If you’re being disturbed, tormented, or kept awake at night by your neighbor’s roosters crowing it can be incredibly frustrating and annoying.
Any form of noise pollution can have a negative effect on your health. As well as your relationship with your neighbors - and the ripple effect can cause all kinds of other problems.
Hoping it will stop or you’ll learn to live with it is the wrong thing to do.
You need to address the issue. It can be a difficult or sensitive topic to bring up directly with your neighbors, but it’s something you have to do.
Here are some tips to help you understand how you’re protected by law, and how you can tactfully find a resolution with your neighbor.
First of All - Check Your Local Noise and Zoning Laws
The first thing to do is to check what the local laws are where you live regarding keeping roosters, animal control, and noise pollution from neighbors.
Most states offer some advice under their animal control or noise pollution policies as you’re not going to be the first person to be annoyed by early morning crowing.
If you take Seattle, for example, they have a clear 4-step process in place to help residents deal with noisy animals.
Here’s what they recommend to give you a general idea of the things you can do. But as I said, check your own local laws.
1. Talk to Your Neighbor
Managing relationships with neighbors when you’re trying to raise a complaint can be tricky at best.
How you approach them will come down to how well you know them, but keep in mind that you should always be as nice and as understanding as possible.
You never know, they might not even be aware that it’s bothering you.
It’s perfectly reasonable to suggest a couple of solutions to the problem. To reduce the level of noise, you could suggest:
- They lock up the rooster in a coop overnight if they aren’t already.
- They get a “no-crow” collar. These greatly reduce the noise level of crowing, a lot of backyard flock owners are able to own roosters in urban settings using one of these collars.
Related content - What is a no-crow collar and are they safe?
Document all your conversations and make notes of what they said they will do to try and resolve the issue. Start recording the noise too if you can, this will become vital evidence if the problem escalates.
2. File a Complaint With the Authorities
If talking with your neighbor made no difference, the next step is to file a noise complaint with your local authorities.
If the noise level is unacceptable and is genuinely causing you a disturbance there is a good chance the authorities will do something about it.
The first thing they’ll do is send a letter to the owners of the rooster. They will outline the laws regarding what is an acceptable level of noise, and what isn’t. As well as specific laws regarding keeping certain animals like roosters.
There are very few large cities or urban locations that allow roosters for the very reason that they are noisy. If your neighbors are breaking any of these laws, you have to hope the letter will prompt the correct action.
3. Escalate the Complaint
You need to allow for a reasonable amount of time after the first letter was received. 10-14 days is usually the recommended time period.
If you’re still hearing that “cock-a-doodle-do” after a couple of weeks, it’s clear that your neighbors are not rushing to do something to stop the crowing.
At this point, you need to escalate the issue by filing another complaint to the authorities. In most instances, they will send out an officer to issue a “verbal order to cease the noise” and speak with the owners in person.
The officer will talk to you about what they told your neighbor and what they suggest doing next. This is your chance to ask them any questions you have and get a good understanding of how serious this problem is becoming.
Related content - Did you know that some hens can crow too? Just when you didn't think it could get any worse!
4. Hand It Over to a Court Judgement
If your neighbors have been asked by the local authorities to do something about the noise and they’ve not taken the necessary steps to do so, the final call will be made by a judge.
As with most civil or criminal disputes, when two parties can’t agree on terms they are both happy with, a judge will pass a judgment that will be enforced by law.
You may have to testify in court about the noise and the steps you tried to take to resolve the issue. This is where the video or audio footage of the noise will come in handy.
It’s never nice that a dispute has to come down to court action. But don’t feel bad about it, the unfortunate fact is that it’s not that uncommon.
People like their pets and like to live the way they want to. But ultimately we all have to live within the letter of the law. If the noise is unreasonable, they will be forced to do something about it.
Being woken up early or kept awake by roosters crowing isn’t acceptable. I sympathize with you and hope you get the issues resolved.
Hopefully, when you first talk to your neighbor they will be understanding and sympathetic too!
Most noise complaints are resolved between neighbors. Nobody wants the local authorities sending letters and knocking on their door.
How you approach talking to them about it will have a huge impact on the outcome, so put a lot of thought into how you’re going to do this.
Who knows, maybe some home-baked cookies as a peace offering will be the deciding factor. It might even be the start of a much better relationship between the two of you - and the rooster! 🙂