WHAT SIZE COLLAR FOR A SILKIE ROOSTER?
A very common rooster in backyard flocks, silkies are on the small side but they are not often the tiny size of a true bantam breed. My bantam sized collars are designed for tiny chickens under 1 pound. Some folks get one of each size to make sure they find a good fit, but either collar should work for silkie roosters.
HOW DOES THE COLLAR WORK? It gently physically restricts throat expansion on a rooster or cockerel, reducing the resonance and volume of his crow. Our roosters wear their collars 24/7. Once they’re properly fitted you shouldn’t have to fuss with it again. Select from 4 soft & natural colors. I recommend using collars that closely match feather color to reduce the likelihood of the other birds picking at it. And yes- they are reusable!
IS THE COLLAR SAFE? No throat-restriction device should ever be considered “safe”. You are physically restricting your rooster’s throat. The tighter you make a collar the more risk you take with your rooster’s well being. This collar is for folks who need to reduce crowing volume in order to co-habitate with their roosters. It is not a casual accessory and should be used responsibly and cautiously.
HOW WELL DOES IT WORK? We tighten my collars just enough to bring crowing down to “talking” volume. Crows become more muted and garbled and do not travel long distances. This collar does NOT stop or prevent crowing. DO NOT try to silence your rooster’s crow; that is how crow collars end up killing roosters. You must be willing to settle on an agreeable volume.
WHAT SIZE DO I NEED? Our “Standard” sized collar should fit all large breed chickens and turkeys. Growing cockerels can wear either size; simply check the collar every 5-10 days and loosen as needed while the cockerel continues to grow. Select “Bantam” size for true bantam breeds under 1.5-2lbs. These are very small, designed for a bantam sized neck.
HOW DO I PUT IT ON? Putting a collar on for the first time should take just a few minutes. And once you get the hang of it, it takes only a few moments. It will go more quickly if your boy is relaxed and calm. With the rooster in your lap, gently groom his hackle feathers up towards his head and hold them there. The collar should be placed with the soft side against the skin on the mid- to upper-neck, just below the long hackle growth. With the feathers restrained and the throat patch on the front of his neck, wrap the two straps around the neck and secure them to the throat patch. Avoid trapping feathers beneath the straps. Make certain there are no obstructions in the hook-and-loop connection of your straps. Once the collar is secured in place, fluff his feathers back into position (he will groom them to perfection later) and monitor his reaction.
HOW TIGHT SHOULD IT BE? Leave it AT LEAST loose enough fit your finger underneath the throat patch- this is usually sufficient to cripple a loud crow. If you cannot fit your fingertip behind the throat patch you risk interfering with blood circulation and air flow! The looser you make the collar, the less it will upset him initially. A loose collar can always be tightened later as he gets used to the feeling. Take your time, monitor the bird, and give the boy a couple days to adjust. Do not rush and do not try to silence a crow. This collar CAN kill a bird if used improperly! We are not liable for any loss or damages associated with your use of this collar. Be patient, gentle, and kind as your roosters adjust to the collar!
*GASPING FOR BREATH is NOT okay! If your rooster is gasping your collar is too tight! Be sure to monitor your rooster after tightening or putting a collar on! Loosen or remove the collar if you see lethargy, difficulty breathing, or discoloration in the comb or wattles!
HOW WILL MY ROOSTER REACT? It is normal for a rooster to panic and “fight” the feeling of the collar. He thinks something has grabbed him by the neck! Scary! Backing up, thrashing, and hiding behind things are typical response behaviors. Keep an eye on him and ensure he can’t hurt himself while he adjusts to the new sensation. Keep him away from other male birds that may attack him during his time of stree. It can take minutes, hours, or a full day for a rooster to acclimate to the feeling. If a rooster does not calm down, loosen the collar and let him wear it for a few days without any throat restriction. Once he’s accustomed to its presence, begin tightening it incrementally.
We’ve found that growing cockerels adjust to the collars much more easily than seasoned roosters.
HOW WILL IT AFFECT HIM LONG-TERM? The collars are simple and easy, low-profile, and cause very little disruption to a rooster’s life after the initial stress of putting it on. His hackles will rest naturally around his neck, though there may be a gap in the hackles in the front. At a glance you should not notice he has a collar on. He should be able to eat and drink normally, talk and squawk, dust bathe, breed, roost, and run around with ease. Your rooster should be a fully functional, albeit quieter, chicken!
WILL THE COLLAR FALL OFF? Make sure there are no feathers or other debris obstructing the hook-and-loop connections. If you have birds picking at the collar and they manage to pick the connection loose, you may need heavy-duty collars. These are a thicker and less comfy, but they will not come off from picking and fussing.
I ORDERED STANDARD BUT IT’S NOT BIG ENOUGH! My standard collars will fit a neck up to 7 inches around. That’s the girth of many people’s forearm! If your standard sized collar does not fit, it is probable that you are not placing the collar in the right spot. Please refer to the placement photos and text details here and on the card your collar came with.
WHAT ABOUT TURKEYS? I call my standard collars “Gobble Hobblers” when I use them on toms. Worn on the neck at the transition between their feathers and naked skin, these collars restrict the force and frequency at which a tom can exhale his gobble. Gobbles do not reduce in volume, but toms gobble less often and their gobbles are reduced in length. Turkeys store extra air supply in pockets around their chest, which they use to create instantaneous very loud noises. The collar works differently on turkeys than it does chickens. On a turkey, you’re not restricting throat expansion, but rather gently inhibiting the speed at which they can fill and empty their air pockets. Placement of the collar on a turkey is different than a rooster. Do not place the collar up high on a turkey’s neck!
HOW DO I PUT IT ON A TURKEY? To put the collar on, I recommend positioning the tom between your feet and kneeling over him, gently restraining him against the ground. Keep him pressed to the ground until he relaxes enough to work with; if your tom is extra large and/or feisty you may need a helping hand. Meat breeds will generally be easier to handle than heritage breeds. With the tom safely restrained, squat over him and nestle the collar into his neck feathers, just below his naked neck skin, with the throat patch frontward. Make certain no feathers are obstructing the hook and loop closures. And be sure not to pinch his soft neck skin! Tighten so your finger still slips behind the throat patch. Do not over-tighten the collar! Turkeys can be harder to catch than roosters and can react more energetically to its feeling. They may not let you catch them a second time! It’s best to introduce a tom to the collar in an enclosed area where you can easily monitor and handle him as he adjusts to his collar. Allow him 1-2 days to show you his new gobble before readjusting the collar. Loosen or remove the collar if you see gasping, difficulty swallowing, lethargy, or discoloration of the skin.