Cockerel teaching pullets to nest?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicksurreal, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was out with my flock today and I noticed that Hephaestus went into a dog kennel that we keep for an emergency chicken carrier (it had pine shavings in it) and was calling the pullets like he had found food in there. When I walked over to see what was going on he was in there methodically moving the shavings to the front and around the sides, sliding his body around to make a bowl shaped space, then he laid down in there while making this soft, insistent tuck-tuck-tuck noise. If the pullets wandered away, he would call them back with the "I found food!" call. He kept this up for at least 10-15 minutes. The pullets seemed mildly interested, but no takers. [​IMG]

    Is this normal behavior? They are all 25 weeks old today.
     
  2. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    Here's a picture of him from today, he's such a sweetie. I wish I'd had the camera when he was doing his thing in the carrier!
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, it's normal. He's being a gentleman and showing the hens where to lay.
     
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  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The no takers now does not mean the pullets were not taking his advice. My free-ranging males will do the same a day or two before a given female comes into lay. Females give a signal that stimulates the males to what you observed. Once hen commences laying in the nest the rooster does not approach the nest, This behavior I think helps rooster know where nest is located. He may also have a better handle on nest sites his territory provides. Some male domestic chickens and red jungle fowl can actually provide a level of protection to nest site and brooding hen if he knows location of nest. Around nest the rooster tends to be showy while hen is more subdued and sneaky as she approaches nest. The contrast likely gets predators to key in on rooster distracting former from rooster's offspring.
     
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  5. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info! He really is such a good guy, I'm so glad we have him.
     
  6. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see! Thanks very much!

    I learn something new almost every day on this forum.

    Chicken behavior is absolutely fascinating. I spend hours every day with them and love to just watch how they communicate and interact with each other.
     
  7. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wanted to add that you were correct! Today, several of the pullets went into the carrier with Hephaestus watching over the whole thing. He would go in and come out and then call them over. So cute.
     

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