This question is perennial and comes up frequently, so we decided to take some time to answer the question and give the roosters a break from all the bad press they get!
Folks tend to say roosters are very noisy – and yes, they can be, but not as noisy as you might think…
While many people see roosters crowing as an annoyance, it can be a vital deference alarm for the rest of the flock.
Let’s start by looking at how loud roosters are before looking at tips on keeping your rooster quiet…
How Loud Are Roosters?
A rooster crowing can produce around 90 decibels – the same as a barking dog!
Hens laying eggs and cackling is around 70 decibels, about the same as human conversation.
Lawnmowers and power tools are much louder, insistent, and more penetrating than a mere rooster.
Since they really aren’t so loud, it is probably the differentness of the noise that upsets people the most.
After all, the rooster crows to wake you up, right?
Country folks are more likely to take exception to barking dogs than a rooster crowing.
If you live in a town or village, you are sure to be accustomed to at least one neighborhood dog barking.
Fortunately, most owners are conscientious about not letting them bark at night or early in the morning.
This is where our roosters fail us – they will not be silenced!
A rooster has a mind of his own and a flock to protect, so he will crow whenever he wants, regardless of the neighbors.
An ingenious person invented a ‘no-crow’ collar.
It works by preventing the bird from expelling all the air from the air sacs at once, so it mutes the sound but does not eliminate the crow.
It has worked well for some folks, but it doesn’t work in many states (more on this later).
Why Do Roosters Crow?
Surprisingly, this question wasn’t answered until reasonably recently.
The general assumption was ‘because he can’ – this is partly true.
Researchers in Japan found that roosters’ crow to announce the day’s beginning.
The dominant rooster will crow first, and subordinates must wait until he has made the ‘official announcement.’ Then they can crow.
If they don’t, this may be seen as a challenge to the head roosters’ authority, and a fight may ensue.
The crow communicates with other chickens to prevent surprises if a flock strays too near another flock. This is important if they are in the wild jungle. They are setting up boundaries.
Roosters have not lost this instinct – it is preferable to fighting each other.
It is also a notice to any predators that the flock is guarded by a rooster. Although it may deter some smaller and perhaps some aerial predators, I don’t think Mr. Fox takes too much notice of this.
If your rooster starts crowing in the night, he could alert the flock (and you) to a predator or strange noise – it’s a ‘wake up, danger’ call to his girls.
The most exciting point of the study was that the researchers found that roosters have an internal circadian clock. Although this had long been assumed, it has not been proven until now.
When they kept the roosters in the complete dark, the birds adjusted to a 23.8-hour day which is pretty amazing!
Some roosters also crow in response to loud noises, such as a motorcar or tractor.
It’s possible that the rooster views loud, strange things as a threat and crows to assert dominance and warn them off.
Roosters also crow when they need something.
Ever notice your rooster crowing like crazy until fed or watered?
Your rooster will let you know if you’re slacking off in the feeding department.
How Long Do Roosters Crow For?
In general terms, the ‘cock-a-doodle-doo’ can be repeated as long as the rooster desires.
But once the rooster has announced his territory to everyone, he’s usually quiet until something else sets him off.
If you have a solitary rooster, they are not prone to ‘over-crowing’ because they lack competition.
How would you like one of these roosters?
That would be enough to send me over the edge first thing in the morning!
This bird is a Kosovo Long Crower Rooster. They are a landrace breed, meaning they have adapted to their surroundings and haven’t been ‘bred’ by mankind.
Eastern Europe, Russia, Japan, and Indonesia all can boast of long-crowing roosters going back centuries in some places:
- Japan – Toumaru, Kuro Geshiwa, Koeyoshi and Totenko breeds
- Indonesia – Ayam Pelung breed
- Germany – Bergische Kraeher breed
All of these breeds crow for more than 15 seconds, but none crow longer than the Drenica – a whopping 30 seconds!
I listened to the ‘song’ of the Koeyoshi also.
This bird is bred by the Japanese for its unusual song.
Strangely it reminded me of a Buddhist chant.
Throughout Japan, competitions are run to find the best-sounding rooster.
