Rooster head shake (not gape)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JestersEye, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. JestersEye

    JestersEye Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    Mullica Twp., NJ
    I was wondering if anyone else had ever noticed their roosters exhibiting a kind of "head shake" maneuver, which seems to be some sort of dominance behavior?

    I only started noticing them doing this after introducing new "chicks" into the existing flock of adults. The chicks were brooded in the house and then added to the coop once they had feathered in completely (moved out in groups of 3 or 4 when they were between 8-10 weeks old). Since then, I have witnessed each of our two roosters making these odd movements toward the younger chickens, and was wondering what this behavior means in "chicken language".

    So far, I have assumed that it's either used as a warning or threat, or simply as a means of showing off, as roosters tend to do. All the chickens seem perfectly healthy, and the head shake is not accompanied by any coughing or gaping; so I feel sure it is has nothing to do with any symptom or illness... but as a form of nonverbal communication between the birds.

    If anyone else has noticed this behavior, I'd love to hear about it, as well as the situations that prompted it, and your interpretations of its meaning. Thanks! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009

  2. spammy

    spammy In the Brooder

    Aug 17, 2009
    My roosters do this all the time when they find food for the hens. "Over here ladies, come and eat"

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