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Feathered Alarm Clock
updated: Aug 21, 2010, 10:00 AM

Dear Edda:

We've got a new, feathered alarm clock (domestic rooster) just down the hill from us - we live in Santa Barbara city limits. He started crowing in the mornings and evenings a couple weeks ago. I don't know which house he crows from. I think he wants to move out to the country. How can we help?


Roast Chicken


Dear Roast Chicken:

I understand that a refrigerated truck is a good way to transport poultry. I mean roosters.


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Edda Hatte is a loving and sympathetic advice columnist who helps Edhat subscribers navigate through their complicated and stressful lives. Send your questions to askedda@edhat.com.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 99392 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-21 10:28 AM

Think it is illegal to have roosters. Hens are okay, but roosters no. At least in the city of Santa Barbara. Check the county ordinances and file a complaint with the county for enforcement of their zoning codes. Or a nice note to the neighbor first pointing out the ordinance. Keep in mind their sleep is being ruined too so they may also want to get rid of the poor bird. Talk to the Humane Society to see if he can find a nice safe new home on a farm instead of a residential neighborhood.


 COMMENT 99411 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-21 11:54 AM

I had chickens once and one turned out to be a rooster. A beautiful colorful rooster. When we first heard his practice crowing, , we immediately built a little house to put inside the coop and it had a door that we could close. It was ventilated but the sunshine did not get in. Raven did not crow and wake us or the neighbors after that. The hens loved the security of the house also and they all cohabited happily. They roved the yard all day and went inside their house as the sun went down. They are easy to train.


 COMMENT 99445P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-21 04:19 PM

A little chicken house - that is so cute!


 COMMENT 99456 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-21 04:58 PM

I was 99411, who had the chicken house. It was a great experience for our children How did we come by chickens? Well, a little boy from China visited us one day and said, as he was leaving, "You have nice house, but no chickens".
Curious, I asked a friend, familiar with that culture, what he meant. She explained that chickens were a status symbol in China. OK

A few days later, a little girl showed up at my door with a paper bag which was moving. She said it was for my son from his friend. So, now I had Status. They lived and propagated and we had lots of interesting looking chickens for many years.


 COMMENT 99463P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-21 06:19 PM

I had bantum chickens as a kid. The rooster upset the neighbors so he went to the country. Soon the hens started to crow out of loneliness. They soon had to join him at the ranch. Happy ending!


 COMMENT 99464P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-21 06:28 PM

On a recent trip to Seattle, that greenest of cities, I noticed an article about poultry in the newspaper. (Yes they do have a real newspaper!) The city fathers gave their OK to urban flocks including one rooster per house. That could be 10 to 20 roosters per block. Wow! Pass the earplugs!


 COMMENT 99481 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-21 08:36 PM

Take it from an experienced Chicken Lady:
In the absence of a rooster, a dominant hen will try to assume the Alpha role and she will try her darndest (and most unpleasant) to crow as soon as the sun rises.

If all the birds, male and female, are confined in a safe nest while humans are sleeping.and let to peck and roam in an outside enclosure once the people are up, everyone's happy.


 RAINE5360 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-22 09:41 AM

Our neighbors have chickens. They dont seem to bother anyone. I guess it's a new fad or something. They dont make any more noise than kids or dogs, and they dont hop the fence like cats, so it's all good so far. And I'm not complaining about kids or animals, cuz I've had both. It's just a comparison to what's typical of neighborhoods.


 COMMENT 99521 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-22 09:46 AM

If the little chicken house is not the answer for you, Just put the rooster in a well ventilated box with a ceiling low enough so tht he cannot stretch his neck up in the air. They need to stretch their necks in order to crow. Enjpy the chickens and give your neigbors some of the eggs.


 COMMENT 99528 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-22 09:55 AM

Years ago we had a neighbor with a rooster that crowed every morning (relentlessly) from 4:30 AM on. I worked and because I couldn't go back to sleep after the crowing by evening each night I was exhausted and extremely cranky. I called and asked them if they could "transport" the rooster to other environs but they told me two things: One, they couldn't hear it and two, you couldn't have eggs without a rooster (who knows where they got that information). After several requests I finally told them that if I couldn't sleep they shouldn't be able to either so I would be calling them every morning when the rooster crowed. It worked like a charm!


 COMMENT 99595 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-22 06:01 PM

I am the "Chicken House lady" It is amazing that some people think a hen needs a rooster to produce eggs, but many do.Even my husband turned farmer in our retiring years thought that. I think it is the only argument or disagreement we have had in twenty years. And I was right! haha.

But I had always thought that it was not good to have more than one rooster because they fight. Well, that is partly right, as some will fight. But we have some who are getting along now, since their hens have been "sitting". Typical men,, needing companionship when ignored by the chicks.


 COMMENT 99596P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-22 06:06 PM

Don't know about Santa Barbara, but Santa Maria allows chickens but no roosters. We had a neighbor who had both and the rooster crowed day and night. They had a small pen for them but did not clip wings or have a top on the coop. The birds roosted in our tree and left our car and yard covered with ****. Animal control took the rooster away but left the chickens. (The neighbor said they did not bother him.) Another neighbor said he was not putting up with it and the chickens disappeared. Coincidence? Don't ask--Don't tell. PS Now they have mini dogs that bark 24-7.


 COMMENT 99624P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-23 06:05 AM

It is AGAINST THE LAW to have a rooster in the city of Santa Barbara!!! Call the police and/or animal control and have your neighbor cited, and the rooster removed. There is no reason you should have to put up with this.

And by the way, it is practically illegal to own any chickens in the city as well. By law, you may own no more than 15 chickens, they must be kept in a coop, and that coop must be more than 35 feet away from any neighboring house. So unless you have a large yard, your backyard coop is illegal.

Bottom line, you want chickens and roosters? Move to the country.

SB Muni Code 6.08.010


 COMMENT 99626 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-23 06:37 AM

You cannot have a rooster in the city.

You can and SHOULD keep a limited amount of chickens. They are no more noisy or messy than a dog and they actually produce something.

I have 9 chickens (though i officially live in the County.)
They are the best pets ever!
No salmonella in my eggs.


 COMMENT 100298 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-24 08:21 PM

OK...might be my rooster if you heard it just this weekend. I raise chicks in my classroom and then folks bring the chicks home. I teach the children that if they crow, their name is Dinner. Well, just this weekend one of my girls...now boy...got renamed Dinner. Though today, I found a farmer that needs a rooster for her 40 hens so tomorrow morning, the rooster goes to a new home. Tonight it will sleep in a box in my garage. If you don't wake to a rooster tomorrow, you can smile and know that that rooster is off to a good life and you may now sleep in...
To those of you with neighbors with chickens: bring those girls kitchen scraps in return for some eggs. Support your neighbors in their efforts to help raise food for your hood!


 COMMENT 101145 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-08-28 08:54 AM

Well, did peace break out? Turns out THREE of my four chicks were roosters in training. Now my one little girl is waiting to grow a bit larger before living with my big hens. Life is much quieter on this urban plot after a weekend of practice crowing. Sorry for the unexpected alarm. Again, get to know your growing number of neighbors who are raising hens. Consider bringing over food from your yard or a baked treat in exchange for their local eggs!


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