Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Terror Of Suburban Cockerel Keeping

So day 3 of owning a cockerel dawned quietly. It wasn't until the ever tolerant husband was brushing his teeth that Rocky decided to greet wednesday. As I listened to his muffled squeaks through the eldest's bedroom floor, I was quietly pleased with myself. You see, last night I covered the serama hutch with some old carpet, and I'd say it makes a considerable difference to the volume. Whether it deadens the sound enough so that no-one else can hear it remains to be seen. Indeed, as I stood outside the school this morning one of my neighbours from over the back approached me. I confess to breaking out in a cold sweat and thinking: this is it. Gulp. It was somewhat of an anti-climax when she asked me if I had any eggs spare. Anyway, this is Rocky crowing in the garden:

Such is my cockerel paranoia that I actually downloaded a decibel meter app for the ever tolerant husband's iPhone. I packed him off to work with my decidedly uncool mobile, and decided to try and measure Rocky's output, as it were. I spent an hour sat outside bundled up in many layers of clothing while he watched me with interest. As if he knew my intention, the little blighter stayed stubbornly silent until 2.30pm. However, I did get a reading. The background level was around 50 decibels, the dog barking over the back registered at 67 decibels, and Rocky's best effort was 80 decibels measured right next to him. I have no idea what this proves, so if anyone reading this can tell me that would be great.

After the school run, I decided to bite the bullet and let all of the chickens out together. The pekin ladies were happily munching a slice of toast (provided by me as a distraction tactic) when Rocky just strolled among them, cool as a breeze. It took a moment for this to sink in, and then Maude bit him on the arse. He shrieked a bit and ran over to round up his serama harem. Hilda and Gladys both gave chase, but a pekin's waddle is no match for a serama's road runner-esque gait. So, no surprises there really. Except this is the first time that Betsy and Vera have voluntarily stayed anywhere near the pekin hordes. And Rocky was very sweetly herding them away whenever a sly ASBO Chicken made out that she was just strolling towards them totally innocently. He even stole them some toast to munch on.

Interestingly, I observed both Mabel and Maude attempting a cockerel like dance towards the younger hens. They have never done this before, and I can only assume that it's a power display. It did look less than elegant, and the younger hens watched it all with a quizzical eye. Mabel gave up after a bit as if embarassed, but Maude got quite in to it.

Maybe they'll challenge Rocky to a dance off.


  1. Really enjoyed the videos and laughed out loud at Rocky's crowing. Thanks for sharing. I do not have chickens yet and you are my inspiration. Probably won't do a cockerel though, since I'm in an urban area.

  2. omg, I love baby crowing--the cuteness always makes up for the realization that "it's a boy." :-)