How long does a rooster need to be with a hen for fertilisation to happen?
It can range from a once off meeting to around 3-7 days on average.
The key is activity.
Romeo rooster may have his favourites while ignoring other hens.
Hens may also choose which rooster's sperms that prefer, and reject the sperm for the rooster they are with.
An egg takes around 26 hours to travel through the reproductive tract before being laid. The first signs of fertilisation will not be detectable for the first one or two eggs if it was successful.
For optimum performance:
The hen will stay fertilised for about 2 weeks.
In that time, the rooster can return to his own coop away from the girls.
For more information about breeding, contact your local Poultry Club for expert tips for your breed type.
They are a wealth of information!
Got some curly questions? Welcome to owning chickens for the very first time or those thinking about stepping into this very addictive life style. Or maybe you are doing a project for school.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
If you have never been told, how do you know?
If you do not see your question amongst these, please add them to the comments so that I can answer them for you.
Let’s jump into some of the most common questions I receive.
Do all hens have wattles and combs?
Yes they all do. These are the red fleshy parts around a chicken’s head.
A wattle is UNDER the beak.
A comb is ON TOP of the head.
The trickiest ones to see this on is the Araucana, Polish and Silkie breeds (amongst others).
Depending on their breeding, they will still have these parts of their anatomy on their heads, but much smaller. The smallest type of comb is called a Walnut or Pea. There are many different shapes and sizes on different breeds of chickens.
These parts indicate the health of chicken, helps with their heat regulation and indicates their breed maturity.
Do chickens make noise all of the time?
Yes and No. Chickens do not make loud noises all of the time.
They have their quiet times and different noises that they make to communicate with one another.
The noisiest part of their day is usually around egg laying time.
They may sing a lot before they even lay an egg, or maybe they only sing the loudest after they have laid their egg. Some hens like to encourage others to lay too, so they can also be the noisy ones.
Happy quiet talking is a sign of happy chickens, especially when you walk out into the yard, as they will get excited that you may have a treat for them.
How many eggs do chickens lay every day?
Hens can lay only one (1) egg per day.
It takes around 26 hours for an egg to develop inside her reproductive tract in order to be laid.
The amount of eggs laid every week will vary between breeds. Some breeds lay less often.
Hybrid hens (ISA Browns or utility Australorps) will lay every day, but other breeds may lay only 3-5 eggs per week.
Will a chicken peck me to make me bleed?
It is very unlikely that a hen will be aggressive enough to peck you so hard that you will bleed. Hens will get broody from time to time and want to protect their eggs, but they still do not usually peck hard enough to harm you. It is more of a warning peck.
Roosters can be quite aggressive especially when he is mature and protecting his girls. His peck feels worse than a hen’s peck, but his claws and leg spurs are his most dangerous part.
What is the difference between hens and chickens?
Hens are GIRL chickens. (female)
Cockerels and Roosters are BOY chickens. (male)
Can I buy some chickens from Adelaide Chicken Sitting Service?
I don’t sell any of my chickens, sorry.
I am not a breeder, but I can tell you where you can find what you are looking for.
How do I catch and hold a chicken?
To catch a chicken, try to place your hands over the top of their back to hold down their wings.
Easiest method is to pick them up from head on, rather than from behind when picking them up (e.g. from a roosting rail).
Trying to catch a running chicken is the worst, so DO NOT RUN.
Instead, stalk them. Think like a fox and corner them.
Please do not drop a chicken. They can get injured.
Best to place your hands over the wings to hold them from flapping and place them down feet first to the ground – and then release. You can use your body to hold down a wing, too.
Do eggs come out hard or soft?
Eggs come out hard. They may be warm and slightly damp just as they are being laid, but dry rapidly. If they come out soft and stay soft, then start feeding the chickens shellgrit to hardened up their shells again. Chickens need calcium from shellgrit for good strong shells.
How can you tell if a hen is pregnant?
