Crowing: Guidelines on the Keeping of Cockerels

Advice on reducing the nuisance of cockerels crowing from The Poultry Club of the UK, provided by NADIS.
calendar icon 31 May 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

It is a fact of life that cockerels will crow! There is no method of physically silencing them, but putting them in a dark box of suitable dimensions overnight to reduce the sound and frequency will often placate unhappy neighbours. It is illegal to surgically de-voice cockerels or peacocks in the UK.

The Poultry Club Guidelines for the Keeping of Cockerels

In response to the increasing number of incidents of noise from cockerels being reported to District Councils the Poultry Club has produced these guidelines on the keeping of cockerels which it hopes will be of value to poultry keepers, Environmental Health Officers, District Councillors and interested members of the public.

Although the majority of neighbours may be happy with the level of noise from cockerels, it only takes a complaint from one neighbour for an investigation by the Environmental Health Department to be undertaken.

The following measures can be taken to reduce the nuisance of cockerels crowing:

  1. If you are not going to breed from your birds, you do not need to keep a cockerel.
  2. During the breeding season, the number of cockerels can get out of hand. Be realistic and only keep the cockerels you require as replacement stock.
  3. Think carefully about the positioning of the poultry houses. Do not place them near to neighbours if at all possible.
  4. Provide the birds with a house where the light entering it has been eliminated as far as possible. Always remember that the birds will require ventilation in their housing.
  5. Lock your birds up at night and let them out after 7am in the morning, if possible, to reduce the risk of noise from cockerels crowing early in the morning.
  6. If possible, try to explain your hobby to your neighbours and invite them round to see the birds. A gift of a dozen eggs always goes down well!
  7. If a complaint is made, try to co-operate with the Environmental Health Officer, show him/her what measures you are taking to reduce the noise from the cockerels.
  8. Invite your District Councillor to visit your poultry unit, explain what you do and ask them to press your case with the District Council.
  9. Lastly, keep your cool, listen to what is being said and try to co-operate with the District Council officials.
  10. Do contact the Poultry Club Helpline 02820 741056 / [email protected] for further advice.

May 2013

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