Sayings about cock crowing, Why roosters crow & Why before dawn.

Gold Partridge Dutch Cock

Gold Partridge Dutch Cock

By Katie Thear

Why do Cocks (Roosters) Crow?

Looking at what a cock does and the lifestyle of chickens, it’s quite easy to see why he he crows.

First of all it’s a method of keeping his flock together. In the wild, chickens are floor and low-level jungle dwelling birds. It’s easy for a hen to wander out of sight and get lost. The crowing provides a homing beacon for his lost hens.

Secondly it’s part of the pecking order and claiming his territory. He’s telling any other cocks or upstart cockerels (cockerels are young cocks) that he is there and in charge.

Where there are a number of cock birds in a flock, the males lower in the pecking order will not crow before the alpha (top) male in a morning unless they want to issue a challenge for the leadership.

Why do cocks crow before dawn?

People often complain that their cocks begin crowing before first light. Scientists at Nagoya University in Japan discovered that they usually start crowing two hours before first light as do their wild jungle fowl ancestors. This behaviour seems to be controlled by an internal clock.

As to the why they start 2 hours before dawn, at the moment the only answer is because that’s what their fathers did before them!

Cock Crowing Sayings

Over the years I’ve come across a number of sayings about cockerels crowing. More often than not, these sayings tell more about us than the cock.

  • Cocks crow, dogs bark.
    This all men know.
    But even the wisest cannot tell
    Why cocks crow.
  • The cock does crow to let us know,
    If we be wise ‘tis time to rise.
  • The cock crows but the hen goes.
  • When the cock crowed the fox knew.
  • Every time a cock crows someone is telling a lie.
  • The cock often crows without a victory.
  • The cock crows because the sun won’t rise otherwise
  • Cocks crow because the hens can’t tell the time.
  • He crows because he’s feeling cocky.
  • Crowing is the cock’s way of doodling.
  • The cock shuts his eyes when he crows, because he knows his song by heart.
  • The young cock crows like the old one.
  • It’s a sad house where the hen crows louder than the cock.
  • Better a laying hen than a lying crower.
  • It’s a very ill cock that will not crow before he is old.
  • If you are in the henhouse you needn’t crow.
  • Don’t try and teach an old cock to crow.
  • A cock crows because he’s getting his own back for coq au vin.

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