Roosters come in a multitude of breeds including the Golden Laced Wyandotte which is the rooster pictured on a certain breakfast cereal box. Growing up to 8 1/2 pounds the rooster is one of the most handsome of all breeds. The Black Jersey Giant is a prized show-bird weighing in at 11 pounds; standing out from the crowd, his black feathers have a green sheen and he has greenish-blue legs. Both these large breeds have good lungs for crowing at length and are extremely protective of their harem of hens. Acting as “look-outs” you will find these breeds frequently up trees scanning the horizon for danger.
A capon is a rooster that has been castrated. The rooster’s reproductive organs are mainly internal although a short organ is produced from his body for mating purposes only. Once these organs are removed through surgical procedure, the capon will develop a buff, meatier appearance; the meat will not be stringy and tough like a regular slender rooster, but melt-in-the-mouth tender dark and white meat. The capon loses his aggressions and territorial instincts that he once possessed and acts more like a hen; he also loses his need to crow. The capon’s dark and white meat is considered a delicacy to connoisseurs of fine meats.
A rooster crows because he has an internal clock that helps him anticipate sunrise. Like all birds, roosters sing – or crow – in a daily cycle. Almost all animals have daily cycles of activity known as circadian rhythms that roughly follow the cycle of day and night. Roosters anticipate sunrise to get a head start on their daily hunt for food and defense of territory.
But if one rooster in the neighbor has an internal clock that’s set a little early, he can stimulate other roosters to crow early, too. The rooster’s sunrise song is actually a way of establishing his territory. When a rooster crows, he’s sending a signal to other roosters that if they trespass, they’re asking for a fight.
A rooster will often crow from a vantage point above his territory so he can make others more aware of his presence and so that his songs travel farther. Even though roosters are the most famous crooners of the chicken world, hens aren’t exactly silent, either. When a hen spots a hawk, she’ll let out a harsh scream to send her chicks into hiding. But if she sees a less-threatening human, she might just cackle.
Bantam roosters as well as standard roosters crow as loud as the other despite their small size. Rooster’s start crowing at around five months of age and crow regularly until they die of natural causes or get put in the crock pot, which is the only way to cook them tender enough to eat.