What the first crow tells you

NZ Lifestyle Block - - YOUR POULTRY -

A CROW­ING ROOSTER can be an an­noy­ing thing, and there are all kinds of the­o­ries about how to per­suade a rooster to do it at a rea­son­able time of day. Most don’t work, and here’s why.

The time a rooster be­gins crow­ing de­pends on his in­ter­nal bi­o­log­i­cal clock – re­search shows you can’t trick them, even if you de­lib­er­ately put them into dark­ness for 24 hours – but that first crow­ing rooster tells you who the boss man is, and then who is where in the peck­ing or­der af­ter that.

The first morn­ing crow be­gins at the time deemed by the rooster high­est in the peck­ing or­der.

Once the boss has crowed, the sec­ondin-com­mand crows, fol­lowed by any oth­ers in de­scend­ing or­der, and roost­ers know to wait un­til the rooster ahead of them in the hi­er­ar­chy has crowed. When re­searchers in Ja­pan who tested the the­ory then re­moved the head rooster, the sec­ond-in­com­mand took over and the rest fol­lowed in the same or­der.

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