A local reader recently got a hold of me and asked if I was interested in taking a rooster off her hands. She lives in a downtown village setting and the law for her area states that only hens are allowed to be kept for noise purposes. Her rooster was a 3% male taken from a 97% pullet bin at the local feed store and was starting to crow.
She was extremely upset at the thought of re-homing him because she was afraid that whoever took him might butcher him. Her children had grown attached to the roo, they named him and she described him as a “puppy dog”. It was sad really.
Unfortunately I couldn’t take him. I have too many roosters right now as it is and introducing another full grown boy would most likely end up in a fight. I directed her to some farm sites where she could advertise a free rooster “to a good home”.
I get an e-mail like this at least once a month. More around this time of year when the spring chicks are starting to sexually mature and there’s no mistaking that one of the hens turned out to be a boy. Our own spring cockerels have recently started crowing and mating with our hens. I imagine there are many urban chicken keepers that are starting to panic.
I did a little research to try and help the above lady out and I found a somewhat controversial product called the No-Crow Collar. It’s a Velcro collar that wraps snuggly around the rooster’s throat and softens the crow to a hoarse whisper.
When a rooster crows, it fills its lungs and its air sack (a pouch that rests above the lungs) in an inhalation. When the crow happens, all this air is released in one large burst. The result is quite loud, as anyone knows who’s ever heard a rooster.
The collar claims to slow this flow of air from being expelled all in one burst, resulting in a quiet, whispery crow.
“NO CROW Rooster Collars work by diminishing the force behind roosters’ crows. Reserves of air from air sacs (in addition to their lungs) are expelled all at once when they crow. When the NO CROW Rooster Collar is worn snugly around the neck (like a belt is worn around the waist) it tends to limit the force of the air and makes the crow quieter.”
There are a few of these collars on the market, and even some DIY instruction pages. (Links found below.)
Here is a video I found on YouTube by Jake 333.
Most of the controversy that I found seems to come from chicken forums and comments in the video responses of people using them. Most of the negative comments seem to come from people who haven’t used the collars but are concerned that the rooster is being “strangled”.
While I admit, the crow seems pathetic and somewhat gaggy, the rooster doesn’t appear to be in any pain. Most say that their rooster fought the fitting at first, but soon got used to the collar.
People who have used the collar also say that the rooster can eat and drink comfortably and live out a normal life.
I personally have no opinion on the product as being humane vs. inhumane, as we live in the country and our roosters can crow all they want. I haven’t used it personally but wanted to give our readers the opportunity to research it for themselves.
If it works, it may allow people in urban setting to be able to keep their roosters and participate in small scale breeding programs. It may allow more people to raise and perpetuate endangered breeds of poultry.
It may also keep a lot of roosters from the stew pot. And I bet any rooster would choose to wear a collar to that alternative.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this product, especially if you’ve used something similar. What was your experience? Do you believe it to be a humane practice? Did it stop the crowing? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
(This post is not sponsored. The product interested me so i decided to share it with our readers.)