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"Cockadoodledoo" and "Cocka-doodle-doo" redirect here. For the nursery rhyme, see Cock a doodle doo.
For other uses, see Rooster (disambiguation).
Look up crowing, cock, or cockerel in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
A rooster in Kosovo
A rooster, showing wattles, earlobes and comb
A rooster crowing (with audio)
A rooster (also called a cockerel or cock) is a bird. In actuality, it is a male chicken (Gallus gallus), while the female is called a hen.
Immature male chickens less than one year old are called cockerels. The term "rooster" originates in the United States, and the term is widely used throughout North America, as well as Australia and New Zealand. In the United Kingdom and Ireland the older term "cockerel" is more commonly used.
"Cock" is in general use as the name for a male of other species of bird, for example "Cock sparrow". "Roosting" is the action of perching aloft to sleep at night, and is done by both sexes. The rooster is polygamous, but cannot guard several nests of eggs at once. He guards the general area where his hens are nesting, and will attack other roosters that enter his territory. During the daytime, he usually sits on a high perch, usually 35 feet off the ground to serve as a lookout for his flock. He will sound a distinctive alarm call if predators are nearby.
4 The cockerel "waltz"
5 Religion and spiritual belief systems
5.1 Animism, shamanism and tribal religions
7 See also
10 Additional images and media
The rooster is often portrayed as crowing at the break of dawn ("cock-a-doodle-doo") and will almost always start crowing before 4 months of age. He can often be seen sitting on fence posts or other objects, where he crows to proclaim his territory. However, this idea is more romantic than real, as a rooster can and will crow at any time of the day. Some roosters are especially vociferous, crowing almost constantly, while others only crow a few times a day. These differences are dependent both upon the rooster&#39;s breed and individual personality. He has several other calls as well, and can cluck, similar to the hen. Roosters will occasionally make a patterned series of clucks to attract hens to a source of food, the same way a mother hen does for her chicks.
Main article: Capon
A capon is a castrated rooster. In the caponization procedure, the bird&#39;s testes are completely removed; a surgical procedure is required for this as the rooster&#39;s sexual organs are internal. As a result of this procedure, certain male physical characteristics will experience stunted development:
The comb and wattles cease growing after castration, giving a capon&#39;s head a dwarfed appearance.
The hackle, tail and saddle feathers grow unusually long.
Caponization also affects the disposition of the bird. Removal of the bird&#39;s testes eliminates the male sex hormones, lessening the male sex instincts and changing their behaviour: the birds become more docile, less active, and tend not to fight.
This procedure produces a unique type of poultry meat which is favoured by a specialized market. The meat of normal uncastrated roosters has a tendency to become coarse, stringy and tough as the birds age. This process does not occur in the capon. As caponized roosters grow more slowly than intact males, they accumulate more body fat. The concentration of fat in both the light and dark areas of the capon meat is greater than in that of the uncastrated males. Overall, it is often thought that capon meat is more tender, juicy, and flavorful than regular chicken.
In China, the Yangbi Huang breed can grow to be the largest rooster in Asia, up to 35 cm long. This is thought to be caused by the castration of the rooster practised by farmers in Northern China, which affects the hormonal balance.
Main article: Cockfight
Two cocks fighting
A rooster from the Philippines
A cockfight is a contest held in a ring called a cockpit between two gamecocks or cocks, with the first use of the word gamecock (denoting use of the cock in game, sport, pastime or entertainment) appearing in 1646. after the term cock of the game used by George Wilson, in the earliest known book on the secular sport of cockfighting in The Commendation of Cocks and Cock Fighting in 1607. Gamecocks are not typical farm chickens. The cocks are specially bred and trained for increased stamina and strength. The comb and wattle are removed from a young gamecock because, if left intact, they would be a disadvantage during a match. This process is called dubbing. Sometimes the cocks are given drugs to increase their stamina or thicken their blood, which increases their chances of winning. Cockfighting or more accurately secular cockfighting is considered a traditional sporting event by some, and an example of animal cruelty by others and is therefore outlawed in most countries. Usually wagers are made on the outcome of the match, with the surviving or last-bird-standing being declared the winner. There are religious significance and aspects of the rooster and the cockfight which are exampled by the religious belief of Tabuh Rah, a religious and spiritual cockfight where a rooster is used in religious custom by allowing him to fight against another rooster in the Balinese Hinduism spiritual appeasement exercise of Tabuh Rah, a form of animal sacrifice, where ritual fights usually take place outside the temple and follow an ancient and complex ritual as set out in the sacred lontar manuscripts. Similarly within the religious schema of Christianity and the cockfight within a religious, spiritual and sacred context, there are numerous representations of the rooster or the cock and the cockfight as a religious vessel found in the Catacombs from the earliest period as well as similar illustrations of cocks in fighting stance taken from the Vivian Bible.