It’s an earnest endeavor for the participants since winning is honorable.
Other countries worldwide also hold rooster crowing contests: USA, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, and Indonesia.
Are There Any Quiet Roosters?
Some roosters crow less than others, but they will still crow.
If you have more than one rooster, you will know that once one crows, they all follow along – it can be pretty noisy sometimes!
Bantam roosters still crow.
In fact, because of their size, the crow itself can sound quite shrill and piercing, and it is likely to irritate some people more than the deep crow of a standard-sized rooster.
How to Keep Your Rooster Quiet
If you hope to keep him totally quiet, you are out of luck.
However, various methods exist to try and keep the noise down!
Some are crazy, and some are downright cruel – we have left those out and selected a few ideas for you to try out.
No Crow Collar
This simple invention interferes with the expulsion of the air from the roosters’ air sacs and diminishes the sound of the crow.
You can buy them from most pet and farm stores.
It does not restrict his eating, drinking, breathing, or vocalizations – just the volume of the crow.
It costs around $22.00 and comes in different sizes; you can even get a bowtie!
Some people have had great success with it, others not so much.
Some inventive souls have made their own versions for around $7.00 from a strip of Velcro.
The important points to note are that the collar must not be too tight, and the bird should be monitored when wearing the collar in case he gets into trouble.
Coop and Insulation
If your coop is near the fence line, can it be moved further away in a more sheltered location?
Just a few feet of space can make a big difference in noise volume.
Also, if you can and have room to insulate the coop and plant some bushes around it, it might muffle the sound a bit.
My concern for this solution is that predators can hide in the bushes and ambush your flock if they are hungry enough.
The best place to plant trees or shrubs would be on the border of the land – away from the coop.
You can also shutter the coop windows at night to prevent the rooster from seeing the daylight.
However, we now know that the bird has an internal circadian rhythm, so it is questionable how effective this will be.
Someone asked if caponizing would work.
Caponizing is the removal of the male testes, which will stop him from fertilizing the ladies and may calm him down, but it will not stop him from crowing.
This procedure can be done by a veterinarian.
Some folks do castrate their own roosters (without anesthesia), but needless to say, this would be painful for the bird.
If your rooster is unhappy, they’ll let you know.
Since roosters also crow to make specific demands of their caretakers, consider uncovering why your rooster is crowing.
For example, if a rooster notices a predator while you’re asleep at night, he may crow during odd hours.
If this becomes consistent, take a midnight walk to the coop with your LGD to see what the fuss is about.
Removing the predator may remedy the off-peak crowing.
Additionally, if your rooster is hungry, thirsty, or stressed, try your best to meet his needs.
Some roosters crow due to illness, so take the time to rule out other underlying problems if you have an overly vocal rooster.
Bored roosters may also crow more often than a busy roosters.
When we confine our free-range chickens in winter, the barn becomes extremely noisy with rooster crows.
Giving treats and toys to your chickens can ward off the winter blues.
Lastly, if you have a surplus of roosters, think about cutting back.
It will be much quieter if you have 1 or 2 roosters, as opposed to 10, competing for the hens in your flock.
How Loud Are Roosters? Summary
Although there are various ways in which the crowing can be lessened, they will still crow – it’s what they do.
It is how they communicate with the flock, you, and the surroundings.
We have said numerous times: good roosters are hard to find.
So if you have a good rooster, but the neighbor doesn’t like waking up to him crowing at daybreak, try to find a way to solve the problem.
It can be heartbreaking if you have to ‘rehome’ him (the rooster, not your neighbor!).
Meanness in a rooster is much about the way you handle them – you have to be the boss.
Friendship and trust may come later.
So yes, roosters can be loud, but now you know why and have a few ideas to work with to reduce the noise.
Let us know in the comments section below if you have other tips to stop roosters from crowing so much!
