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Sounds and Actions of a Rooster

Yes, everyone knows that Roosters crow and that it is suppose to mean that the sun is cresting the horizon.  However, Roosters crow all day and sometimes all night.  Find out more about their crow in my post “A Roosters Crow”.

What you may not know is that chickens are talkative in other ways during the day.  It is said that they have 30 different vocalizations.

The rooster is a bird with a lot to say.  They have several different noises that they make and each has its own meaning.  Having them in the garden with me and having SO many roosters, I now know a little Rooster Speak.  Oh yes, when I hear a certain sound, I immediately scan the sky for a predator, or check the area for a threat.   I know when a hen makes a certain sound to expect to hear her rooster crow soon after.  With each sound a chicken or rooster makes you can expect an action or reaction.   Chickens keep things lively in the garden, with their sounds and constant entertainment!

If you are a hen, you listen to the sounds of the rooster; the sounds are all meant for you.  Because the mighty, mighty rooster is looking out for you at all times, you put up with his loud and noisy crow, his bossiness and his need to pull your feathers.  After all the guy is not just a pretty face he will risk his life to save you, so you appreciate him for all the sweet and good things he does and forgive him for the rest.

If you are hen, like “Cheeks” my Araucana, who is a huge busy body and tends to wonder around not paying attention to where she is until she looks up and finds her self all alone, you appreciate your rooster.

 When she finds herself lost, she puts out a cry of worry so that her Rooster will crow and let her know where he and the other hens are.  Oh yes, its true.  When a hen is worried, stressed, complaining about having to lay an egg and or finds herself away from the group, she lets out a stressful squawk over and over.  (It’s a bit of an annoying sound)  The Rooster who is her protector starts to crow so that she can come and find him.  If he is really worried he will run to where she is and escort her back to the group.  What a gentleman!

When a roster makes a loud, deep and abrupt “oo oo” sound that means danger, aerial threat.   If the “oo-oo” is a subtle sound, everyone stops lifts his or her heads and scans the sky at once.  If the “oo-oo” sound is strong, those hens run for the nearest cover, bushes, trees, under the peppers in the garden, whatever is the closest, they don’t look around they just run!  The rooster follows, but he constantly scans the sky and his hens, constantly protecting his ladies.   What a warrior!

“Houdini” our Phoenix Rooster scanning the sky while his girls take a dust bath.

The big guy also loves to feed the ladies.  Always the provider, if he finds a juicy bug or a seed on the ground he never eats it himself, but wants his ladies to have it.  He makes a high pitch excited “coo” sound that alerts the hen that he has found something and they come a runnin’.  Now here is the thing about our tricky rooster, sometimes, he makes this sound when he really hasn’t found anything, but he knows his hens will come to his side.  Occasionally I think this is just to keep them close if he feels they are too far away, but more often than not, it’s a trick, because when the hen comes running she immediately puts her head down to find the morsel.  This leaves her rump in the air, and guesses what, the rooster takes advantage and jumps on the hens back, grabs the feathers on her head to hold on and gets himself a little nooky.  What a Sneaky Rooster!

Something else that the Rooster does, that makes me as a woman roll my eyes, is his “wing down management”, as I like to call it.   A rooster has a deep-seated need to boss the hens around.  He tries his damnedest to tell them where they can and can’t go.  He does this by walking up sideways to a hen, lowering his wing on the outside until it faces the ground and does a little shuffle along the hen trying to push her where he wants her to go.  Now when he does this I think “bossy rooster”, but I usually end up laughing because I haven’t seen a hen yet who listens.  She sometimes runs away, some like my barred rock face him straight on and let him know, “no way, no how”, but mostly they just ignore him.  Now I know I shouldn’t laugh at the poor guy, but I think of the times when the men in my life get a little bossy and well, I think all women have reacted like each of my hens once or twice! 🙂  What a Bossy Rooster!

As evening falls and its time to go to bed, the rooster’s job is not done.  Depending on the number of ladies in his care it can be quite tiresome to get them to bed.  He usually heads into the coop first to see that all is well and no threats are in the coop and of course to be their leader.  He waits to see if his ladies follow, more often then not, some won’t.   So he has to head back out and try and shuffle them in, they usually ignore him.  He eventually tires of trying to coax them into bed and heads back in the coop to lead by example and to wait and see if they follow.  Of course they do they just choose to do it when it suits them.   Not always but occasionally as they get on the roosting bars to settle in for the night, squabbles break out (that many woman that close together what do you expect?)   He inserts himself in the middle to sooth the ladies, which usually doesn’t work, they just fight over top of him or hens move to different spots.  But I give him an “A” for effort.  What a Peacemaker!

So know you know, the Rooster is a diverse fellow whose job is never done, and he has to wear many different hats throughout his day.

Gentleman, Warrior, Provider, Lover, Boss, Mediator and Caregiver.  All in all a loud, but good guy to have on your side!

