Quiet Chickens ???

chrisd_fl(z9)July 2, 2008

I would like to keep a few chickens in my backyard for eggs and garden pest control, however I live in a suburban neighborhood with a homeowners assoc. that may not share in my interest in farm animals. I was curious if there were any breeds of chicken that do not produce a lot of loud noise? I have one neighbor who is a big complainer.

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ginni77(z 5)

I'm in almost the same situation as you and I've had my chickens for almost 15 weeks and keep waiting to hear from the village that I can't keep them...it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop when you have a close-by neighbor who loves to complain!

I did a lot of research on which breeds are the quietest and Buff Orpingtons seem to be on the top of the list. Sadly only one of my Buff Orp pullets survived chickhood, but she is a very quiet girl. Other breeds that seemed to be pretty quiet in what I read said the sex-link chickens are calm and quiet. I have 4 Golden Comets and 2 Black sex-link hens and they are pretty quiet for the most part...they can squawk pretty good if they don't want to be picked up...but mostly they are quiet. I also have Easter Eggers (many hatcheries erroneously call them Araucanas or Ameraucanas) and they are pretty good too. I main thing to be sure of is that you don't have any roosters...they can be very noisy and crow at all hours, and could really set off your crabby neighbors! That's the beauty of the sex-link chickens...they can be sexed on day 1 and you KNOW you have girls. I have some 15 week old Easter Eggers that the jury is still out on, as to whether they are pullets or roos! I'm afraid I'll have to wait until they either lay an egg, or crow before I know for sure!!

Good luck! :)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 9:37AM
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iapq1990

I have two 18 week old pullets in my teeny tiny urban back yard (30 x 50'). One is a Buff Orpington and the other is an Australorp. So far they are amazingly quiet. When I go to let them out of their coop in the morning they say hello with some low purring and when I chase them out of the veggie beds they go "bwak bwak!" but I doubt if my neighbors can hear it over the six foot privacy fence surrounding our yard. They aren't laying yet so I've yet to hear the infamous "egg cackle" but I'm not too worried. They're a million times quieter than any of the neighborhood dogs!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 8:49PM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

I've had lots of breeds of chickens. The quietest so far is the Delaware.

Buff Orpingtons can cackle as loudly as my Barred Rocks, but they tend to be broody, and nowhere near as noisy as a general rule. I have 12 Buffs at this time, and 9 Barred Rocks.

My Delaware is nearly mute. She will chuckle very, very quietly, but never "goes off" like the other gals.

My Rooster is the worst. He will anounce each egg with horrid screeching (like a hen but greatly exaggerated).

I've also had RI Reds, Sex Links, Dark Cornish, Americaunas, and many mixes.

So far, the only quiet bird has been my wonderfull "Della."

I ordered another 25 Delawares due to her charm, quiet nature, and beauty.

Lisa

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 10:19PM
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sullicorbitt(z5 MA)

Most hens don't make very much noise until they start laying. They can make quite a racket after they lay an egg and often the others will join in the chorus. In my experience the roosters are the most annoying to neighbors. I actually enjoy the crowing but there are always those that greatly dislike any noise (kids, dogs, etc.).

It would be a really good idea to make sure that poultry is allowed in your community before investing in a set up. Going by the rules is a must to avoid trouble. A well built coop will also help to muffle any noise. If all goes well people will eventually become very used to any noise your girls make and most of it will go unnoticed.

Ginny77, if you post some pictures of your EE's we can help determine if you have any roo's, I think EE's are the most difficult to sex early on but by 15 weeks you should be able to tell.

Sheila

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 8:27AM
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ginni77(z 5)

Thanks Sheila, I'll try to get some good photos of my three girls (I call them the Stygian Witches!! haha)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 10:24AM
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chrisd_fl(z9)

Thanks everyone for your replies. I will definitely insulate the coop very well to reduce the noise. If anyone else has any more opinions, I'd like to hear them.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 1:11PM
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greenmulberry(5-Iowa City)

I just had to rehome one of my speckled sussex because she screams loudly for hours every day. She has a nice outside run, plenty of room, and I let them free range in the woods and fields for long periods of time. I think they are just a vocal breed.

So I just wanted to warn you. My other speckled sussex is very chatty and vocal as well, but so far no screaming. This was not the egg laying cackle, but it almost sounded like a complaint?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 3:07PM
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msjay2u(7)

Be glad you do not live in my city. No chickens allowed at all. I just noticed my zoning is rural residential and I am about to put my chickens out without checking city ordinances. I only have one neighbor and she is aware of the chickens so I do not anticipate any problems from her. My plan is if the city tells me to get rid of them I am going to the county commissioners and ask for a variance.

I really like the way roosters sound and I wanted one but my neighbor already warned me it would not be okay with her and since I like her I decided to repsect that besides she watches over my house when I am at work so I don't want to piss her off.
Doesn't it just kill you when you pay so much money for a house then the HOA can control what you can and can not do on your property? It is just rediculous. Did you read your HOA declarations? It usually specifies what you can and can not have. I have seen lots of them with restictions on pot belly pigs and most of the ones I read have restrictions on chickens that read hens, no roosters and a limit of 4 hens. then you have to worry about the city and their rules. hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 5:55PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Ha, the variety of cackles I got from my mixed flock--! Anything from no cackling at all, to deep-throated 'BU-CAWK! from BIG hens, to delicate banty cackles, to a weird, howling, 'Whooooaaahhhhhh-OHHHHH!' wail from my WCB Polish hen...who has taught that stinkin' noise to one of the banties.