Chickens do NOT go through pregnancy.
If they are housed WITH A ROOSTER, they may or may not lay fertilised eggs. These eggs will only develop into chicks if kept at the correct incubation heat for 21 days once laid.
A fat chicken does not indicate fertile eggs.
How do the chickens get the chicks to hatch all at once if they only lay one egg a day?
Fertilised eggs can be kept at room temperature for about 7 days. In that time, mother hen will hop on and off her nest and lay an egg every day. By the 7th day or so, she will become broody and SIT. This sitting produces heat to warm up the eggs. This is when the fertilised eggs start developing into chickens. That is called DAY 1. By day 21, all chicks should hatch together.
How do you get the eggs out of a chicken?
Chickens are able to push the egg out all by themselves while sitting in their nest. No human help is required.
The eggs come out the back end of the hen. The same place they poo from.
Do roosters lay eggs too?
No, roosters do not lay eggs and they do not help hens create eggs. They are ONLY for fertilisation (to make babies).
They are boys. Egg laying is only for the girls.
How do chicks get milk from the mother hen?
Chickens do NOT produce milk. Chicks will only need water and Chick Starter Crumble from time of hatching.
Is a cockerel a boy or girl?
A cockerel is a young boy. He will be called a rooster once he is over 12 months of age.
Does the rooster fertilise the egg before or after the egg is laid?
The sperm needs to travel the hen’s reproductive tract to fertilise the yolks that are waiting. The shell will then form over the yolks to create the complete egg, which will then be laid.
How do you know that the eggs are fertilised?
Eggs will only be fertilised if there is a rooster in the flock.
They have to be tested by cracking open a few eggs on a plate. The yolk is inspected for the “bullseye” which shows development. These eggs can be eaten or thrown away after this inspection. They cannot go on to become chicks because their shells are broken. Once the consistency of “bullseyes” are found, then you have the green light for hatching.
When we know they are fertile, we can assume that the other eggs that the hen is laying are fertile too. Mother hen is likely to become broody and willing to keep sitting on her eggs to hatch them.
Do chickens catch a cold when they lose their feathers during moulting time?
No. Chickens are very resilient. Moulting is a natural part of their life. Feathers grow back again.
Should I make or buy some clothes for my chickens when they moult?
No, please do not put clothing on chickens!
Many people like to KNIT outfits for hens thinking that they look cute and are helping with keeping them warm.
When knitted clothing gets wet, they hold the cold up against the chicken, which can affect their health. They have no way of drying out naturally.
Ever had wet sleeves on a cold winter’s day? It wasn’t comfortable was it? Same for the chickens. They are better without chicken clothing.
I want 10 chickens so that we can have eggs every day. Is this a good plan?
It will depend on the breed that you choose for egg laying.
If you choose a utility hybrid breed like an ISA Brown, Hy-Line or similar, you will be rewarded with daily eggs.
Can you eat 10 eggs a day? Do you have family/friends who would also like fresh eggs?
If you do not need 10 eggs every day, then consider another breed that lays less eggs per week.
Research which breed is right for you.
Do you want big eggs or little eggs? (Standard breed or Bantam breed)
The shell colour makes NO DIFFERENCE to the taste of the eggs.
Won't the chickens just fly away? How do I keep them in my yard?
Chickens really don’t like to fly. Chickens have limited flight capabilities, and the heavier the breed, the more limited they become.
For a chicken, it’s more about getting up or down from perches than taking off into the wild blue yonder.
There are the occasional escapee chickens, usually of the ISA Brown breed because they are so curious and lightweight. Some chickens prefer to roost up in trees. To limit escapees, ensure that all fences in your yard are at least 1.5m tall, and that’s most properties. Wing clipping can also stop escapees. EASY.
Chickens know where the food is and that’s what they hang around for.
Can humans catch Chicken Pox from chickens?
No. The name ‘Chicken Pox’ is misleading. This virus does NOT come from chickens. It is not able to be transmitted across different species.
