Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Scoop in the Coop: Behavior Modification
This is the second part of H2's video showing what my chickens go through when they lay an egg. Part of that daily routine involves plenty of loud ba-gawking, something that I'm trying to discourage given how close my neighbors are to the coop. To make matters worse it goes on for 2-3 hours while all the chickens go through the nesting/laying cycle. Every day.
Two weeks after starting spraying them with water immediately after they make the noise, I think they've toned it down a bit.
None of the online chicken forums, nor the guidebooks that I've consulted, really address how loud chickens can be. In particular, Damerow's "Guide to Raising Chickens" makes no mention of my breed, Rhode Island Reds, being particularly noisy. The online conversation at places like Backyard Chickens isn't much better. The consensus is that placating neighbors with eggs is the answer. Another unsupported assertion is that the hens are doing a "happy" egg laying dance. Bull. They make the noise when they're alarmed or upset, as well as when they're nowhere near laying an egg.