Why Does the Rooster Crow?
When the world was new, the sky held nine suns. The land became hot and
rivers dried up causing crops to die. The people decided to ask their best archer to shoot the suns out of
the sky. One by one, he shot the suns. Frightened, the last sun hid behind a mountain where the archer
could not reach her. The people soon realized their mistake. Now the world was cold and crops would still
not grow. They spoke gently to the sun to coax her back; they even asked animals and songbirds to try but
no one succeeded. Finally, they asked the rooster because he was fearless and would not give up. Agreeing
to help, the rooster crowed three times and the sun rose from behind the mountain, believing him when he
said it was safe. To show him gratitude, she placed a piece of the morning sky on top of his head.
- Ancient Hmong Tale
For generations, the question of why the rooster crows in the morning has
plagued farmers and regular folks day in and day out as his call drags them from their sleep and into the
everyday life. Though the myths and legends surrounding the crow of the rooster are certainly romantic, the
scientific reasons behind it are much less exciting. Basically, the early morning crow is no different than
that of every other bird you hear first thing in the morning. The rooster has woken up and is letting every
other rooster out there know that this is his turf and they'd better get off it or he'd be coming for them. Why
do some crow before the dawn? Simply because they are awake. When their internal alarm clock goes off, they are
up and ready to defend their territory.
Interestingly, however, is the fact that roosters crow throughout the day and
no one really seems to notice it then; though that may be attributed to the fact that we're all busy during the
day and just don't notice one more noise on top of the others. If you have a rooster, spend a day noticing why
he's crowing. Some crow to announce that they are the proud husband of a hen that just did her job laying an
egg. You may find it coincides with the cackling of your hen when she is finished.
If your rooster hears another rooster crowing, he will certainly sound off.
The crow is the first defense against another bird invading your territory. They crow to warn their hens that
they need to get away or to inform that there are trespassers in the coop. It is a warning to both the hens and
the intruder (often a hapless human going for an egg) that they will be mounting a dangerous, spurred
offensive. Size certainly doesn't affect the sound of the crow as a bantam can, and will, crow as loudly
as its full sized counterpart. Interestingly, however, a neutered rooster will not crow as they lose their
aggressive and territorial instincts.
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