What does it mean when a chicken's comb LAYS FLAT?
If this is not part of a breed characteristic – such as a Leghorn or Ancona (Mediterranean breeds), then it might be a sign of a sick chicken. Are there any other symptoms? Consult your vet for further advice.
What does it mean when a chicken's comb is PALE?
Three possible reasons:
What does it mean when a chicken's comb is DARKER than normal?
Sick chicken. This is a sign of heart troubles caused by illness. Make an appointment to see your vet.
The idea of doing the job of dispatch in your own backyard can make many people squeamish, but its not always so bad when someone does the job professionally and quickly.
I know many search my website looking for help on what to do with their unwanted poultry, roosters in particular.
So I devoted some time to researching facilities.
I have two South Australian Poultry Processors who are able to help you at a very reasonable price.
The advice given for each location comes from people in local poultry forums.
PLEASE phone ahead to make a booking.
Mt Allen Rd, Allendale North (north of Kapunda)
Ph: (08) 8566 2379
Usually scheduled for 10am. A little over an hours wait or so, depending on work load.
Gawler River Quails
Kapiris Rd, Buckland Park (south of Two Wells)
Road runs parallel to the Port Wakefield Rd
Ph: (08) 8520 2311
Contact Elizabeth Barnes
Drop of Sunday night. Pick up Monday morning.
There is also an official List of Abattoirs in Australia from the Australian Government, however, it was last updated in 2007 which leaves out a few new businesses in recent year. You can access that PDF document here.
The develop of a chicken's comb and wattle is of great interest to poultry owners for two reasons.
This can be a tricky subject because everything will depend on the BREED.
Whenever anyone sees my Ancona chickens they immediately think they are all roosters because their comb and wattle are so large, but that is their breed type.
So how can we tell?
Time Line of Development
Below are French Wheaten Maran Chicks at 3 weeks of age.
The colouring of the males is different to the females in this breed. But also the leg size indicates a male.
This is not indicative of every breed.
Below are Ancona chicks at 3 weeks of age.
The males are very noticeable. There is no colour difference in feathering, but the wattle and comb is bright red.
Below are Lavender Pekins at 3-4 weeks of age.
The combs on the males are slightly more distinct and redder in most cases.
Notice that the wattles under the chin are also quite bright red.
Before chickens come into point of lay (POL) when they will start their egg laying life, it can become a big guessing game with certain breeds.
Below are purebred Australorp pullets at 7 weeks of age.
The combs and wattles are larger, brighter red and distinct.
Below are French Wheaten Maran pullets at 3 months of age.
The boys have developed a different colour and have very distinct cape development around their neck.
Their tails took a very long time to grow. The saddle feathers on the middle chicken are noticeable now.
Below are Light Sussex pullets possibly 2 to 5 months of age.
This is before any of the boys started crowing.
At 2 months is was very difficult to tell the males from the females.
But by 5 months the boys become very noticeable.
Below are Silver Laced Wyandotte pullets around 3 months of age.
Distinguishing male from female is very difficult to do as their combs and wattles often develop very late.
This can vary. The male chicks can sometimes be more noticeable than the pullets.
The boys usually develop a very red rose comb. It takes time for it to fill out, so it can be a little deceiving.
Below are ISA Brown pullets just before they get to Point of Lay.
I would estimate that they would be 2-3 weeks away from laying their first egg. Maybe she is 15 weeks old.
We can tell by the size of the comb. It is not big enough to indicate maturity.
When a hen starts to lay her first eggs, this is called Point of Lay (POL).
Hybrids like the ISA Brown and utility Australorp (x New Hampshire) start around 18 to 21 weeks of age.
Their combs fill out and become red. Their wattles also start to grow now.
If they were boys, they would show very distinctly at this age.
Other breeds tend to start later.
Many only begin at 6 to 9 months. There are some breeds that do not start until 10 months.