The cockerel "waltz"
The cockerel "waltz", when the cockerel struts in a half circle with one wing extended down, is an aggressive approach signifying to females his dominance, and usually, the female will submit by running or moving away from the cockerel in acknowledgement. On rare occasions, the hen will attempt to fight the cockerel for dominance. Once dominance is established, the cockerel will rarely waltz again. When other cockerels are in the hen yard, this waltz is used significantly more and most cockerels will waltz together if dominance has not been established; either one will back off, or the two cockerels will fight. Note also that the cockerel will waltz again if he is taken out of the pen for a period, usually 24 hours, and put back.
Some more aggressive cockerels will drop and extend both wings and puff out all their body feathers to give the hens and/or other cocks the impression of a larger size, and charge through the hen yard like a bull.
Religion and spiritual belief systems
Since antiquity the rooster has been, and still is, a sacred animal in some cultures and deeply embedded within various religious belief systems and religious worship. The term "Persian bird" for the cock would appear to been given by the Greeks after Persian contact "because of his great importance and his religious use among the Persians", but even long before that time, in Iran, during the Kianian Period, from about 2000 B.C. to about 700 B.C., the cock was the most sacred
Animism, shamanism and tribal religions
In Southeast Asia, as in Mexico, understandings and interpretations of indigenous beliefs of the veneration of spirits and deities remain strong and for many who are practicing Christians there is still the veneration of the traditional spirits (anito) as in northern Philippines. Animist beliefs extend to the rooster and the cockfight, a popular form of fertility worship among almost all Southeast Asians further considered by some within the Judeo-Christian ethic as a form of Baal or Baalim.
Aluk or Aluk To Dolo a sect of Agama Hindu Dharma as a part of religion in Indonesia, within the Toraja society and the people of Tana Toraja, embrace religious rituals such as the funeral ceremony where a sacred cockfight is an integral part of the religious ceremony and considered sacred within that spiritual realm. In several myths the cock has the power to revive the dead or to make a wish come true and is well known in Torajan cosmology.
Kaharingan, an animist folk religion of the Iban branch of the Dayak people, accepted as a form of Hinduism by the Indonesian government, includes the belief of a supreme deity as well as the rooster and cockfight in relation to that of the spiritual and religious and some with the belief that humans become the fighting cocks of god, with the Iban further believing the rooster and cockfight was introduced to them by god. Gawai Dayak a festival of the Dayaks includes the cockfight and the waving of a rooster over offerings while asking for guidance and blessings with the rooster being sacrificed and the blood included in spiritual offering, while the Tiwah festival involves the sacrifice of many animals including the chicken as offerings to the Supreme God.
Ikenga, an alusi of the Igbo people in southeastern Nigeria requires consecration before religious use with offerings which include the sacrificial blood of a rooster or ram for the spirit.
Yoruba carved and painted wood tribal statue of a "cock fight"
Miao (i.e. Hmong) are animists, shamanists and ancestor worshipers with beliefs being affected in varying degrees by Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity. At the Miao New Year there may be the sacrifice of domestic animals and there may be cockfights. The Hmong of Southeast Guizhou will cover the rooster with a piece of red cloth and then hold it up to worship and sacrifice to the Heaven and the Earth. In Shamanism in the Hmong culture, a shaman may use a rooster in religious ceremony as it is said that the rooster shields the shaman from "evil" spirits by making him invisible as the evil spirits only see the rooster&#39;s spirit. In a 2010 trial of a Sheboygan Wisconsin Hmong that was charged with staging a cockfight, it was stated that the roosters were kept for both food and religious purposes resulted in an acquittal. In Viet Nam fighting roosters or fighting cocks are colloquially called "sacred chickens".
Santerќa which originated in Cuba from native Caribbean culture, Catholicism, and the Yoruba religion of West Africa ritually sacrifices chickens.
Khasi people believe the rooster is sacrificed as a substitute for man, it being thought that the cock when sacrificed bears the sins of the man (See also similarity of Kapport in Judaism)
Yoruba oral history tells of God lowering Oduduwa down from the sky, the ancestor of all people, bringing with him a rooster, some dirt, and a palm seed. The dirt was thrown into the water and the cock scratched it to form land, and the seed grew into a tree with sixteen limbs, the original sixteen kingdoms. Yoruba spiritual devotion is so complete and powerful, that all important artworks are dedicated to religious ceremony in some form.
"The sacrifice of a cock and a ritual cockfight was part of the Imbolc festivities in honour of the pan-Celtic goddess Brighid". In the 20th century, Imbolc was resurrected as a religious festival in Neopaganism, specifically in Wicca, Neo-druidry and Celtic Reconstructionism.