Please: Need advice!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by biretta, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. biretta

    biretta Songster

    Jun 7, 2007
    I feel like I'm beating a dead horse; I posted a related issue recently but now it's come down to one thing which will determine whether I can continue keeping chickens for the next 2 years until I can move to acreage. How can I keep my chickens from squawking so much? After my last post, I rehomed 3 of my 5 hens. The 3 would squawk like they were sceaming bloody murder (they wanted out of their pen). Now I personally could deal with this but my s.o. is a low profile kind of person and didn't want to become known as the neighborhood chicken guy. Also it was waking him up in the early mornings after he'd worked a late shift the night before, which was not fair to him. So I kept 2 that were relatively quiet. I've been letting them out for a couple of hours in the evening only in an attempt to establish a routine so they don't expect to be let out at all hours of the day, a mistake I think I made before with the flock. I have been away from home for a couple of days visiting my parents and apparently, they're cackling and squawking earlier in the morning and it's getting worse in general. It's probably because I havent' been around to let them out but I'm afraid this will continue after I get home and try to resume their scheduled outings. I'm thinking it's probably going to come down to getting rid of them too
    [​IMG] Last week though he agreed to ordering 4 more chicks hoping to start anew. So for all you backyard chicken owners, how do you keep yours from disturbing the whole neighborhood? I don't want to never let them out, and I don't know if even this would remedy the problem. Would it? In my last posting, some of you said you've never had this problem. What are you doing that I'm not, or am I just having bad chicken luck? Are there certain breeds that are quieter? Please offer me some suggestions if you can as I don't want to "spoil" this next batch I'm getting. If this doesn't work out, then it's the end of chicken ownership for me until I can move to acreage but that's in 2 years--a long time to go without! I can't take, nor can he, all the fighting over the chickens!
  2. CtlisencedArborist

    CtlisencedArborist Songster

    Jul 20, 2007
    You cant,plain and simple.[​IMG]
  3. cadman68

    cadman68 Songster

    Feb 15, 2007
    Middle TN
    I agree there really is no way to make them stop making noises that is totally natural for them to make. It's just nature and you can't change it.......
  4. LindaN

    LindaN Songster

    Jul 28, 2007
    I'm one of those folks that don't have a problem with loud chickens, so all I can do is share with you info, but not troubleshoot the cause.

    My 3 chickens are Red Star (also called Red Sex-Link) pullets. They came to me as pullets and were raised in a hatchery. I've only had them since August 16, so they are still settling in to their new environment and getting to know me. It seems to me that they did not get a lot of contact with people, but their natural curiosity and interest in getting food has made them more likely to approach me now!

    The noises they make at this time are usually soft clucking when they first exit the coop in the morning and when they are out roaming the yard. They occasionally get a bit louder when they get excited about something when they are out and about, but certainly do not squawk loudly very often.

    Perhaps when they start laying (they are only approximately 19 weeks now) they may make more noise, but for now they are fairly quiet.

    It's possible that since they weren't handled a lot when young and didn't get to know people and that people will react a certain way to their vocalizations, they therefore don't make a lot of noises. It's also possible that my dogs (who are very eager to make their acquaintence, and are quite vocal about it) are intimidating to them. (The dogs are kept away from the chickens right now, but they can see and hear each other through a fence.)

    It's also possible that the area I live in is more noisy than yours and therefore we are less sensitive to noises around us! If you live in a very quiet area, then certainly every small squawk will sound much louder. I live in the city near busy streets, so the ambient noises around me all the time are: traffic (including loud cars, trucks, and motorcycles), airplanes (a major approach to O'Hare is right above us), lawn equipment, dogs barking, birds calling, people talking and calling, children playing, local businesses loading and unloading stuff, etc.

    Hearing chickens who live about 50 feet away is pretty challenging with all this ambient noise!

    I would venture a guess that if you were to start over, you may be better off getting chickens that were hatchery raised and therefore have not learned you well like small chicks will. I am still learning about chickens, but certainly with animals like dogs they train us over time just as much as we train them. So, if a dog has learned that whining loudly and not stopping will get her person to take her outside, then the dog will whine loudly whenever it wants to go out. Trying to break a dog of such a habit takes lots of time and rigorous discipline on the part of a person (no giving in "just this once!"). So, starting off with older birds who had little learning about humans in their most formative time, rather than chicks that learn rapidly about their environment, may be the better route.

    But that's just my opinion.
  5. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Sorry, I tend to think you would be better off waiting until you move to your acreage and even at that ....your s.o. will still be awakened in the mornings until he/she learns to block them out. Perhaps if they had lots of room to free range they would be quieter?? I only hear my roosters unless one of the hens feels like bragging that she laid an egg. But then again, I have tuned them out and they don't bother me.
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Since you have pointed out not letting them out causes them to make noise till you let them out, you might have no choice than to just not let them out. Do that with your new bunch and they will never know the difference. Freedom for them in addicting so keep them in and they will think their run is freedom. Good luck!
  7. biretta

    biretta Songster

    Jun 7, 2007
    Thanks for the input. Yes, it seems there's not much I can do I guess but I just wonder why some people don't have this issue with *their* hens.

    LindaN, now I actually wish their was more nosie pollution in my neighborhood because yes, it is fairly quiet here. Every squawk and cackle is audible. The s.o. is embarassed because although I have not witnessed it, he says people walking by on the street will stop and try to peer into the backyard to see where the noise is coming from. I'll be interested in hearing if your pullets do eventually progress from the quiet clucking they do now. I'm stuck with the chicks for now so can't try your suggestion. When I get my next batch of chickens on acreage, luckily it won't matter!
  8. biretta

    biretta Songster

    Jun 7, 2007
    Yeah, the more realistic route would be to wait till I move; if this latest attempt falls through I may have to.

    I think I will have to try not letting them out Silkiechicken, as hard as that will be and despite the guilt I'll feel. But that is probably the only solution for now.
  9. Hi Biretta,

    i'm sorry you're continuing to have problems. i don't have a lot of experience, but here it is, nonetheless. When i had my Rhode Island Red hens, they seemed to be fairly loud when they wanted out, when they wanted in, when it was bedtime, when someone stepped on another's foot, etc - in other words, most of the time. When they turned out to be too aggressive with my other birds, they went to a new home.

    The two Ameraucana hens i have now are pretty quiet, unless there is trouble afoot. They make regular low chicken sounds *bock, bock, bock* purrs, etc. Or they will be a little vocal when i go to let them out in the morning and evening, but nothing that would disturb a neighbor.

    My silkies are young, but also very quiet. They make those peeping sounds which get louder when i come near with a treat, but that's it.

    My Frizzle X Silkie/Polish/Japanese/Mille Fleur mix chicks - WOW are they loud! They have an ear-piercing sound that gets very loud and constant at bedtime. i think my only saving grace is that there are a lot of birds in the neighborhood which are hopefully masking the sounds.

    i'm not sure i've helped at all. i understand the desire to have chickens - i love chickens. But stress in your life and relationship cannot be good. Hope you are able to find a good solution to make everyone in your household happy.

  10. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    The quietest chickens I have are EE's, hens, of course. But the only time any of my birds carry on is when they lay. But even then the EE's are quiet.

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