Can you wait that long?
If you buy these late layers at POL, their price increases. They are cheaper to purchase at a much younger age.
Signs of a Rooster (Cockerel)
The exception to these rules do apply to breeds such as Silkies. Their development is unique. Best to determine by comb.
From time to time I receive calls from very kindhearted individuals who would love to take unwanted chickens, giving them a new forever home and a place to roam in their old age.
This is an ideal opportunity for those who live on an acreage, large block, hobby farm, winery or an existing farm.
If you have that desire to also take on any poultry that need rehoming, please let me know.
I would really like to start a proper register so that when I have poultry owners in need I can quickly help them find a place.
Animal Sanctuaries are often overwhelmed with poultry that need rehoming, as that is the purpose and function of a sanctuary. Sanctuaries are also welcome to register as they also play a very important role when other forever homes are not yet made available.
Your requirements would be:
And finally, your contact details.
I would not publish your details unless specifically requested so as not to overwhelm you with demand.
Please email me (Janine) if you would like to be added to this list.
Accepting addresses state wide throughout South Australia.
Your ability to offer a rehoming opportunity will be such a blessing and far more valuable that what you could ever know♥
I do not sell any products but can inform you where you can purchase items.
Noisy roosters can be quietened down by the use of a rooster collar. It will not stop a rooster from crowing but can reduce the level of the sound he makes. This works by restricting the amount of air he can draw in when attempting to crow.
The effectiveness of a rooster collar will depend on the breed and the correct or incorrect positioning of the collar.
Different brands can make a difference.
The NO CROW collars are wider and have a breathable mesh.
The COCK COLLARS are all one piece of velcro but are more beneficial on the short neck breeds, but not exclusively.
Rooster Collars need to be checked on regularly as boys grow. If there is any purpling of the comb, loosen slightly or give him days off from the collar. Long term use of a rooster collar is not recommended as it can lead to permanent damage or premature death.
My recommendation is to try both and see which one works best for you.
Before using a rooster collar, explore the message boards on poultry websites for tips to see if using a rooster collar is right for you.
Australian made. Price range between $5.50 to $7.50 (plus postage).
Range of sizes according to breed.
Choose from black, white or coloured.
In Adelaide - available at:
Keelan Grain and Fodder
291 Payneham Rd, Royston Park SA 5077
Ph: 8362 4178
Priced around $26 (plus postage).
Range of sizes according to breed.
In black only.
Here's some simple handy facts about Roosters that you might find very useful and entertaining.
#1 Roosters are noisy and incredibly gorgeous!
#2 Most suburban and town councils do not allow roosters in backyards due to noise.
#3 Roosters will grow spurs on their legs which they use to attack predators and people. They attack!
#4 Male chicks can start to crow from 3 to 5 weeks in some breed (although is sounds more like a choking sound).
#5 Boys grow slower than girls as chicks until Day 10, when they catch up.
#6 Their wattle and comb grow bigger and redder than the female chicks, as do the length of their legs in some breeds.
#7 Roosters are technically known as cockerels up to the age of 12 months.
#8 Their neck feathers (hackle/cape), back feathers (saddle) and tail length help identify them as a rooster.
#9 Leg spurs can start to appear as early as 3 months. Other breeds start their development around the 6th or 9th month.
#10 Dispatch your boys between 4 to 6 months for eating. After 6 months their meat becomes very stringy.
#11 Rooster or Cock Collars help to reduce the noise level of their crowing but does not prevent them from attempting to crow.
#12 Some roosters will crow at ridiculous hours of the night.
#13 Roosters tend to strut when they walk - they even do a dance of love for the hens to impress them.
#14 Roosters love to look after their hens. They act as a flock protector (but one has to wonder why they give away their location to Mr Fox with all their early morning crowing!)
#15 Roosters have to crow. Sometimes they can get into a silly mood until they are stopped.
#16 Every breed has a slightly different sound to their crow.
