Chicken Mating Habits: Learning About Roosters


A photo of MichelleHello Everyone! Spring is in the air!

How do I know this? Mating attempts have picked up with my 2 very fine boys. Now, growing up on a farm I have witnessed this wonderful time when the animals are feeling the love. Well, I am telling you right now, I am greatly disappointed in the roosters attempt to love their hens!

Let me go back a ways and tell you about Cashmere. He, as you know is my very aggressive Welsummer, which can be a good thing. But when he was just learning he was a male he was like a male dog out of control. Oh no, not with the girls, he decided my stuffed fuzzy teddy bear just had to be loved and loved a lot! When he felt he had done his job he would run over to the dogs bed and love on the corner of it. I must admit in some sick way it was the funniest thing I had ever seen, and he was so proud. He would prance around when he was done just singing like he was the “Man.”

Chatty, on the other hand never found anything interesting unless it was breathing and looked like a hen. I got to witness his first attempts, and I would say he just didn’t seem to get what needed to be done. My hen would watch him as he did what we call the “Happy Dance” around her, his head and body leaning in towards her. Once he got closer, she kneeled down like she should, and he mounted. Good so far. Problem was he didn’t know her tail needed to be up and out of the way. He sprayed my floor. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, I sure did. After a few times of him doing this over the next few days, he finally figured it out. We cheered for the boy, and the hen ran away.

Seems the 2 boys finally figured out what and who they were suppose to be mating with, so I was pleased. Chatty, being a Buff Orpington is a very big heavy boy, and he loves his littlest girls. Poor Bowzer who is as small as a Silky caught his eye on day. She was smart and got down quick but as soon as he put one foot on her a egg shot out! It hadn’t formed its hard shell so it exploded as it hit the ground. Bowzer was not a happy camper, I can tell you that. She ran over to the egg and put up quite a fuss. She learned when he does his “Happy Dance” to run as far away as she can now. Well, until yesterday.

We finally went and did our taxes, and the weather was so nice, I put all the girls from the basement coop out into the run with Cashmere. Cashmere woudn’t stop crowing, so I had to bring him in. I thought this would be a good time for Chatty to say “Hi” to the girls again. While we were gone Bowzer must have forgotten to run. My poor little girl was limping, and he had put so much pressure on her that part of her vent lining was exposed. Normally I have Tucks for an old dog, but I couldn’t find them. But I have DMSO, which is used on horses for muscle swelling or damage. I first washed her back area, then put a warm wet washcloth on her vent area while I held her. She enjoyed this so much she fell asleep.

michele' preston
3/7/2011 7:45:29 PM

Teddy that is one question I am unsure of...does he do it just before he mounts the hen? or is this something he is just doing? is he also moving the rest of his body differently....I know when they decide to mate they will do a funny little dance sliding up to the side of the hen or dance around them....they sometimes move their heads differently as well.....he could also have something stuck in his throat that he is trying to loosen...I have a little crippled female that does that after she has eaten too fast or got too much water at one time...its very weird to see & a bit scary as it is so adnormal....You may have a rooster with the same thing mine has..... but watch him if his comb starts turning purple he is not getting enough oxygen....check his crop & make sure the feed in it isn't rock hard...if it is get water in him...use a turkey baster, eye dropper whatever you can do to get water in him...then massage the crop to loosen the food so it can move...if you know its been in there a long time or his mouth smells rotten....get as much water as you can in there, massage it til very lose then turn him upside down by his feet & force the food out by pushing on it to make him throw up.....but to be honest it sounds like my hen & she is fine...just weird to see...good luck with your boy...Michele'

Teddy and Tina
3/3/2011 8:10:31 AM

Why has my rooster started swinging his head from side to side? He is moving it side to side like a snake. Really weird looking

Lori Harris
7/7/2010 9:08:28 AM

We are new to raising chickens and have 2 roosters and 4 hens. Our largest hen today looked like she had all the feathers plucked from her back and some raw places that had some larva all over it. She was not this way yesterday evening. She was resting/hiding for a bit, but is now up walking around some. I am concerned and am wondering if this is mating ritual. Our rooster is very large and has been trying to mate with her. Any advice to how to care for her back and if we need to seclude her for a while?

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