Although all my chats with Camberwell fish and game stockmen always seem to end up being about the barking that’s coming from their traps, one thing they’ve always brought up in order to encourage me to use their caviar-laced baits was the chatteringbait cam. It’s a simple but brilliant contraption. But first, why does it give off that annoying, disagreeable sound?
Simply just her excitement
It’s basically a bunch of tiny wires – just like a small radio-controlled car, only more dangerous. It’s designed to stick onto one of the chicken’s little back feet, and the wires come with a snap-on plastic insert, which should be cut off and replaced each time the chicken accidentally bumps into it.
The main purpose of the chatteringbait cam is to stick onto the hen’s feet, so you can hear her clicking away as she runs round the pen. But it’s also designed to get underneath the hen’s feathers, so that when she’s running, the device will record her gait.
It records sounds similar to what we make when we’re tickling ourselves or even worse – something really nasty. What’s the nastiest sound? That’s the sound of a female hen crowing when she sees a male, or simply just her excitement over the fact that the male has arrived.
All she hears is screaming or simply excited
Not all of us like our ladies crowing, which is why I’ve developed the chatteringbait cam to make sure that if any male happens to walk past, the cam will automatically send a signal that he’s here. So that’s exactly what it’s designed to do. In the wild, all she hears is screaming or simply excited, and nothing else.
But you need to be very careful when crowing at your bird. I learnt this the hard way one day, and his response was disastrous. Female hens crowing may indicate her readiness to accept a male, but it also indicates her insecurity, so don’t be surprised if she doesn’t go away!
What is the problem of chatteringbait?
The problem with the chatteringbait cam is that although it’s designed to record the right way, it doesn’t actually appear to work. Every time I’ve used it, I’ve had success with a chicken, but the second I’ve left the cage, she starts crowing again! This doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the chatteringbait cam itself, so unless you use it correctly, it won’t work!
To avoid having to cut off the insert, I’ve been using small electrical cables (from my batteries!) to keep the insert at the end of the wire. At the moment, I’m still not happy with the sound of the device, but I think it’s just down to luck, and the timing of when I leave the cage.
My own opinion is that I would rather have a scarecrow in the garden rather than an electronic gadget to cackle with, so there. If I could get a good female out of a wild bird, I’d probably stop using the chatteringbait cam.
Successful with their own experiences
I read on the net about other owners who have been successful with their own experiences with the cam. And I read that some had sold theirs, and while I’m happy for them to do that, I’d much prefer to buy one for myself as a Christmas present.
I’m not sure if I’ll have to return mine, but until I know the full story, I’ll stay patient. And if I do decide to sell mine, it’ll probably be to another breeder in Croydon, as I’m not sure how useful it is.
Now that I’ve had one bite, I’m considering setting up chicken coops in more rural areas, but I’ll see how it goes! That’s a conical nest I’ve caught!