Jump to content
Noisy Chooks - HELP!
5 replies to this topic
Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:12 AM
Calling all chook lovers... I need some advice.
We have 6 hens. 3 ISAs, who we never heard a peep out of. Earlier this year we added in 3 purebreds (2 Australorps and 1 RIR) and got them successfully integrated. The problem is, the purebreds like to YELL early some mornings, for generally no apparent reason. As early as 5am they wake me up (coop is only a few m from our bedroom window) - sometimes only one, sometimes two or three of them making as much noise as they can. Whilst the ISAs do join in occasionally they are never the ringleaders and always much quieter. I can't just ignore it/get back to sleep and I'm always worried about the noise waking the neighbours (we're in suburbia - it's a miracle we haven't had a dozen council complaints by now), so I go running out to see what's wrong. On rare occasions they might be out of feed/water/grit (all have dispensing systems), but generally there seems to be no reason whatsoever for the noises. It's not their egg song or anything. They are just strutting back and forth in the run yelling. No local birds harrassing them, no other cause for complaint that I can see. This morning they still had half a cabbage and a bunch of veggie garden delights to pick through (as well as their grain etc) and were still fussing. If I shush them and tell them to be quiet they eventually do settle down, but as soon as I'm back inside and tucked into bed they almost always start right back up again.
I think getting rid of the purebreds would at least vastly improve the situation. I'm already composing Gumtree ads in my head ("Three energetic and social purebred chickens available...") but DH loves the purebreds and doesn't want to get rid of them unless there really is no alternative. I'm going crazy. It's me that ends up running out to deal with the noise every morning (DH is somewhat underdressed and also deafer than me), and then I have to be up less than an hour later for work. We have a DD due end of January and I know that given how poorly I'm already coping with the relentless noise (I am the crazy lady in her pyjamas swearing at chickens at 5.30am) it's only going to get worse when I'm sleep deprived and worrying about a newborn's sleeping habits as well as my own.
Any tips for getting chooks to shut up???
- I sometimes resort to tossing some grain mix in there, which distracts them, but I don't want to encourage them to make noise with that expectation. Plus I would still have to get out of bed to do that every morning! (We have looked into automatic dispensers, not sure if that would help though?)
- Due to the design of the coop/run, there is no way to keep them contained in a darkened space for longer. The coop sits above the enclosed run and they have a ramp to get down. The bottom of the coop is open slats so light gets in from underneath. I've thought long and hard but can't find any way of easily blocking off their access to the run/light, due to the design. The whole run is too big (4.8m long) to black out.
- We have thought about rigging the coop door to open at sunrise so they can free range in the backyard but they trash the garden when they're allowed out too long, and 6 chickens leave a lot of droppings all over the lawn. Also, they're still making noise while free ranging right now!
- Moving the coop further away from our bedroom isn't an option, as there's nowhere else in the yard it would fit while still being the right distance away from fences.
Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:26 AM
This is a tough one! Our girls are parked well away from our bedroom window and I am usually woken up by our dog running over to their pen barking like a loon and thinking he can intervene in the hen politics.
I'd definitely say for now to stop giving them the grains as a last resort - this will form a habit that will be very hard to break.
Have you checked out any of Jackie French's books or materials online - she is a bit of a chook whisperer and I am sure she would have some valuable insights.
Personally, I haven't found my chooks particularly responsive to disciplinary action
Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:36 AM
Is there a cat hanging around that you can't see?
I love chooks and love the noises they make but yeah, not in the early hours. Mine used to fuss a bit if the neighbours cat was on the prowl.
Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:31 AM
Thank you both for the feedback!
Mumma_Ox - I agree with you about the grains, I definitely don't want to encourage that habit. I'm not sure whether or not me going out to shush them is helping anything, or if it teaches them they have effectively gained my attention and might get something...? I really struggle to stay in bed and just ignore the noise, though! Drives me crazy worrying about neighbours.
I haven't heard of Jackie French but I'll look her up now! Oh, and for the dog thing... I kinda wish my dogs would a least make an effort! They just give me a lazy look and hop up to steal my spot on the bed when I go to see what's happening outside!
FiveAus - I don't think there would be a cat (our dogs have pretty strong feline-radar), but I have wondered about mice/rats which we have had problems with in the garage and yard before. No evidence of anything lately and I never see anything in the mornings, but it's a possibility...
Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:32 AM
Cover the cage so its darker. 5:00am is first light here, and the noise from the birds is just amazing.
Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:46 AM
Throw some of the lovely corn on the bottom of the coop when you lock them up at night. They will get a lovely surprise in the morning.
I did see one episode of Better homes and Gardens where Dr Harry gives the chickens a polystyrene box. Apparently its not harmful, but they love to peck at it and relieves some boredom. Maybe throw one of those in there for the morning for them to peck it.
IMaybe there is a snake passing by at that time of the morning?
1 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users
We had six adults standing there, so I felt like I could relax a bit. After all, what could go wrong with so much supervision?
A Sydney barrister who survived the Lindt cafe siege has named her newborn daughter after her best friend who died in the tragedy.
Here are some foods to eat in order to escape feeling ghastly and gassy.
My son is a worrier by nature. I learnt long ago that it was completely pointless to say to him "Don't worry about it!".
The combined impact of the two budgets for low and middle income people was "devastating", new analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service shows.
As the winter chill starts to arrive, NSW Health is urging pregnant women to get their flu shots.
A 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets.
It's not just waiting periods that couples need to consider - there are other factors to consider when thinking about health insurance.
Australian model Nicole Trunfio has taken the concept of multitasking to a fashionable new level for Elle Australia.
Parents have been warned about the dangers of letting babies sleep in bouncers and swings following the death of a three-month-old girl.
Sleep deprivation is a real hazard of caring for a baby. But there are ways to manage the challenges of fatigue better.
It's not all the parents, and it's not all the time, but there is often at least one doing it. And sometimes, that 'one' is me.
More than 80,000 faulty Samsung washing machines pose a fire threat in homes throughout Australia despite a nationwide recall of the machines.
Lotus birthing is not all that common, but for a number of women it feels like the most natural thing to do.
Despite its widespread nature, there is still a great amount of mystery surrounding PND - and it's important to try unravelling as much of that as we can.
More than 50 million vehicles recalled for potentially lethal airbag fault - is your car affected?
H2O is one of the necessities of life, but for babies a seemingly harmless amount of water can be fatal.
He had it all planned: a romantic proposal on a windswept beach. The whole family would be there so they'd all be able to celebrate the joyous moment together.
When our son stopped talking, our sense of loss was painful and acute.
They run their homes like domestic CEOs and work tirelessly to improve their family's social standing. And now, according to a new book, they want an annual perk from their husbands.
A widely-shared Facebook photograph of a British woman's breast has raised awareness of a more subtle breast cancer symptom.
"I'd never really failed a test - how could I fail this particularly manly test?"
New guidelines have been released, aimed at reducing children's harmful exposure to lead. But they still don't go far enough.
Chances are your toddler's behaviour is all completely normal - but here's how to tackle some common social problems.
We did sigh with joy at the arrival of a royal princess - but, mostly, we sighed with pity at the sight of Prince George being taken to meet her.
I've been in denial and I'm not too proud to beg, but it appears I must accept the fact that you have gone. I need to let you go.
The father of identical triplets born in a Texas hospital says his three daughters, including conjoined twins, are "a miracle" sent by God.
If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there?s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it?s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.
Top 5 Articles
Many women in labour don't use gas effectively and suffer more side effects than benefits. Here's how to get the most out of this pain relief option.
We cannot place all children who are sick in a bubble till they recover, but we can give other parents a choice about exposing their kids to them.
Now that the colder months are here, Essential Baby as all the information you need for staying healthy and happy during the chilly season.
Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.
Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.
Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.
The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.
A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.
I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.
I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.
Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.
Mothers, babies, the health system and the wider society are going to pay the price of this new budget.
Baby Jai Bishop has lived at Starship Hospital for the past seven months, with his parents flying back and forth from Hokitika, 1100km away, to be by his side.
Life On Mars
We are all responsible for our own behaviour. Telling victims to harden up is wrong.
The biological father of baby Gammy has reportedly tried to access charity money raised for the little boy's medical costs.
It?s all very well to encourage women to work if they choose to, but how can the measures lead to increased workforce participation when women are once again left holding the baby?
After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.
Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.
A mum has shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer treatment as a warning to others.
We can certainly gain higher levels of happiness when we become parents, but the trick is to not get overwhelmed by the pressures of raising our kids.
It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.
Top baby names
The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.