Roosters are not allowed in our town, and when one of my neighbors decided to test the neighborhood’s tolerance-level, it turned out to be pretty low. The villagers promptly arrived with torches and pitchforks. Folks don’t take kindly to 7 am rooster calls in these parts. So, I’ve been feeling pretty darn lucky that all four of my chicks turned into fluffy-butted, egg-laying hen-ladies. Lucky, except for the fact that one of my girls did not, apparently, get the memo about early morning rooster calls.
I’ve read about this happening. When a flock has no actual rooster, sometimes one of the hens will step up and take on the role. She’ll be protective, maybe a little bit aggressive, and she may even take a shot at some less than bearable vocal exercises.
So, yes, as of the last few wonderful days, this is exactly what’s going down at the Farmhouse. Yay. Only, it isn’t a 7 am wake-up call, it’s a 5 am wake-up call. FIVE. O’CLOCK. IN THE MORNING. Pitch black out. Chicken party in the henhouse.
Personally, I am an early riser, anyway, so the hour doesn’t actually bother me. I’m just relatively certain that my neighbors aren’t going to share my same jolly sentiment. Especially since my sweet little chicken sounds like a goose being strangled. Good morning, neighborhood! Hope you went to bed early! Oh, how I love stumbling blindly out the door in my slippers and PJs and running across the yard in the dark to tell the birds to shut their beak-holes. And then, as though it is simply a matter of reasoning with them, I have an extended whisper-conversation with them imploring them to climb back on their mother-clucking roosts and at least pretend to sleep….so. help. me!
Before this nonsense started, we had been discussing the possibility of doing a roost-room add-on to the current chicken coop. The room would be fully-enclosed, insulated, and sound-proofed (with a baby monitor added so the crazy chicken lady can keep tabs). I guess it’s go-time on that weekend-killer.
Really, I’m hoping it’s just a phase that somebody is going through (still don’t know which bird is the culprit) and that the wee hours of the morning will soon go back to being wee. I’d like to go back to being woken up by my other alarm clocks:
If we actually lived out in the country (like I like to pretend we do), I would just let the chickens make whatever racket they chose (in fact, I’d probably get a rooster to join in the circus). But, in the close confines of our suburban setting, extra precautions (aka, bribery and flattery) are going to have to be taken in order to ensure our neighbors’ good will.
I’m curious to know if any other suburban/urban chicken keepers out there have run into similar chicken-noise-situations, and what, if any measures you took to handle them. I just want to have happy neighbors and happy hens. And a winning lottery ticket….is that so much to ask?!