Rooster body language - looking for info

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jaimslee4u, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. jaimslee4u

    jaimslee4u Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2009
    So I am a truly addicted to my chickens and spend some time with them just about every day. Yes I am strange but with three kids it's nice to have something I like! So upon watching my rooster I would like to know what some of the little things mean. I can't find anything on the internet and don't even know if there was ever anything written about specific rooster body language but figured this was the best place to ask.

    Any one know if there is some kind of written literature on rooster language?
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Here's a link about rooster reform, which might answer some of your questions.

    you have some specific things you've seen that you want to ask about?

    Wing dropping = mating dance
    Standing tall and beating wings = I'm so big and scary, watch me flap!

    Trying to think of other specific things. Shoot your questions out there!
  3. crawfordmama

    crawfordmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2010
    The Lakes Region, NH
    What about when he runs a circle with his head down? He runs up to me, then just stops and looks around.
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Quote:Sounds like maybe a version of the mating dance. He probably does that with the girls too. A mating dance is also an attempt at dominance, so i wouldn't let him do that to you. Make sure he knows you're the big dog.
  5. greenSearcher

    greenSearcher Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2010
    Punkit bumps our ankle gently if we walk to slowly with the snacks, but that improved after I nearly ran him down with the walker. First roo, a BR went the way of all evil roos. First one I had to cull. Nothing would change his behavior.

    When Punkit molted, he whined for a months non stop, one could assume he was depressed, no interest in sex either. He takes care of his girls, and does the rooster thing. I refuse his treat offerings, nothing to do with not caring for nightshade, but I am the alpha though he tries to negotiate a promotion for himself. Not on the agenda.

    Hopefully my next Speckled Sussex roo will be as even tempered, Punkit has a fertility issue and I want to start breeding in the spring.
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    The Rooster Drop Wing and Circle Dance of Love is adorable. He drops a wing down, tucks his head, and goes in a circle around the lady chicken (or you). It's a request for the lady to squat (submit) so he can mount her. A true gentleman rooster will accept a hen's choice of NOT submitting, and just go perform the Dance for another gal. Hope springs eternal!

    SOME roosters are not gentlemen and just jump the ladies. Also, when they're youngsters and just coming into sexual maturity, their manners lag far behind, and they'll chase down the girls and jump 'em any chance they can get.

    There's a "Come Hither, Sweet Thang, and See What I've Got For You," call, which is performed while the rooster is pecking at something on the ground, usually a treat of some kind. Sometimes it's just an oddly-shaped pebble, or a special twig, or a pretty leaf. Sometimes a rooster will make this call just to get the girls to come close enough to jump 'em. But a gentleman roo will have a treat for his favorites.

    Fluffing up neck feathers is a challenge. It precedes chest-bumping or an all out fracas. (But hens so this too.)

    I'll think of some more.
  7. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    i love the tidbitting behavior, where they find a treat and call their girls over to share. My Big Boy is a total sweetheart.

    He also sometimes prepares the nest box for a girl, then coos and chuckles and tells her how lovely it is. Sometimes he hovers nearby purring encouragement while she lays.

    Then there's the celebration of egg laying - usually starts with a hen, but gets picked up and amplified by the rooster. He brays like a donkey. Sounds louder to me than regular crowing! Certainly less melodic.
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    wood&feathers :

    He also sometimes prepares the nest box for a girl, then coos and chuckles and tells her how lovely it is. Sometimes he hovers nearby purring encouragement while she lays.

    Oh, yes!! Only my dominant roo, Carl, does this. The others - bantam breed roosters - could care less, little blighters.

    And, yes, wood&feathers also mentioned the Chicken Chorus of the Egg Song. When the roosters join in, it sure is a cacophony!​
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  9. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2010
    I'm quite certain my EE is a roo but I'm not jumping the gun in re-homing him until I'm certain. But if he is, indeed, a he, what does it mean when he stares intently at you, almost bug-eyed (but with one eye)? None of the others do this behavior to me - they look at me but with less intensity. Whenever one of the obvious girls jumps on my lap or my shoulder, "Ziva" just stares at me. For the first time ever, "Ziva" jumped on my lap today but I had 4 other chicks on me so it seemed like "Ziva" was checking up on them as this followed the intense stare.
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Thats stinkeye. Roos do it alot, but it's not always the roo. I've been given stinkeye pretty bad by hens too, especially when I lack the treats required to enter their kingdom.

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