Wing-drop and pirouette

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AlbionWood, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. AlbionWood

    AlbionWood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2010
    Albion, California
    We have 12 roosters total, 9 in a run by themselves (the Stinky Boyz Club, destined for the freezer) and 3 with 26 hens. One of the 3 was not being nice enough to the hens - kept pecking them - so we traded him out for one of the Stinky Boyz. (Both roos are Delawares, the new one is better-marked and the one we wanted to keep anyway.) The new roo immediately went over to the other two roos and emphatically declared that he is now #1; this was accomplished with drama but not much actual fighting. Then he began going up to each hen and dropping one wing and doing a sort of pirouette around the hen - without pecking her or otherwise being aggressive. It looked like a formal dance! The hens looked either baffled or bemused, sometimes a little frightened. One or two tried to push back but that didn't last long.

    So is this a good sign, normal roo behavior with a new flock? He seems to be of a good disposition, at least so far. Didn't even have a big spazz when we caught him and carried him over to his new domain.
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Oh, that is The Rooster Dance of Love! It's what you WANT them to do with the hens/pullets - it's his way of asking for their submission (for them to squat for him)!

    A gentleman roo will also accept a refusal, and go up to another hen to make his request, instead of just grabbing and mounting the first one anyway.

    The Rooster Wing Drop & Circle Dance of Love is adorable to watch. (I sure like your use of "pirouette" - I may change how I refer to it, now. Thanks!)
     
  3. SycolinWoodsChickens

    SycolinWoodsChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    Oh, I am so jealous. My roo walks up to the girls, stands behind them and raises his hackles. If that doesn't work he grabs them. If they protest sometimes he just lets go and other times he mounts them. In the morning he runs around raising his hackles, side stepping them and then mounts them (even if he doesn't mate he stands on their backs).

    He's a butthead so yes, you have a fantastic roo!
     
  4. AlbionWood

    AlbionWood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2010
    Albion, California
    Oh, that is great to hear - I was hoping this one would be a keeper! Wife fed the flock today and said he was quite the gentleman - stepping back to let the girls eat first! I think he "got some" this afternoon, I heard some squawking and saw him on top of a Barred Rock pullet.

    Now the Sussex cockerel, who was previously a pretty decent bloke, is acting mean - biting the pullets at random - hoping this is "just a phase" triggered by the new roo. The Sussex boys are soooo pretty, it will be difficult to send them to freezer camp... but at least one has to go. Saturday morning is the big day.
     

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