#17 Roosters are only necessary for eggs to be fertilised. They are NOT necessary to make the hens lay eggs.
#18 Expect all of your eggs that you eat to be fertile. They will not develop into chicks unless given the correct heat and humidity. Placing eggs in the fridge will prevent that from development from continuing.
#19 Roosters are not immediately fertile. But they will do lots of practice with the hens from around 5 months of age.
#20 Roosters are considered fertile between 40-50 weeks to 1 year of age, depending on the breed. This can happen earlier.
#21 Roosters have a limited fertile life. By 3 years of age their fertility may drop.
#22 Fertility of the eggs can also drop dramatically if the rooster is going through a heavy moult. Increase his protein intake during this time. If he loses more than 1/3 of his body weight this can also affect his fertility rate.
#23 Roosters are very difficult to rehome. Best give away or eat them. The rarer breeds and show stock command a better price.
#24 The RSPCA and other Animal Rescue Farms rarely if ever, take any roosters as they aim to rehome them, which can be tricky due to point #2.
#25 To identify a boy around 2-3 months of age, check out their tail. If it is slightly ragged and uneven, you have a boy. Only the girls have a neat uniform feathering through their tail feathers.
Have you ever found that the chickens you were told were a quiet breed turned out to be anything but quiet? Some chickens just like to keep shifting the bar when it comes to predicting how loud or quiet they will be.
We can easily be charmed by those sweet little chickens by their feathers alone without a thought for how noisy they might become.
So when the din begins there are some handy ideas to keeping the noise down.
Every council district throughout Australia will have animal policies, whether they are pets or livestock. Those of us living in the suburbs are keenly aware that we need to be very mindful of our neighbours and make sure that we are obeying the sound and smell rules on our properties.
Having just two or three chickens can be a breeze. Our neighbours will hardly notice that there are chickens over the other side of their fence. But once your chicken addiction starts to get out of hand, so can the noise.
The amount of chickens will increase the noise. That might sound obvious, but there is more of a call from the girls in the morning when they beg to be let out of their coop if they free range throughout the day. Once out, the sound level will reduce until each girl goes into lay; that’s when they let everyone know that they just popped out a triumphant egg. The higher the number of hens, the stronger the smell can be, too.
On a farm with hundreds of chickens, there is an all-day noise from the chickens which a very different level to the town or suburban backyard. Listening to hens in a farm situation is like listening to the crowd of people at an entertainment event. They just have to talk. So it does go to show the more hens there are, the stronger and more constant the noise becomes.
Spring is actually the noisiest month in our yard with the chickens. The days are longer and warmer, the girls are starting to lay double-yolker eggs, while a couple of the hens decide to go broody again. So if you are purchasing chickens at other times throughout the year, you may be fooled into thinking that the breed you have chosen is relatively quiet.
Spring and summer have an abundance of light that stream into the chicken coop, so minimising the light can help to keep the girls a bit quieter in the early hours of the morning. The trick is to still allow in a good airflow while reducing the brightness. Skylights are great for winter laying, but in the warmer months allow extra light and heat in. Try a temporary metal sheet or hessian sacks held down with a couple of bricks can reduce the extra light.
Growing vines such as grapes over the coop can also assist. In winter, their deciduous nature means that more light is able to penetrate the coop again. The leaves on the vines not only help to reduce light but still allow the airflow.
Make good use of fig trees in your garden for the coop position as they are great as a summer covering too, and allow in the winter light during their dormant season.
Your planned choice of breed can make all the difference. This means diligent research and compromise if noise reduction is very important to you. Bantams tend to be a lot quieter than larger sized hens. The good old ISA Brown hens can have variable temperaments but are overall a reasonable breed when it comes to less noise.
As lovely as Orpingtons, Sussex and Wyandottes look they can go on with their noisy outbursts for quite some time especially if they have just laid an egg or want a hen to get out of their favourite nesting box. Orpingtons can be very chatty as they follow you around the garden, putting in their latest complaint or chat about the weather. My Orpingtons are at their loudest in spring but are much quieter throughout the rest of the year. All breeds will vary.
