Rooster doing a "jiggy-dance" for the hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jjdent, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. jjdent

    jjdent Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Rustburg, VA
    My Australorps have been an isolated pair since they were born. She is the right age to have begun laying right now (born in April or May of this year), and I've had a light on in the coop for the past two nights. The roo is doing a little jiggy-dance for her (just in the past few days). She has fully developed waddles and comb, and has done a bit of the squatting folks say to look for. My question is: Given their circumstances, do you think she'll wait to lay till she's mated, or might she begin laying without having mated?
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Mating has nothing to do with egg laying - all it has to do with is whether or not the eggs are fertile. A hen will lay whether or not there is a rooster present.
     
  3. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup, as the other responder said, she will lay when she's ready, regardless of if the rooster has mated with her or not. What you might be thinking of is that when the rooster starts mating with the hen, that is one of the signs that the hen will start laying soon. The rooster little jiggy dance means he's thinking about mating with her as he's trying to impress her, which is what a good rooster does.

    If he is also tidbitting for her that's good too. Tidbitting is when he repeatedly picks up and drops a tasty bit of food while making a distinct clucking noise to call her over. Then, he lets her eat it instead of eating it himself.

    A third thing the rooster might do is show the hen where to lay her egg. He'll squat in a corner of the coop or in a pile of hay or wherever he thinks is a good, safe, darkish place to lay and egg and make another distinct clucking sound. He's showing her where to lay an egg. If he's doing this in a place where YOU want the hen to lay the egg, leave them alone. If it's not where you want the hen to lay the egg (like out in the forest or somewhere not in the coop), what I do is gently discourage/distract him and try to coax him towards where I want the eggs laid. I have fake eggs in my nest boxes so I quietly take them out and show the eggs to him, then put them back in the box. Then take them out and put them back, showing him where they are. Then, he starts doing his little egg laying demonstration for the hen in the right spot. The hens usually REALLY pay attention to the rooster so getting him to show her the right spot to lay the egg is key.

    All these are signs that they are BOTH maturing, him into a good rooster and her into a fertile hen.

    Hope this helps,
    Guppy
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  4. jjdent

    jjdent Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Rustburg, VA
    Thanks so much. I'm literally not thinking about anything. It's my first time and I know nothing. Well, except for how to build a mean chicken coop. I'll have to keep an eye out for these things.
     

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