I've been a member for several months, but have not posted until now. I've been involved in aviculture for most of my adult life, and currently breed golden pheasants, ringneck doves, and green cheek conures.
About four years ago I rediscovered my interest in chickens--had not kept any for about 20 years. Unfortunately, I live in a city that prohibits roosters (not hens!) because of noise. So I began looking for a breed to work with that were quiet enough to avoid complaints from neighbors.
I didn't find one. I did find chickens that were bred for the opposite characteristic: the long crowers. So my question to the group is, are there any quiet breeds? And if not, has anyone ever tried to create one? Given the great variability in domestic chickens, this does not seem like an impossible goal to me.
Whenever I go to poultry shows or sales, I constantly "audition" roosters, and there is already a great range of loudness, even among roosters of the same breed. OEGBs are my crowing standard, as everyone knows what they sound like. But even among OEGBs, there are some roosters that don't make much more than a loud squeak.
So what do you think? If someone bred a "discreet" rooster, many urban dwelling chicken fanciers would love to have them!
Last Edit: Jul 31, 2004 19:55:16 GMT -5 by Michael
Post by Kickingbird on Jul 31, 2004 20:01:47 GMT -5
I think your goal is a good one. Much can be accomplished by breeding and you don't know if it will work until you try it. I think that the crow is something most ppl don't think about until it is a problem.
I too have heard roosters with a very short crow sounding like a squeak. This may be a good start.
If you are in desparate need of a non-crowing rooster I can give you the name of a vet who will de-crow roosters. But of course this is not without risk.
Mark, thanks for the encouragement. I researched the de-voicing surgery, and it is both risky and expensive. Plus, if you wish to breed chickens (as opposed to just keeping a pet rooster), then you must have every cockerel you want to keep for evaluation de-voiced. It didn't seem practical or humane.
So I keep looking! I should mention that my favorite breeds are the Asian games, longtails, and Modern Games.
I breed (dare I say it) seramas. I have a rooster that has a normal length crow that is very quiet, like a cats meow in volume. Two of his sons share the trait, hence seemingly to have a genetic basis. I'll post again after I play with it more.
Brian, thanks for the message--that is very interesting! I have considered Seramas, if only because they are so small and presumably quieter. I corresponded with Edgar Mongold on this subject, but he apparently developed health problems and could not continue. (I am not certain about that, and would appreciate information about his well-being from anyone that knows him.)
Seramas also have the advantage of tame disposition. I've never seen one in the flesh, and do not particularly care for their type and extremely small size, but I could learn to love any rooster that does not crow!
Please keep me posted on your progress. If the quiet roosters breed true, I'd love to have some along with some female relatives.
Post by Kickingbird on Sept 30, 2004 17:39:20 GMT -5
Crowing definetly has a genetic correlation. Some birds are bred for their long crowing ability and there are competitions held. I think you are realy on to something Brian, I hope it something you find success in!
I live in town too, I would be interested.. Like you I had chickens 20 years ago and I'm just now getting interested in them again. I guess I need to visit someone with some game birds... I don't remember their crow being distinct? 95% of the chickens I had and was exposed to were just your average garden varieties so I'm definitely no expert.
MakinIt, as far as I can tell, the game breeds are all over the map as far as crowing is concerned. Some of the long-crowers are derived from game fowl. And some OEG and Modern Game bantams are among the quietest roosters I have ever heard.
I've been working on softly-crowing Seramas too. Have a nice little roo I bred from last summer. Unexpectedly turned out to be very quiet. Crows of sons varied, but none nearly as quiet as he. I've bred him back to several daughters and his sons are just now starting to crow; I have high hopes. I would like to correspond with people on this at plbuck at earthlink dot net and am willing to swap eggs, birds, etc. I live in central Kentucky in the USA.
:(Unfortunately, my squeaky-crowing rooster died. Had been a little quiet, but nothing serious. He went quickly; chickens are strange. Will die on you unexpectedly, but on the other hand can have remarkable powers of recovery. I had a hen who lost a LOT of blood when a cagemate attacked her. I isolated her and gave her some antibiotics. I was not hopeful, but she didn't even stop laying, made a complete recovery. I have 8 pullets and 8 cockerels from mating him to his daughters. I'll go on from there and with two or three of his 1st generation of daughters. Two of the sons are nice and quiet like dad. I'll breed as a closed flock till I get this breeding reasonably true. I plan to select cockerels based on squeak and pullets based on type, so I can keep both type and squeak genes going. I'm very hopeful, had briefly considered breeding him back to the current brood of daughters, but that would have been pushing my luck. I'll keep folks posted. I'll be looking for "collaborators." The deal will be I send you eggs for cost of postage only. You hatch and raise birds, breed for attractive Seramas that are also squeaky, and we can exchange eggs in the future, keep our gene pools from being too narrow. I strongly recommend setting shipped eggs under hens since the hatch rate is higher than in incubators, especially with Seramas and shipped egg hatch rates are low anyway. plbuck at earthlink dot net