What are my roosters doing? Strange behavior!*PIC*

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lisahaschickens, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    Today, two of my 9-month-old cockerels left the flock while they were free-ranging (they have a big coop and outdoor run but I let them out to free-range every day with supervision (too many predators) and went into the coop together. They have never done this before. After a minute or two, they started buckbuckbuhGAWKing, much like the egg song. Then they were quiet and I heard bumping and scratching like I hear when the pullets are preparing a nest so they can lay. Then all was quiet for quite some time. Finally I have to see what they were up to. I went into the coop and found one of them hunkered down in a "nest" of shavings they had made on the floor in the corner of the coop. The other was just standing there, staring at him. About 20 minutes later, when I put all the chickens back in the coop/run, I found that the two roosters had switched places and the other was hunkered down, sitting quietly with tail up in the air on the shavings "nest." When I tried to get near to them, they both growled at me.

    I SWEAR they were acting just like laying hens. Is this some other kind of behavior I don't understand?

    Every day, I let them out and the roosters hang with the ladies, give them bugs and seeds, call out when they see hawks... normal rooster behavior. Today was very strange. Had they been pullets, I would have assumed they were going to lay eggs on the floor in the "nest" they made.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  2. Namble

    Namble Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2009
    North Florida
    My polish rooster does the same thing! Curious to see what byc members have to say.
  3. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    They are showing the hens where to lay.. aka "being gentlemen" [​IMG]
  4. Namble

    Namble Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2009
    North Florida
    Quote:Are you serious? I didn't know chickens were that smart!
  5. Roos will typically bawk for hens to come and get things they find tasty. They will usher the hens in at night and tell them to hide when they see danger. SOME, will do what you are describing. I never though that they are telling the hens were to lay, but I would not put it past these guys.

    Hens are very tuned into a dominate roo and if you have no roos a hen will actually position herself as the dominate chicken and some will even CROW !!

    It is important to have a few roos about. They really do make the chicken world go round.
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Yep, `come hither and check out this location'
  7. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    Yeah, that was my dad's thought... that they were showing the ladies where to lay. However.... I think there are two problems with that idea... one... the ladies were outside and couldn't see the boys. They sneaked off to be alone to do this. Number two - my ladies all lay in the nesting boxes and have been doing so for months now...

    My roos are generally great gentlemen... they call loudly whenever they find a bug or a seed or a berry or whatever. They give all the best treats to the girls, always. They also wathc for hawks and yell, "HAWK!!" when they see them and usher all the ladies into the coop to safety. They do everything roosters should do, I think.

    I just thought this was so bizarre... alone, inside when they could have been on the grass... no girls in sight... and taking turns on their "nest" and growling at me when I got near. They were acting like my broody hen!
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Yep, that's it exactly. It doesn't really come down to a matter of smarts for them. It's all about getting them hens to lay eggs fertilized by their own proud selves, to carry on their legacy.
  9. Ya know, I think I am going to have to agree with ya. I have been watching roos for a while now. I have a very busy wild game roo and he constantly chases the other roos off his "territory".

    He has been up at the barn lately fighting with a few new roos that have "come of age". He really puts them in their place. I have a few roos that seem to have a small territory, a big 'ol lethorn, a HUGE white rock and a few Jersey Giants.

    Mr. Roo (the wild game roo) as I call him really does not mess with these brutes. I think he knows they will kick his butt.
  10. Bring

    Bring Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2009
    New Mexico
    Isn't that bawk bawk be GAWK! sound a warning of a ground predator? The hens do it after they've laid to get the attention of the predator to follow her away from her newly laid egg? I noticed that if you mimic the sound all the chickens will stop what they are doing and look around. Maybe they saw something they were afraid of and ran into the coop for shelter?

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