Cockerel ‘dance’ is an overture to hens
Q I recently bought a young cockerel to go with my flock of five Light Sussex pullets. When he gets close to the hens the cockerel does this odd bit of behaviour — he extends one wing down to his feet and scuttles sideways a few steps towards the hen, making an odd groaning noise as he does it. The hens don’t know what to make of it and neither do I. Is this behaviour normal and, if so, what does it mean?
A Michelle Dunn says: Good news — not only is this behaviour entirely normal, it means that your cockerel is a nicely brought up young man with good manners. A cockerel has two ways of mating with hens. He either takes a run up and launches straight in, or he asks nicely. This bit of behaviour you have described is known as the ‘courtship dance’ and is the cockerel equivalent of dinner and flowers. He drops one wing down and circles the hen, often hopping slightly on one leg. If she is willing, she will crouch down and invite him aboard. If not, she will run away. Your new cockerel is making polite overtures to your hens and it sounds as though he will be an asset to your flock.
The cockerel may hop on one leg during his courtship routine