Why do we need another chicken blog or forum?

Many chicken forums are moderated to sell commercial feed, chemicals and ideology.
I prefer to find my own balance between nature, welfare and cost in raising happy chickens.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Housing roosters quietly (part 2)...

Still not much progress on the spare rooster cage... That is, I whipped up a decent cage in about an hour using the compost panels (sets of 4 mesh squares), but haven't been able to join the play mats in such as way as to make them sufficiently sound-retardant. Individually they're not big enough to cover a full side, so there would be lots of joins where sound can escape.

By the way, you can see that I've made 2 doors. One is for easy egg or food/water access; the top door, which is larger is for shifting and removing birds. These panels aren't quite predator resistant enough for most backyards, as predators can easily reach through; however with a cover on they and either pegged down or floored, they should work well in many backyards. I'm lucky enough to have a good flock guardian so I can get by with only mild precautions. Raptors are my main issue so before using this cage I'll be adding some finer grade mesh.
Still, if I can find big enough sheets of material to glue the play mats onto, I could then form a four-sided roofed cage-cover that wouldn't be hard to lift and replace.

At the moment I only have the two mature cockerels and both are sleeping in the night-shed, so it's all fine. The night shed already has insulation (see my earlier post).

What I'm trying to do is find a way to keep spare roosters, as choosing which rooster to keep before the crowing ramps up isn't the best way to retain good breeders. Sometimes these birds end up having a temperament or health problem that wasn't obvious at the time of selection, when they were very young. Or sometimes they might not prove to have the characteristics I want. At 16 weeks it's a bit of a guessing game.

I'll keep searching for a way to make the cage-cover, and let you know if it works. If it does, it might be a cheaper way to keep roosters quiet than building a purpose-built shed, and it would always be flexible and easy to store (just undo the c-clips and flatten the cage).

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