Choose a docile breed for a quieter chickens, such as the Araucana, Andalusian, Brahma, Cochin, Faverolle, Frizzle, Hamburg, New Hampshire, Rhode Island Red, Silkie and Polish.
Please note that individual personalities of chickens can mean an unexpected noisier chicken.
Many town and suburban councils Australia-wide do not permit roosters. Check with your local council before acquiring a boy for your backyard. Your neighbours have the right to complain to council by submitting a crow diary just like a bark diary for a noisy dog.
Keeping roosters for breeding and showing purposes is a common practice. However, roosters are easily set off at all times night and day by sound and light and their own crazy personalities. So reducing their access to light is the first priority to keeping their noise down.
Some rooster owners build their own Rooster Boxes to lock the boys away in every night, but please be aware that during the Australian summer months they may not have adequate cooling airflow in there. Those who have good success with the Rooster Box also keep the box in a very cool part of the house, usually in a cellar.
Rooster No Crow or Cock Collars is another way to reduce their crowing without stopping them completely. The collar around their necks reduces the amount of air that they can take in to let out a crowing noise. It will not prevent crowing from occurring, just the level of noise. Many people have mixed results due to the boys’ personality and breed.
Another method is to keep the boys in a small smaller squat cage so that they are unable to stretch to take in a deep breath to let out their crow. I would not recommend this as a permanent arrangement but it will help keep the boys from crowing throughout the night and early morning hours. Allow them out of this type of caging during the daylight hours for normal foraging activity.
If the chickens are used to free-ranging but are suddenly locked in, this can cause them more distress and thus the noise will become quite loud in protest. You may just want to mow the lawn or they need to be housed in quarantine due to health for a few weeks.
People who often purchase older hens and introduce them to a new backyard with a different coop and yard set up from the one that they are use to are most likely to have noise issues. Try to minimise their transition and attempt to give them as much roaming room as practically possible to help keep the hens calm. Providing boredom busters can help keep their mind off of their lack of room.
The more time you spend with your flock the more you get to know all of their special calls. There’s general chatty time, ‘I need to lay’, followed by ‘I just laid an egg’, and the popular ‘Where’s my afternoon snack?’ call.
But there are other more alarming chicken calls that alert not only the other hens but us too, such as when there is a predatory bird flying overhead, a fox, snake or the local cat peeking over the fence.
The sight of a mouse can send the girls into a panic or flurry of excited activity and talk. Some hens love to hunt mice while others will be too scared to go near their food source while the rodent is in the area. This can stir the hens’ activity and noise level. If you need to cull the rodent activity, traps are safer to use than bait around the chicken coop. This in case a hen does catch a mouse to eat, we don’t want the hen to also ingest the bait unwittingly.
If your flock have become scared to go into their nesting boxes, there may be a predator in there taking advantage of the coziness and access to eggs as a food source, such as a snake or monitor lizard.
Take notice of their special warning calls and take up the opportunity to investigate during their calls for their safety and to return the calm. Hunt down what stirs them up.
Maybe you have a good technique for keeping your chickens quiet. We would love to hear from you.
Due to popular demand from so many of my followers and clients I thought I would share with you how my first rooster coop building has been progressing.
Building a rooster shed is a little more involved as it requires a little more soundproofing that a regular chicken coop in the suburbs.
Cities and towns have council restrictions that protect our neighbours from excessive or irritating noise due to close proximity. Always enquire with your local council before embarking on poultry ownership, in particular that of roosters as some councils ban them all together.
My council, fortunately does permit a rooster or two within the guidelines of keeping the noise and smell to a minimum.
Earlier this year I launched myself into my first ever breeding program, incubating fertilised eggs albeit. So from 12 eggs only 6 purebred Australorps hatched (long story), which resulted in 3 hens and 3 cockerels (roosters).
