Rooster behavior


8 Years
Jun 25, 2011
What does it mean when a rooster stretches out one wing and "dances" around a hen? We have three roosters and only two of them do that. Are they claiming that hen as theirs? Just curious.
That is their way of courting the hen. Basically showing off.
Yep. I knelt down the other day and placed my hand on the ground to steady myself. I have a little 3-4 month old cockerel that tried to wing dance my hand. I knew he was being snotty and I shouldn't allow it, but he was sooooo cute.
That is part of the mating ritual. When it goes as it should, the rooster dances and the hen squats. This gets her body on the ground so the rooster's weight is spread out. If she tries to stand up when the rooster is on her back, she could get hurt. The rooster hops on and grabs the back of her head. This head grab is her signal to raise her tail out of the way. The rooster quickly touches her vent with his, and he hops off. The hen stands up, fluffs up her feathers, and shakes. This fluffy shake is not her way of telling him "I've had better, Big Boy". The shake gets the sperm in the right position in her body.

It does not always go as it should and that is usually not a problem. If the hen runs away instead of squatting, sometimes the rooster walks off and forgets about it. Sometimes he chases her. As long as she squats when he catches her, if he catches her, its OK. If she resists too much, then she might get hurt. So the hen has some responsibilities to act right. But some roosters are brutes. No other way to say it. They can hurt a hen even if she does not resist. He is usually bigger than she is. They both need to do their part.

Usually the problems, if there are any, are when the rooster and/or hens are adolescents. They need to mature into their roles. If they can get through that adolescent period, things usually sort themselves out. A lot don't have those adolescent problems to start with. Some never get over them, but a majority do.

You might see some different variations of this mating ritual, but maybe you are better prepared. Good luck!!! Hope it goes well.
I have 1 EE Rooster, 2 EE Hens & 2BR.....They are apx 9 months old. My rooster is starting to mellow out some (either from age or winter?) but he is still very randy in the mornings. My hens are to the point where they don't want to be the first hen out of the coop in the morning. It sometimes feels like they are sitting in there drawing straws to see who has to be first! The first hen out is chased in circles around the coop until the rooster seems like he is out of breath or another hen comes out & then he begins to settle down. He gets totally freaked if they don't come out of the coop immediately after him.

The mornings are the only time I see him chasing the hens, the rest of the day everything is very calm. Only one of my hens is missing any feathers on her back & they seem to be growing back. Should I be concerned with this behavior or is this just a part of him learning how to be a rooster?
Some roosters do gain more expertise as they get older and the feather loss on the hen(s) stops. Some roosters are big ol' klutzes their whole lives. That's when you want to start thinking about hen saddles. I keep a couple of hen saddles handle, just in case.

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