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The silence of the chickens
By Elson T. Elizaga

Published on September 25, 2018. Updated September 26, 2018. Also in Mindanao Gold Star Daily.
 

White rooster

What if someone needs to raise roosters in a residential subdivision? How will he make them silent so that the neighbors won’t throw stones at his house? Chickens are sources of noise pollution, we know. I met a German businessman who told me he had to close his beach resort in Camiguin because he ran out of guests because they couldn't sleep because his neighbor had 15 roosters and wouldn't remove them despite complaints.

(Before proceeding, please play this video to enhance reading comprehension.)

Online, I found four remedies to rooster noise pollution. The most radical of them comes from an obviously pissed-off guy. He wrote: "Use a shotgun". 

Unfortunately, veterinarians and professional cockfighters (sabungeros) oppose this method because roosters are highly allergic to shotgun pellets. The recovery period is extremely long, that is, if one can reassemble the body parts with a sewing needle and nylon strings. My kid once believed anyone could resurrect an animal by subjecting it to bolts of electricity, but we’ve never succeeded. Frankenchicken is a myth. 

So, let me present the more practical solutions.  

History first so that we don’t have to repeat it:  An old newspaper I found out recently. It’s the Milwaukee Sentinel and the date is April 1, 1926.  That’s not a typo. That number means the publication is 92 years old, so most likely the staff members of that year are already very dead. Also, the articles are meaningless to us in the Philippines: “Woman Asks $4,310 From Father”, “Dr. J.V. Lyman, Physician, Dies in Sanitarium”, and “Potato Party Boosts Idaho”. 

Potato party? That’s the same as camote party, so we might be able to make use of it here. But there’s another article in that century-old newspaper that’s especially relevant. The title is “California City Takes Steps to Quiet Roosters”.

The Milwaukee Sentinel report on noise pollution created by roostersThe body reads: “Oakland, Calif., March 31 (Universal) – ‘Put your roosters in a light proof coop, or devise apparatus that will hold the rooster’s head down so he can’t crow.’ That was the substance of an order issued today by the city department of public health and safety as a result of scores of complaint by Oakland residents that the beautiful spring mornings are causing roosters to crow at hours too early to allow sleep. The light proof coop, according to inspector Joseph Bivens is too [sic] fool the roosters; if they can’t see the light, they won’t know it’s morning.”

I applied these pieces of advice to a rooster we had in Villa Ernesto a few years ago and one of the methods worked. I first asked a carpenter to make a coop with a roof that could be raised up and down. The roof is made heavy by the placement of a rock. A coop is what we Bisaya call tangkal sa manok.

Then, I shoved the rooster inside and, as expected, it crowed several times. I lowered the roof until the rooster could no longer raise its head.  He was left with only about 6.16 inches of vertical freedom. But he was not discouraged. The blood of his dinosaur ancestors was strong with him. He looked at me in the eye and gave me his loud opinion about my feeble experiment. 

Epic failure. The evidence is in my YouTube upload

But when I covered the coop with a black cloth, he froze, apparently terrified. Years of evolution has taught him that he has to sit still and stay quiet when darkness falls or else he could be noticed by nocturnal predators, such as a cat or a snake. He knew he was completely vulnerable because he was on the ground, not perched on a tree. His sole protection was the cage.  So, he shut up. I won.

He was silent even in the morning. He talked to me only when I removed the black cloth.

I read somewhere that rooster owners in Hawaii used the same black-cover technique to appease their neighbors.

No Crow Rooster Collars LogoBut the best device that I know so far is a modern patented invention called NO CROW Rooster Collars.1 It’s a band made of synthetic material and Velcro. Invented by Lauren Taylor, you put it around the neck, but not too tight or the rooster might … you know. 

Just follow the instruction.  NO CROW works. Absolutely nothing to worry about. The freaking rooster will freak out when he receives the collar. But he will get used to it, and he will still be able to perform all his bodily functions, including passing on his DNA.

There are several YouTube videos of this excellent device, uploaded by happy and satisfied rooster owners.The one by The Crocker Homestead is fun, although he's using an improvised version.

Someone told me in an email that he uses a cheap rubber band instead. Well, as long as the rooster doesn’t  become the main ingredient of chicken soup, that option should be fine.

Why am I writing about chickens instead of the popular topics of shabu and EJK? Because people trapped in noise-polluted places are disturbed and could be dysfunctional. So, they seek relief in music, church activity, basketball or mind-altering drugs. Camote party is just not sufficient even if you do it twice a week.

According to the World Health Organization: "Excessive noise seriously harms human health and interferes with people’s daily activities at school, at work, at home and during leisure time. It can disturb sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects, reduce performance and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour."

Possibly this note also explains the comment of the guy with a shotgun.Black square indicates end of article.

Elson Elizaga's post about his annoyance with chickens: "Some people hear voices. I hear chickens. I hear chickens when I watch dinosaurs with my kids. I hear chickens in outer space with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. I hear chickens in the forest with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I hear chickens when I read Jesus, Interrupted." Tony Hernandez: And you hear chickens watching the Beatles crossing Abbey Road. Ruffy Mantaring Hernaez: No question that the chickes are really getting into your nerves. Bing Gin: Wonder if Robin Williams had a thing with chickens too.
My Facebook post regarding my annoyance with chickens, and the replies of some of my friends. The replies are printed here with their permission.

 

 
 
 

1 The logo of NO CROW ROOSTER COLLAR is placed in this webpage with permission.

 
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© 2018 Elson T. Elizaga
 
 
 
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