A rooster’s crow is one of the most recognizable sounds in the world. If you’ve not heard it in real life, then you must have heard it in TV and film. If you have ever been awoken by a rooster or are just curious, then you may have wondered why roosters crow.
Well, it isn’t just for one reason and here we’ll tell you all about it. We’ll also see what you can do to stop them from crowing and check out some other common questions about roosters you may have. Read on to find out more!
Why Do Roosters Crow?
Most people associate the crow of a rooster with an early morning wake-up. There have been countless comedy sketches of people being woken up by one. However, not many people realize that roosters can crow at any time of the day.
1. Marking Their Territory
As with humans, roosters have an internal body clock that responds to the stimulus of the rising sun. As soon as it senses that dawn may be near, the rooster will crow, much to the annoyance of anyone close by.
The reason for this is thought to be him asserting his dominance. He’s saying I’m here, and this is my area. It’s a territorial call that many animals make in the animal kingdom, but not many others do it as soon as the sun starts to rise.
This reason can also cause them to crow at any time of the day. For example, if they feel as though another rooster is encroaching on their territory, then they will try and intimidate them.
2. Wake Up Alarm
Another part of the reason they crow early in the morning is to wake up the flock. This can trigger certain behaviors in the chickens and make sure they start their working day, such as collecting food. In simple terms, the rooster acts as the alarm clock for everyone else.
3. Warn Off Danger
Roosters are protective and they are always on the lookout for danger. If they see any sort of threat, they can crow as a signal to the chickens. In nature, this danger will often come from other animals, such as foxes.
However, a rooster can easily mistake many things that aren’t genuine threats as dangerous. For example, a passing car or loud noise may cause it to crow. This is often the cause of crowing once the early morning has passed.
This can also be another reason for the early morning crow. He’s making sure that any potential threats clear the area.
The final reason why roosters can crow is a sexual one. They will often crow as a signal to hens that they are ready to mate. These calls may be particularly vociferous if there is another male in the area.
As well as being a signal, roosters have also been known to crow after they have mated. It seems as though this type of crow is another form of trying to assert their dominance and mark their territory.
How To Stop a Rooster Crowing
So now you know why roosters crow, you may be wondering if you can do anything about it. While you can’t (ethically) completely stop a rooster from crowing, there are a few things you can do to reduce it.
- Keep Them in Darkness – One effective idea to keep roosters quiet in the mornings is to keep them in darkness. This way, you can have greater control over their environment and only reintroduce light at an appropriate time.
You can also go the other way too. You can introduce artificial lighting to make it appear like it’s still daytime when it’s not. This can push back their sleep cycle and make them wake up later.
- Have Enough Hens – Roosters can be competitive and, as with many males in nature, will try and compete with other males. One way to combat this, if you have more than one rooster, is to have an abundance of hens. This will help to quell their dominant spirit.
- Remove Threats – If your rooster is repeatedly crowing during the daytime, then it could be that they perceive a threat. Try and analyze what they can see and what could be irritating them. Often this can be outside factors, such as car noise.
While they will often get spooked by random noises, their perception of a threat may be genuine. Check the area and see if there is anything you can do to make the pen safer, or at least appear safer to the rooster.
- Remove Stimulants – Is there something that could be bothering your rooster? If they are overstimulated, then they may keep crowing. It’s best to try and make their environment as calm as possible.
- Collar – There is also the option of giving them a collar, which isn’t a friendly choice. Here you attach a collar around their throat which slightly constricts them. Due to this, they can still breathe but can’t open their windpipe enough to make a loud crow.
There is also surgery too, where a vet can cut into their trachea and remove their ability to crow. Neither of these options is highly ethical.
Common Questions about Roosters
1. Can Roosters Fly?
Yes, they can, but not very well. In a similar way to hens, they can lift themselves off the ground for short periods but can’t get very high. Often a small fence is all that is required to keep your roosters confined.
2. How Loud Is a Rooster’s Crow?
A rooster is known for its loud crow, and you may be reading this article as you have one close by that is bothering you! As you can probably expect, they can be quite loud and range from around 90 decibels up to 130.
Exactly how loud is that? Well, 90 decibels is about the same volume as a hairdryer. Once you get up to 130, that’s as noisy as a jackhammer. It’s an impressive volume for such a small animal, but many people don’t see it that way!
3. When do roosters crow?
Roosters are renowned for crowing in the early morning but they can do it at any time of the day. As we’ve seen above, there is a wide range of reasons why they crow. Some may do it all day, whereas, with some others, it will be much rarer.
4. Do chickens need a rooster to lay eggs?
No, chickens do not need a rooster to lay eggs. However, without a rooster, those eggs will be unfertilized. This is similar, in a way, to female menstruation where eggs are released for potential fertilization.
With women and many other female mammals, the egg comes out after being absorbed into the womb lining and later shredded. However, a bird will develop their egg and lay it regardless of whether or not it is fertilized.
A hen will lay the same number of eggs whether there is a rooster present or not. If there is a rooster present, then the eggs will need to be removed immediately (if for consumption) and kept at a cool temperature to ensure they don’t develop into chicks.
5. Why keep a rooster?
Roosters make commercial egg production more difficult as you have to keep fertilized eggs cold. That may beg the question of, why keep a rooster in the first place? They can be useful for a few important reasons.
The most obvious one is that if you did want to expand your flock, then you’ll need a rooster. Aside from this, they are protectors of a flock and can give you an early warning call of a potential threat. Chickens have lots of predators, and roosters will fight to the death to protect their hens.
It’s also thought that having a rooster can help to keep order with the hens and improve their overall happiness. They are also beautiful creatures and those early risers among us may actually appreciate their early wake-up call!
6. How do I stop my neighbor’s rooster from crowing?
This is a difficult question to answer. They’ll be many people reading this article that are having a problem with their neighbor’s animals. The answer is to use the information that you’ve found here and try to make suggestions.
For example, you may have a dog that the rooster sees as a threat. If so, you could create a visual barrier between the animals to remove the stimulus. Try to make reasonable recommendations to make your life easier.
If the rooster is bothering you in the morning, then you may suggest the blackout idea that we mentioned above.
Roosters can crow for a wide number of reasons. Often they like to start their day by asserting their dominance and rousing the flock into action. Throughout the day, they could be barking instructions or warning of threats.
If the crow is a nuisance, there is plenty of methods to reduce their frequency. Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of why these creatures crow and what you can do about it.