23 thoughts on “Just How Loud Are Roosters? 5 Myths Debunked”
Here is how I keep my sweet rooster “Velvet” from disturbing the neighbors. He is outside free-ranging with the hens in the fenced-in backyard between 10:00 AM – the evening before sundown. Then at night I bring him indoors in the house downstairs. I have a ten-person tent that I converted into a coop. Sometimes I bring a couple hens inside at night to be with him. I figure that by 10:00 AM neighbors are up and about so I then let him outside in the backyard with his girls. I also introduced the surrounding neighbors to “Velvet,” and explained to them how I keep him quiet. He is so sweet and friendly. (He’s a “Black Jersey Giant.) I’m lucky to have such friendly neighbors too.
Nice article. I tried the collar and my rooster went berserk. Had to take it off so he wouldn’t hurt himself. My neighbors said they liked hearing him crow. It was loud and frequent.
I HATE the crowing of roosters. A nearby neighbor has one and that G*@ D#^n thing corws ALL DAY LONG. I moved here because I like quiet. Now, a new neigjbor brings his noise with him. People can be such ******. I am thinking, maybe a slingshot, or poison may be the answer.
You moved to farm country and want them to please YOU by removing the farm animals? Your a special kind of selfish aren’t you?
So killing another person’s animal is your answer, why not try talking to your neighbour and working together to find a solution. It’s not the roosters fault, he is doing what is natural to him. But if you talk to your neighbour, maybe you can sort something out. Killing the rooster would only cause neighbourhood dissent because I know if anyone killed my rooster I would be having them charged.
Mate you need to move back to town. We love our roosters and there loyal hens in country. Have you tried to talk to neighbours ? I bet they work in with you to ease the noise. No-one wants to annoy there neighbours ( unless there rude or alike. As you would have read above you should now know its nature. You prefer smog and traffic jams and people everywhere and the rest, or beautiful country with a free alarm clock. Find a way to get used to it mate. People move to country to get chooks and animals. Not to be hassled by newbies to area. However I have had neighbour before that had like 5 roosters. I went next door and explained I’m at white end the noise is non stop. They removed 4 after that the rooster settled down and wasn’t annoying at all. In fact I love sound of nature. Roosters are just another wonderful animal we all blessed with. It’s simply something you need to learn to love if your move to country is permanent. But if you ever shot or poisoned any of my animals I’d shoot and poison U. Lucky U ain’t my neighbour
I know how you feel, I’ve owned my home for 15 years, 12 of them were peaceful and then I got new neighbors, they brought a Pitt bull, 3 hounds that barked 24/7, 2 loud crowing roosters plus they recently added another and all the rats and mice that come with their garbage build-up and having chickens. Because they immediately put up a 6’+ fence there was no way to talk to them so I first left a note about the noise, next I left a letter then, because the parents speak no English I was finally able to talk to their teenage son and his response was to call me a racist so that ended any further communication between us. With the dogs neverending barking and the roosters starting their crowing around 12:30 a.m – 3a.k and continuing until 9a.m, needless to say I don’t get to sleep anymore and the only peace I’ve had is when I’m gone. As for the dogs, it took 2 years to get rid of them, 1 died & animal control made them get rid of the other two, they were allowed to keep the Pitt but have since gotten 2 more hounds and are quickly teaching them to start barking at 7:45 a.m & keep them going through out the day. Up I’ve contacted the Sheriff multiple times, same with Animal Control, there are no laws about roosters and their crowing no matter what time they do it, I’ve had 4 nervous breakdowns and even tried to sell my house but by law I had to disclose about nuisance neighbors so of course it didn’t sell, after that I contacted a lawyer and he just laughed at me and I am now in contact with my county council,bI emailed them over a month ago and didn’t get any reply until a week ago and that just said that they received it. My health is declining, my anxiety is through the roof and I now have to take anti-anxiety meds, I’m suffering from depression and anger issues, I gave up trying to sleep at night and was able to fall asleep for a few hours around 8-8 a.m until they started their dogs barking around 7:45-8a.m. The only peace or good sleep I get is when I leave, after my fourth breakdown my friend bought me a roundtrip ticket to Florida where I stayed for 6 weeks, I was rested and mellowed when I got back but it didn’t last long. I love my little cabin & the area & I’ve lived here for over 15 years but I don’t know how much longer I can take, they are fully aware of the impact it’s having on me and I know they get the dogs barking just to irratate me, I actually know this to be a fact, They also know of the impact the roosters are having on my health, you only need 1 rooster for every 15 chickens & they maybe have 10 so why go get a 3rd one that’s louder than the other two put together? I guess I didn’t mention that the roosters and the dogs are roughly 15′ outside my bedroom wall. Now normally I’m a life, people and animal lover but in the last 3 years I’ve come to hate my neighbors and their animals and that in itself is harmful. As Popeye says “I’ve had all I can stands, I can’t stands no more.”