AND my 12 year old son has also begun his leap into chicken ownership this year too, saving up his birthday and Christmas money to buy two Rhode Island Red hens for breeding with.
So all this enthusiastic chicken ownership has meant that cockerels are now in our yard and will soon need to be separated from the girls only to be united with them when we want to start the next stage of our breeding program from scratch.
Cluck Norris already started his vocal training from 5 weeks of age...in my lounge room!
Two Techniques for Quieter Roosters
To keep our roosters a little quieter there are two things we can do.
1. Rooster No Crow Collar
2. Rooster Box or Soundproof Coop
Collars are great as they do make a rooster's ability to crow much more quieter as it restricts the air sac from being fully inflated. They still crow but are no louder than a hen. (See my Links page for a list of online sellers)
Rooster Boxes are purpose built for housing the rooster over night to almost deaden their early morning crow.
We chose not to go down the Rooster Box route due to summer heat here in South Australia.
If you are interested in building your own Rooster Box/Night Box click here.
We chose to make a Soundproof Coop instead from a small garden shed from Stratco.
The reason we wanted to make a soundproof coop was to also limit early morning noise for ourselves and have another coop to separate the boys to if/when they need time out from the hens. We are expecting to have two or three boys at any one time.
Building our Rooster Coop from a Garden Shed
Number one problem with our plan: The shed really needs an internal frame in which to place soundproofing materials or insulation.
We chose a small shed that had no internal frame, so my hubby had to come up with some inventive ideas.
We had a left-over roll of insulation from a previous renovation ready to use, but as we could not find a way to make it fit properly, we used spray on foam fill covered with white MDF boards and silicone in between sheets.
The door had to also be done, so that was easily achieved by taking it off of the hinge and working on it horizontally.
Excess foam was easily cut off once it had dried, so everything was done in slow stages.
The heat can be so bad in Adelaide that it really was our top priority. Air flow is very important in poultry sheds due to the ammonia from their droppings. Respiratory health of our flock is high on our list of health care.
We used aluminium u shaped bars, cut them to size to make a frame. The sliding window was made from some left-over kitchen back splash cut-offs. They won't weather like wood can. When inserting into the shed side, we also attached wire and secured it all in place with pop rivets.
We inserted two windows for flow through.
To stop the splash-back doors from rattling, it was a simple as pinching the aluminium u bars with a pliers to tighten it.
As noise travels upwards we also tackled the ceiling with removable thick MDF boards and brackets. They have to be thick enough so that they will not bow. And to that we stuck on self-adhesive soundproof bats (available at Bunnings).
It made an instant difference to the sound of the shed once the door was closed.
We made it removable in case we ever need to thoroughly clean the shed in future to ensure that no mites or lice are hiding in those places. The bats can be removed and fresh one applied.
It may not be enough, so we are still considering sticking old egg cartons around inside along the tops of the walls only, up next to the bats, if necessary. Only time and vocal strength will tell.
The boys won't be requiring any nesting boxes but they will need some perches, especially with height. Roosters love height. So we created a stand alone wooden frame that can be easily removed for cleaning. Keeping in mind how big their feet are and what would be comfortable for them to perch on.
Doors and Fences
Stepping in and out of the door also looked like it could get muddy, so we recycled an old wooden sleeper from the garden and placed it as a door step.
Other pieces of wooden sleepers were also used around the run along the fence line to help deter burrowers and give the boys something drier to walk on in the wet.
We have erected a fairly high fence around the coop with (spinning) PVC pipes around the top to keep the boys in and the girls out. We are still considering enclosing the entire run to keep the pigeons out and create a rooster playground that means lots of climbing frames for height.
Work in Progress
Not finished yet, but will be in use very soon.
I hope this has been a good insight into our coop creation.
If you have made a special soundproof rooster coop, please share it with us.
