Rooster behaviour

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by krista74, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After my hens have laid an egg, and they do the 'egg song' (AKA: The "Where Are You?' call) my rooster will immediately respond from wherever he may be on our 2 acres with a mimicking Egg Song back to them.

    Then, even if he is 2 acres apart from the hen house, he spreads his wings out from his sides, flattens his body so he looks wider, fluffs his feathers up to appear bigger, and runs AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT towards the hen house. We call it "George's aeroplane run" because he looks like he is going to take off!

    When he gets there - and this remains the same no matter which hen it was that was calling - he chases her around in circles and then mates her.

    The girls obviously sense what is coming because they start running as soon as they see George screaming around the corner, lol. Afterwards, she fluffs up her feathers, he fluffs out his feathers, and they wander off peacefully together back top the flock! It's like nothing happened.

    It is the strangest thing! Is it just a "If you wander off again I will mate you!" rooster dominance thing? In all other ways he is lovely - he calls them for food, protects them from danger, is good with the chicks, and marches them all back to the coop at dusk. he has also never been aggressive towards people.

    I am simply intrigued by this behaviour. Thoughts?

    Krista
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    He is calling to her to let her know where the flock is, so she can re-join them. His running to her and mating her is his way of rounding her back up. It sounds like he's doing a great job looking after his hens.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Hen running because she is trying to exercise choice in who will fertilize some of her subsequent eggs. Rooster in your situation is trying to ensure he has most of those eggs fertilized by him so he is depositing sperm at the optimum time in the hens egg production cycle and deposits lots. In a smaller harem setup the chases are much less evident.
     
  4. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Really?! I thought he was being aggressive to her, and couldn't understand why she seemed so happy to walk off with him afterwards, lol. I'm glad he is 'doing the right thing' then! Yay George!


    She has little choice in who will fertilise her eggs around here. It's George or a life of celibacy, ha ha! We do have a fairly small set-up here - only 5 hens to one rooster, and at the moment 2 of those hens are out broody where George can't get to them. It's very unfortunate timing as George's hormones are rushing and he wants as much chicken-action as he can get!

    The other 3 girls who are in general population with him at the moment ALL wear saddles. They are all as bald as badgers underneath. Poor girls! Here's hoping some of our chicks turn out to be girls, otherwise I will have to buy some more pullets in. I think Georgie, being nearly 1, probably needs about 10 girls in his harem at least - particularly since we are in Spring here at the moment.

    Thanks for your comments!

    Krista
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Your situation does not preclude your hens interest in alternative to George. She is showing signs of having second thoughts but resigns herself to the situation once deed is done.

    When I have so multiple harems are running about, hens will often switch to roosters with smaller harems if rooster she moves to has a territory of comparable or better quality. If my birds were left to their own devices, a given rooster would seldom have more than 3 hens and usually only one or two. The bare back situation has never been an issue for me except in a hen house where harem structure does not setup, especially with multiple roosters.
     

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