, the collar does not work at all or can end in suffocation, so I plan on being extremely careful with its implementation, giving the rooster plenty of room to breathe (and crow) until I find the correct fit. If the collar fails to control his crowing, I will move on to Plan B.

    Plan B consists of creating what I have researched on this forum to be "the cock box". I would build a thick crate inside the coop where the roosters will be placed overnight. The darkness (should) discourage crowing, and muffle if it doesn't, so that I can allow him out after 9 or 10 in the morning to crow without waking anyone up. Obviously, this is not the best scenario, as there will still be crowing. But between the three noisy dogs, cat fights in the street, and various other noises that I hear through the night in this neighborhood, I would be annoyed if a rooster crowing two or three times during the day bothered anyone. Just my added two cents there. ;-)

    Plan C consists of building two large cages in the garage: one for each rooster. Roosters will be brought in every night, diligently, unless there happens to be stormy or extremely cold weather (which means that most neighborhood windows will be closed). They will be brought out during the day to be with their ladies...and to crow.

    Plan D will depend upon finding a veterinarian that can perform a decrowing surgery at an affordable price. I've heard that the surgery is risky with a discouraging survival rate, but I could be wrong on this. More research is required. Anyway, I will then have both roosters decrowed, fingers crossed...while holding back some of their male offspring as replacements should the surgery fail.

    Plan E means rehoming my roosters. And eventually saving up enough money to relocate to an area where they wont be a problem. This would be a rather upsetting option, as I adore my roosters. I've always loved roosters!

    Plan F is a last resort. If all above attempts to control crowing fail, and I cannot rehome my roos, they will have to end up on the dinner table.

    Complying neighbors get access to:

    1. One free dozen organic colorful chicken eggs to start
    2. Free EE chicks to start their own backyard flock
    3. My sincere gratitude


    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Its always good to have a plan, and I hope yours works. You may find that keeping just one rooster would work better, as soon as one of them crows the other one will start too and you'll get a chorus. One rooster alone seems to crow much less.

    Surgery is indeed both expensive and has a discouraging mortality rate. This is because birds do not have a voice box, instead the surgery is done down in the chest with the trachea splits.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I would suggest that you find out if in fact you are allowed to have roosters, find out who to call and ask.
    If you are not allowed, that would make all plans moot but E and F...unless you want to risk whatever the consequences are.

    I also agree that keeping only 1 cockerel is probably a good idea.
    2 cockerels means competition and that's the most common reason cockerels fight and/or abuse the pullets.
    I'd also suggest that you have separate enclosures(I use large wire dog crates) ready now, as when cockerels go bad, it happens fast and it's not pretty. You'll want to get them away from each other and the pullets, like immediately.

    Flyers to the neighbors can be might get support and/or you might just clue in the clueless and/or the trouble makers that you even have chickens.

    Not sure how much space or how many pullets you have or what your chicken keeping goals are.
    I'm inferring you want to hatch eggs because of the fertility statement, have you thought ahead as to how you are going to house/manage chicks and the resulting cockerels?

    Best of cLuck in your decisions, please do post back to let us know how it worked out for you.
  4. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Songster

    Jun 10, 2014
    As someone who currently has 4 roosters - I have to emphasize this - rooster crowing is multiplicative. When one decides to crow, they all will crow in response. Sometimes they'll all crow back and forth for 5-10 minutes until they decide "ok, everyone get the point?".

    So, if you're even slightly worried about noise - stick to 1.
  5. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Songster

    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop

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