The roosters are far and away quieter than the hens, it's just that the hens cackle during the DAY, and roos start to go off at 4:30AM--which is a deal-killer as far as the neighbors are concerned. You have to either soundproof their nighttime roost, or get better neighbors. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 5:31PM
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msjay2u(7)

you know what velvet, now that I think of it, you are right, hens do make a lot of noise but I think the difference is their noises do not carry as far as a rooster does. I just noticed yesterday that someone on the next block must have a rooster cause I can hear it. It is not so loud from where I am because it has to be a distance way but I can hear it all the same.

I meant to tell chrisd_fl to read the covenants of the subdivision not the declaration. Declarations are for condos. If you can not find your paper copy you can probably look it up online. Do a search for your register of deeds website online and see if they have public access. You could search for it under your city but if you live in a small town it would probably be under the county or the county seat. If so then all you have to do is do a search for your subdivision. when the document comes up hit ctrl+F on your keyboard (find) and put chicken in the search box. If they are not online you might want to check to see if your Home Owners Association is online. If neither is online then you will have to dust off your copy of borrow a neighbors copy.
Good luck and let us know

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:03AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I have been told that if you put them in a space where they cannot stand up straight that they will not crow.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 2:53PM
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iapq1990

Gee, Brendan, that seems a bit cruel......to say the least. I hope you're not suggesting that as an actual solution to the OP's question.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:03PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I've never tried it, but it could be an option for the night time to keep them quiet till a reasonable hour. As it turns out it seems that I was raised to be brutally unfeeling and rational when it comes to animals, not inhumane, just rationally bound.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 3:57AM
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sullicorbitt(z5 MA)

I've heard this method as well, the idea is to build a "nighttime" box (not 24/7) that is perfectly humane just not high enough for the roo to stretch out straight to crow, I honestly don't see anything wrong with that. I actually considered this method but realized I wasn't motivated enough to chase down my roo every night. We just used sound insulation in the coop and that works just fine.

-Sheila

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 8:36AM
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msjay2u(7)

Maybe I misunderstood but I am hoping that what was meant is that the crow can stand straight but not have enough head room to fully extend his neck because Roosters cannot crow if they cannot full extend their necks.

I just read on a website the below info and it makes me wonder if having the rooster in total darkness at night would insure that they will not crow at night:

In days long past, the only light source was the sun. Originally, the roosters did crow at sunrise (and then throughout the day) since the sun's rays stimulated them to "let loose their vocal chords"... or what we call "crow". However, now that we have lights streaming through our windows into the chicken coops, street lamps glaring down into our yards, and an array of other light rays bothering the poor, confused roosters, they end up crowing day in, day out and all night long!

How about someone out there with a rooster trying this for us to see if it works. totally blacken their space one night and see if they still crow. It will be interesting to know...

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 6:55PM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

Hi everyone. My rooster does not crow at night at all. He only crows in the morning,,and then all day long. Never at night when he is roosting. They are in the dark,,no lights going into the coop at all. No street lights,,and all of their windows and doors are solid wood with no glass which get closed up at night, so no lights from the house get in either.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 9:27PM
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msjay2u(7)

ahhh haaa so the theory is true in your case. Very interesting to know. take notes chrisd. LOL

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 7:05PM
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msjay2u(7)

chrisd did you find out any information about your convenants for your subdivision? Have you decided on anything? In the next town from here the city requires anyone who wants to keep chickens to talk to their neighbors to see if they have any objections. If you decide to do that I would preface the meeting by putting an informational flyer in their boxes about how cool it is to have chickens in the city just to raise interest. Many people might say no out of ignorance. Thinking all chickens stink, have to have a rooster for eggs etc...

Anyway I think it would be better to at least get your neighbors involved instead of having complaints later. I would speak to the complainer last though that way if they pass the idea by other neighbors they might be suprised to get positive results.

here are some articles to get them motivated:


Deluth, MN (questions and answers)

Portland Oregon


Raleigh, NC


Benefits of Urban Chickens


Metro Chickens in Oregon

Madison, WI

Â

Its catching on like wildfire!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 6:16PM
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chrisd_fl(z9)

Thanks guys for the replies and info.

msjay2u - I'm pretty sure chickens are allowed in my county. I know for a fact that poultry is not permitted by my HOA. I'm still going to get a few in the near future and see how it plays out. I'm gonna to do a bit more research on quiet breeds and build a well insulated coop. I've decided that my lil micro-farm won't be complete without some chickens.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 5:38PM
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cpp6318

The Delewares are pretty quiet, lay plenty of eggs, and stay close to home but for really quiet try a Cochin or Brahma.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 7:24PM
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moopey10_hotmail_com

My neighbor has chickens, a rooster and at least on turkey. Although the chickens can sometimes be loud and annoying, I don't mind too much. I do however mind the rooster. It usually crows between 4am and 6:30am. It's very disruptive during Tue swing seasons when I keep my Windows open more. Every year their coop grows. I'm actually contemplating calling animal control because of the rooster.

I understand the purpose and don't want to be a pain. But it wakes me up 5 out of 7 days a week. I know if I had a dog that did that they'd call him on me.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 4:03PM
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moopey10_hotmail_com

My neighbor has chickens, a rooster and at least on turkey. Although the chickens can sometimes be loud and annoying, I don't mind too much. I do however mind the rooster. It usually crows between 4am and 6:30am. It's very disruptive during Tue swing seasons when I keep my Windows open more. Every year their coop grows. I'm actually contemplating calling animal control because of the rooster.

I understand the purpose and don't want to be a pain. But it wakes me up 5 out of 7 days a week. I know if I had a dog that did that they'd call him on me.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 6:03AM
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