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28 comments on “Sounds and Actions of a Rooster”

  1. I loved reading your article! I love watching my chickens, and all of my roosters are very sweet to my hens. I haven’t had a mean rooster yet! I wanted to share though, what you called “Wing Down Management” from what I’ve seen is actually a mating ritual. When my roosters do the “Dance of Love” as I call it, the rooster is almost always rewarded after (; that or he is just ignored. After the dance, typically the hen will lay down for him. My roosters also trick my hens by calling them over for food when they don’t actually have anything. Sometimes that will even pick up a leaf and pretend it’s something good. I like to think they do that just because they want their hens close by. When they do have something, they will make the noise, pick it up, and set it in front of the hen. How sweet is that! ♡︎ Anyway, I really enjoyed reading! I’m glad there are people out there that love their chickens as much as I love mine!

  2. Avatar photo
    Steven Flanders

    Thank you for sharing your experience with your Roosters and hens. I have really enjoyed reading your post. I learned a lot reading it. Now when I am outside with the hens and Roosters I will have a better understanding of them. googled what does it mean when Rooster crows all day? And your post popped up. I grew up living in the city for 61 years but recently moved to a ranch that has many animals this is all new to me but I am enjoying them. One of our Roosters crows all day and night long. Now I undterstand it is normal, and not something to worry about.

  3. Will my rooster kill the new babies I just got. He is the only rooster and I had no hens for him. I just got them from the tractor supply store. He sits by the pen their in and make a low clucking noise. The babies seem to calm down when he is doing it and they come to him. Should I be worried

  4. Thank God you did this!
    I am ecstatic to have read your article!!
    You have a natural talent, Amy!
    I ‘beg’ of you not to stop these type of articles.♡
    You just have no idea how much I appreciate it. I want you close to me, so I don’t miss a beat so to speak. Wow, Praise the LORD! Thank you Thank you!

  5. I am watching my rooster and at times if I whistle or talk to him, he will rowel or shake his head around as if to say “I don’t understand you”. What is he really saying? What does it mean?

  6. Avatar photo
    Barbara Mallory

    I want to learn how to paint a rooster. I love the colorful rooster you show under “Peacemaker” is that a photo or a painting? Do u have the same picture showing the rest of the rooster’s tail and feet? Love the colors.

  7. There’s nothing like a rooster! Every morning I would let the birds out from the henhouse. The ducks and geese were allowed to free range in the garden right away but the hens had to stay in the yard to lay (then go out later) Pretty Boy the rooster would help by escorting any escaping hens back into the yard, then would wander around the garden himself enjoying a bit of time to himself, crowing happily

    1. Roosters are definitely entertaining fellows. I enjoy having them in the garden with the hens, always something going on with those chickens.

  8. We have a rooster that we keep in an enclosed area and my neighbor three houses down has about four roosters that free range at everyone’s house in between . Sometimes they will break off from each other and my rooster will crow, then there will be one crowing next door, and then three houses down the next one crows. It’s so neat and it’s like they are having a three way conversation back and forth. This happens on and off during the day. Love it!

  9. Hi Amy,
    Love love love love love this article u see Amy after my beloved goat passed i said to myself NO WAY NO HOW any more pets for me! Then one day a hen appeared in our yard we didn’t pay much attention much less cared for the poor hen but she would always make these clucking sounds & we noticed that she kept herself busy by digging the dirt in our yard looking for bugs/worms but at the time didn’t have a clue as to what & why she was digging in the dirt. Then as she kept making these clucking sounds along came a rooster my mother & my sister & my nephew & grandnephew said what is going on here! Why were these chickens coming into our yard & adopting us.. Then we found out they were throw-away wild free range chickens & no matter how much we tried to shoooo them away they would not take NO for an answer & kept sticking around. Well one day we were all outside & we were observing them & studying their behavior & it all started when every night at around 5:30/5:45 the rooster would fly into the tree & once hes situated on the tree limb he would look down & start to crow to call the hen to come up & she would fly up to the fence & from there she would fly up to a tree limb close to his & they would roost together! & this would happen every day/every night & that is how we fell in love with them!! & till this day its the same routine everyday/everynight.. We just love them to death! & after reading this article i started CRACKING up laughing b/c everything u said here is exactly how our rooster behaves! towards the hen. They are always together & when he doesn’t see her he starts crowing & he won’t stop until she starts CLUCKING & when he hears her i couldn’t believe how fast he goes running! LOL! I couldn’t stop laughing when i read this article b/c HENRY has this exact behavior!.. Thanks for the article i truly enjoyed & glad i read it i’ve learned something today about clucking sounds.. Oh by the way we named them HENRY & HENRIETTA!.. Thanks for the article!.

    Lila & the Birds
    Henry & Henrietta

    1. What a wonderful story Lila! Thank you so much for sharing. Chickens are such a wonderful source of entertainment in the garden, they are complete busy bodies always wanting to see what is going on and inserting themselves in the mix and they each have their own distinct personality. I am so happy Henry and Henrietta found you so that you can enjoy them.
      xo Amy

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