Wow this is all very interesting, I am glad this thread was "resurrected". I have 2 roos that have been separated from the hens for 7 months, they live in their own pen some distance away from the pullets and hens. I had to remove them from my main yard because it was chaos all the time. They fought and the alpha was already flogging me. Now they live in peace and I love to spend time with them. When they were still in the yard, the second rooster used to get in the nesting box and "coo" it was so cute but I didn't understand what it meant. After they were moved away, he still do that every once in a while when I was there, of course there is not a nesting box in their pen but he would choose any spot to do it. He had quit doing it for a long time until recently, he broke a spur on Friday and I had to nurse the injury. I don't handle my roosters because when I got them they came in a batch of 20 chicks and it was hard for me to pet them all (I wish I had taken the time to do it because it would have made my life a lot easier if they were used to be handled). So now that my roo has to be nursed, he started doing the ritual of cooing and sitting in a spot every time I bring him back to the pen after changing his bandage, he is really adamant about it so it perked my curiosity and attention. I really want to know what it means. I wish I could understand what he is doing and help him.
Why is my rooster in the nest box? - Page 3
My rooster did that all the time he would find a nest for a girl and then sit there till she laid there.
Our young Silver Laced Wyandottte rooster finally got three ladies and now everything is clear. He used to flirt through the fence with the hens next door which included regular squatting in a hidden spot making purring sounds. Now I see he does this in the nest boxes to woo the ladies. They come in curious and end up nuzzling him, preening him, crawling under him between his legs: forwards, backward and sideways, sometimes all three of them joining in the cuddle fest. The other day, he worked the middle sister through laying an egg then I see her poke out her head from between his legs gasping for fresh air, panting and exhausted and obviously very satisfied. This behavior is both very effective foreplay (necking) and great training to make them lay in the box rather than wherever in the open and he will surely drive them broody with this technique. Super skillful lover-boy!
Our one-year old buff Orpington, Prince, does this all the time. He identifies good nesting spots, arranges the furniture, tests them out himself, and tells the hens. He also seems to just enjoy hanging out in a nest box for the relaxation.
Many posters and replies have said what a gentleman and good rooster these guys must be. Prince was an only child, and the hen quickly lost interest in spending the time to take care of just one chick. So he was adopted into the household as one of us humans, spending every sunset last summer sitting on my shoulder nestled in against my neck (until he got too big!) Perhaps this hand-rearing had something to do with why he is now such a peaceful gentleman and so perfectly attentive to the needs of his hens.
But I have also wondered if the fact that his father, Bob, was such a total jerk that he went into the stewpot while Prince was incubating has anything to do with it. If lessons learned can be passed on to following generations, Bob would surely have wanted to pass on the information that the way he had treated his hens was WRONG and had cost him his life. Sometimes I feel some guilt for having shot Prince's dad, but sometimes I also feel Prince understands and is thankful for such an important lesson. As you can tell, we have a very close relationship with Prince, and his day is not complete without asking to be picked up and hugged for a while. When he feels the need to get back on duty taking care of his hens, he lets us know it's time to put him down. Perhaps our lesson from this is that if you want a great rooster, raise him by hand with all the love you can give him.