Ever since I got rid of my rooster my chickens have almost stop laying eggs. Is there anything I can do to start them back up
Please read our article on why your chicken has stopped laying 🙂
That will answer all your questions,
Get a rooster back. It’s like removing a father from kids life
Hi! I enjoy your posts! So interesting! Thank you I have learned a lot 🙂
Great article. Thanks
Caponizing was a very common practice on farms all over the country for years and years. My father-in-law used to help his mother. No anesthesia. Likely no more than a quick pinch, sort of like neutering piglets. He said the roosters would jump up and run off without a second thought. With generations of farming behind me I think the old ways really are the best.
Great reading, thanks.
Why did my rooster stop cockadiddle completely.
Make sure he is healthy, if so it could be the fault of the pecking order…many stop due to being the less dominant of another rooster in the bunch.
My neighbors have 3 roosters and there is no pecking order, they all start going off around midnight but are on a constant crow from 3a.m to roughly 9a.m then periodically throughout the day. They’re about 15′ away from my bedroom wall & I haven’t been able to sleep at night for the last 3 years, have had 4 nervous breakdowns, tried to sell my house but couldn’t because of the nuisance factor, unfortunately there are NO LAWS that pertain to them so I’m just expected to live with it, no matter there’s so much hatred in the world these days.Bought my house 15 years ago, the first 12 we’re peaceful and with good neighbors, that all ended 3 years ago, between their roosters, their dogs and the rats they brought I haven’t had a day or night of peace in 3 years unless I go away. I know I have the right to enjoy peace in my home but just how do I get that short of putting my freedom at risk?
When I was a little girl, during world war II, we stayed with my grandmother and grandfather on their farm, since Daddy was in Alaska serving in the Army. The music of the roosters roused me from a dreamy sleep and welcomed me to the day. The bwaaaak, bwaaaak, bwaaaak of the hens was comforting and told the security of farm life. Gathering the warm eggs out of the hen house was a pleasure. After Daddy returned, the depression continued to ebb and we moved just outside of town. I remember dreaming the sound of the rooster crowing only to awaken to the silence of the new place. I burst into tears, knowing that I was far away from my beloved grandmother. I remember another time when we were low on food and had only eggs as the main dish for a week. My jolly grandmother triumphantly fixed egg custard, fried eggs, scrambled eggs and egg salad sandwiches for a week. With that and our victory gardens, we survived! She lived to be 92, destroying that cholesterol myth to all who knew her!
With current events unfolding, we may all need our chickens and victory gardens once again!
I have a 4 month old silkie rooster that hasn’t crowed yet. We know he’s a rooster based on his feathers, how he looks, and how he acts. All the other roosters I’ve had started growing since around 2/3 months.
I like the sound of roosters crowing. They really aren’t that loud unless you’re standing right next to one. We have a rooster in our run just a few feet from our back door and his crow doesn’t even wake me up. I’ve asked the neighbors if it bothers them and they didn’t even realize we had a rooster 😂 Of course, out here chickens and roosters are almost as common as dogs, so we can hear at least 3 different roosters crowing every morning.
Please don’t condone it support noise collars as they have killed many roosters. On the vegans with chickens page they will not allow or accept anyone using these.
I live in the suburbs with barely 1/4 acre between me and my neighbor behind me. It is not farmland and we pay the highest property taxes in the country. My neighbor has now gotten 2 roosters who are constantly crowing at all hours. It is ridiculous and extremely rude. I am working with my legislators to remove archaic allowances for days of yore when this area was farmland (>60 years prior). Crow collars do not muffle enough. We have no predators since there are no woods here. Neighbor won’t listen. Big problem.