Let me get this straight: The sideways dance is a flirt??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by joneus, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. joneus

    joneus Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    Ballston Spa
    ... because my 5mo marans has done it twice to me today and it freaked me out. I didnt know how to react, so I just stood there & stared at him until he walked away (and then came inside to google it). I wasnt sure if it was a retaliation for chasing him off of one of my hens this morning.

    One of my cockerels have already turned aggressive and I'm on red alert with the others until I figure out what I'm going to do with them. This particular boy (the marans) has definitely been coming into his hormones over the last week or so and I'm worried about him tipping over into aggression:

    he crows and paces obsessively in the run until I let him out this morning

    he crows and paces obsessively in the run if I lock him up during the day

    he's been jumping all over the hens at every opportunity

    he routinely has stare-downs with one of my other cockerels (and is always the winner)

    one day last week he started pecking at my feet. I had already kicked him away before my brain caught up with my body and he avoided me like the plague ever since (well, until this morning)

    this morning, he pecked the hens and chased them away from the food dish (big red flag?)

    With all of that going on, is the sideways shuffle dance thing still a flirt? It doesnt "feel" like a flirt, but maybe I'm just being paranoid.

    His number is up as soon as I can find someone to do it. I dont want 3 roosters (for my 5 hens) and his obsessive behavior (and sudden rudeness to the hens) really bothers me, as does this new sideways shuffle thing. In the meantime, I'm trying to understand his behavior. I understand that I'm supposed to show dominance by picking him up & carrying him around- but I dont routinely make a habit of picking up any of my birds unless I need to. How exactly do I go about doing that if he runs away the second I reach for him?
  2. Uzuri

    Uzuri Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    Roosters can't drive sportscars, buy chocolate, or ruffle their hair in a sexy manner. They also can't pull pigtails, breakdance, leave notes, or scratch hens' names in the bathroom wall.

    Best they can do for a flirt is the sideways dance.


    Good luck with your quest to understand him. I gave up on mine, but different people have different luck.
  3. Americana

    Americana Songster

    Mar 19, 2010
    Dunnellon, Florida
    I've got a dominant rooster who wingdances his brothers when they fight to break them up! LOL
    So it may mean more things than flirting,because the roosters will wingdance the ladies.
    I think it's funny when roosters peck the ground at nothing and call the ladies over and then wingdance them LOL!
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:Ahhh,the Rooster Wing Drop and Circle Dance of Love!

    He's trying to make you one of his submissive hens. You're supposed to squat and let him mount you (so he thinks). I ignored that behavior. Now my rooster(s) bring me favors, such as pretty leaves, odd twigs, a small pebble. These I also ignore, as it is another gambit for me to accept his gift and be one of his submissive hens.

    It's awfully cute, though.

    They usually survive those early months of testosterone poisoning.... [​IMG] To become mature, gentlemanly roosters. If you can put up with his adolescent behavior 'til he matures,you might like him. If not, oh well.
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    The wingdance can be a flirt. It can also be the prelude to a challenge. Nip it in the budd. The next time that he wing dances/challenges you walk towards him and disrupt his 'little dance.'
  6. joneus

    joneus Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    Ballston Spa
    Quote:He doesnt do that for any of the hens, tho (that I've seen anyway). So far, its been just for me. Could that be because I dont back down or submit to any of his other behavior? Is all the other stuff he's been doing just his hormones, then?

    Regardless- I cant keep him. I dont have enough hens for 3 roosters and his crowing goes from "annoying" to "obnoxious" between breakfast and getting my son on the school bus. If I want to visit my husband (who is stationed out of state) for the weekend- "The General" is going to drive my neighbors nuts!
  7. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I spend a lot of time with my birds, and the boys all flirt with me first, then figure out the hens and pullets are the ones they ought to be dancing for. Some folks take it as a sign the bird is becoming aggressive, etc...I've never seen it that way and haven't ever had a mean roo, so I have to disagree.

    I laugh at them and give them a rub on the back and send them packing when they do that to me.
  8. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    When a rooster wing-dances a human it is an invitation to fight. His version of, 'bring it on'. When challenged in such a manner, I strike swiftly. A round house right hook has sent many a rooster scrambling for his dignity. Be warned- this method can knock a rooster unconscious, and I don't recommend this method for banty roosters as this will kill him.

    Works well on the human male, too.

    This is how I want a rooster to act around me:

    Alert, but not making eye contact, his tail toward me:


    Making eye contact with one foot raised in submission:


    Hidiing behind a hen:

  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Quote:Yup. It's not cute at all when followed by a full flogging - EVERY darn day. Yeah, that boy went bye bye.
  10. caralea

    caralea Hatching

    Oct 25, 2009
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]I've had aggressive hens an roosters and all have fallen under the insistent spray bottle. A couple of squirts at the gate and persistent use until they get the message an all is quite in the chicken house.[​IMG]

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