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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gallusdomesticus, Aug 27, 2010.
According to Swedish research....
Hmmph. I don't know what things are like in Sweden, but here in the U.S.A. the male critters I've come into contact with (humans included) are always raring to go first thing in the morning!
We had a rooster for a little more than a year before a neighbor complained and we had to rehome him. But while he was here, there was a really funny morning routine. I'd go out to the coop and open the door. The rooster would hop down from the roost. The hens would look at each other. "You go first." "No, you." "Please, after you!" "Oh, no. You go first!" They knew what was going to happen to the first hen who ventured down to the ground.
After much hesitation and squabbling, one hen would fly down. She'd be chased, screaming, by the rooster all around the yard. By this time, some of the others would fly down, and if the rooster hadn't caught the first hen he'd go after one of the others. The chasing wouldn't stop until one hen finally complied with the rooster's desire.
Later in the day, he was a real gentleman. There was also an afternoon mating period, around 3 p.m. or so. He'd ask politely, but if the hen declined he wouldn't chase her; only in the morning.
My rooster manages to nail several of his hens as soon as they are let out of the coop in the morning, but then the matings slow down throughout the day; mostly because the girls have plenty of room to get away and hide from him.
I'm such a dope about this chicken business, and their business. My girls and one dude are in their house and a large and small run during the day and I let them out for about 90 minutes in the evening to run and forage in the yard. We sit out and relax and watch them. I sometimes bring a book but don't always read it. Talk about entertainment!!! My roo is a young cochin and the girls are all full size breeds, or will be. My 5 SL's are oldest and therefore more "mature with comb and waddle" and he runs them around constantly. I've watched them go from "run for your life!!" to "take her not me" to "hey fella, want to much this tasty grass over here by me?" to "what, I'm not pretty enough? What's she got that I haven't!". He doesn't seem a bit interested if they seem willing, but as soon as they move away his little wheels are turning and her starts to do his little sidestep then circles to make his move. Our little terrier watches him like a hawk convinced he's hurting them. Well I thought so too when he first started to well amorus. A week ago when I was cleaning out the coop and hubby decided to go to shower no one was watching Gracie and she nabbed the dude, hauled him off to the front yard, had him under a cedar tree, held him down and licked him to within an inch of his life. Didn't hurt him. I was so scared when they both came up missing and that grace would get a taste for hurting the chickens.
Anyhow, the Little Dude chases one of those 5 around almost non stop every night when they're lose. I see him pursing them around the run and in the coop too. It's a wonder the girls haven't ganged up (they number 26 to 1) on him in his sleep and plucked him naked already! I don't know what he can be accomplishing being he's so much smaller than them, but like I might have said I'm just about clueless about the mating/courting behaviors of chickens. My girlfriend says "who needs TV when you have chickens" and I'm understanding more what she's meaning as the days go by.