If you are hatching your own eggs like me this year, then you will be wondering how to tell if you have a rooster or two in your new flock. This is a great tutorial video to help you tell the difference between different breeds at 2 months of age.
Male and female chickens have both a comb and wattle. The comb is located on top of the head, while the wattle dangles below.
What are they for?
We can tell an enormous amount about a chicken by their comb and wattle. They are essentially a way for the chicken to keep cool. They are red because of the circulation of the blood, so as the blood goes through the comb it is cooled by the air and thus keeps the chicken from over heating.
Some breeds are prone to frost bite on their combs during winter. This can appear as a dark discolouration which may be confused with more serious illnesses. Applying Vaseline to their comb during the colder months will give some protection against the frost.
Combs also indicate how old the chicken is and whether they are going start laying for the first time. Small, slightly pale combs indicate a juvenile pullet who is not ready for egg laying. The sign that they are coming into laying is when their comb develops a strong red colour and increases in size.
Roosters' combs grow larger and have more of a dangle of the wattle compared to hens. Their combs are also a signal to one another of sexual maturity and for attraction. Colour and size of combs and wattles may also determine the pecking order of the flock. When introducing new hens to the existing flock take note of how strongly red the combs become on the existing flock.
Combs and Health
Since the comb and wattle are supplied with a circulation of blood, they give us a very good indication as to the chickens' overall health. One of the first signs of illness is often detected in the wattle.
Signs to watch for include:
If any of this signs occur please contact your local vet immediately. Chickens can deteriorate at a rapid rate.
Check that your flock has access to clean water as this can also be a sign of hydration stress. Since their combs are primarily for cooling the body, the lack of hydration directly affects the blood circulation.
The development of the wattle in colour and size is affected by the secretion of the sex hormones. Similar to the comb, when they grow and begin to have a floppiness to them this indicates that they are coming into their egg laying.
Pictures courtesy Cornell University: http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/lesion/409
Back to Basic Living: http://backtobasicliving.com/blog/tag/comb-frost-bite/
There are 7 general styles.
(There can be variation on these due to cross-breeding.)
♦ Other comb styles include Carnation (or Kings) and Silkie which is a variation of Walnut, etc.
Single is the most common variety in most backyard chickens throughout Australia: Isa Brown, Australop, Barnvelder, Leghorns.
♦ Carnation is a variation of the Single, where the back of the comb is more extended. It tends to be a Spanish variation.
Pea combs are a characteristic of the Araucanas, Ameraucanas, Aseels, Brahmas, Buckeyes, Cornish, Sumatras and Shamos.
Strawberry are found on Malay and Yokohama breeds.
Cushion comb is a characteristic of Chanteclers.
Walnut is a genetic result of breeding rose and pea comb breeds. Typically found on Silkies.
♦ Silkie is a variation of the Walnut, which is said to be a second type of Rose comb. Developed from breeding a Single with a Rose Comb. Found in some Silkies.
Buttercup is shaped like a crown which is typical of the Sicilian Buttercup breed.
V-shape is also known as 'V-comb', 'Horn comb' and 'Antler comb'. Typical of the Crevecoeurs, Houdans, La Flèche, Polish, and Sultans.
Rose combs are found on Dominiques, Hamburgs, Red Caps, Sebrights, and Wyandottes.
♦♦There are variation of the Rose found in Leghorns, Black and White Minorcas, Rhode Island Reds and Rhode Island Whites.
TOP: La Fleche rooster with a Horned V-shape comb
BOTTOM: Derbyshire Redcap rooster with a giant rose comb, and a Dark Brahma rooster with a Pea Comb.
Picture courtesy The Official Poultry Book Store Blog: http://poultrybookstore.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/houdans.html
You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl. As an ex-Barossa gal now living in suburban Adelaide, South Australia, Janine Zschech is not only a serious chicken lady but a genuine advocate for self-sufficiency and education of children to the knowledge of gardening and animal rearing. Skills for life!