Farmyard Facts Explained: When Do Roosters Start Crowing?

Ayan Banerjee
Feb 18, 2023 By Ayan Banerjee
Originally Published on Oct 09, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Photo of a male Colorful Rooster crowing
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.4 Min

Roosters are popularly known to crow at sunrise, waking everyone around them.

However, that is not the only reason for their crowing. Crowing is just a habit of roosters which they do without any significant reason.

With all the observations over the years, many moderate circumstances have arisen that make the crowing obvious. A rooster does not crow until they have reached a certain age.

A rooster and a hen are very popular birds for commercial purposes. Hens are reared for laying eggs and roosters are raised mostly for chicken.

Often they are kept as pets at home and if given proper care, they can yield the owner some free eggs. If the pet bird is not an egg layer which is a hen, then it is the crowing one, i.e.,a rooster.

How can you tell which one you have? As juvenile chicks, it is difficult to distinguish between males (roosters) and females (hens), but as they grow their shape and characteristics change.

One more thing that separates a hen and a rooster is their sound. There is no proper time for a rooster to begin crowing, however it usually starts when they are five months old.

Even barred rock roosters start crowing at the age of around four to five months. Crowing can commence much earlier or later depending upon the individual rooster.

Silkie chickens can start to crow when they are around nine months old. That's when you can tell if your chick is a rooster or a hen.

Most people have an idea that a rooster generally crows in the morning or at the crack of dawn as a call to tell everyone to wake up. However, the reason for a rooster to crow in the morning is still unknown.

There are other reasons related to the crowing of the bird that can tend to justify their lifestyle. A rooster can begin crowing at any age between a few weeks to nine months.

Generally, crowing starts somewhere four to five months. Hens do not usually crow.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about why do owls hoot or when do hummingbirds lay eggs here on Kidadl?

When do baby roosters start crowing?

There is not a specific age or time for a rooster to commence crowing. Most roosters don't crow until they are five months old. However, depending on the particular rooster, it might commence much earlier or later.

Waiting for chicks to crow in order to determine their sex is not always a fail-safe way. Instead, the male or female bird can be checked for saddle feathers.

Roosters have pointed saddle feathers and hens have rounded ones, which is the sure test of determining if you have a male or a female silkie in your backyard.

When they grow, their physical shape and appearance changes as well.

However, that is happens in a matter of time. Most people want to find a home for their roosters before they begin crowing because this causes them to be quite noisy birds.

However, many of them make the frequent error of confusing roosters and hens, which can result in the loss of perfectly fine egg-laying hens since they may have given up a hen instead of a rooster before they commence crowing.

Hens do not usually crow, but sometimes it can come to your attention that a hen crows while it breeds.

It is not a regular call for a female chicken to make a noise like the rest of the male flocks.

What time do roosters start crowing?

Between a few weeks and nine months, a rooster can commence crowing at any age. Silkie chickens can crow sometimes when they are around nine months old. Crowing usually begins at four to five months.

During the day, a rooster can crow at any given time, but some crowings are part of particular events. We usually notice crows in the daytime, especially at dawn.

There have been some myths about these sunrise crows, but recently scientists have shed light on this particular timing.

It has been found that a rooster has a mean internal circadian rhythm clock of about 23 hours which explains why they crow at sunrise or just before dawn.

They even crow at night and crow as often as 12-15 times a day. The reason behind night time crowing is mostly an alert for any potential danger.

If they see a light beam or hear a noise of a tractor or a sound of a car, they crow to alert others in their surroundings and to let the enemy know of their presence. Crowings also keep them distant and protect them from night predators.

They also crow to declare their territory or to claim or reclaim their position as the head of a flock during a competition.

A rooster's crowing is usually just an act of will with no specific reason, but with keen observation it has been concluded that some particular crowings are related to particular circumstantial events like territorial declaration, the head rooster reclaiming its authority on the flock, and mating.

The head rooster also crows first in the morning. Roosters also have a fixed interval time for morning and night time crowing.

A singing rooster in the early morning

Are roosters sexually mature when they start crowing?

Roosters commence crowing at an early stage of their life. It is seen that they happen to crow six to eight weeks before they are sexually mature.

Coincidentally, crowing is also related to mating and male roosters crow to declare to the females that they are fertile when the female breeds. During the whole day, a rooster is most sexually active and ready to mate in the morning.

While mating, a rooster crows differently which we can tell from the noise of the young chicken.

Also when hens breed, males announce their, as well as, their partner's fertility which they do by crowing.

In fact, many people make the common mistake of differentiating between roosters and hens to early, which may lead to the loss of a perfectly good egg layer on their farm because they may have given up a hen instead of a rooster before they commence crowing. When they grow eventually, their physical shape and appearance changes as well.

The sex of the chicken can also be determined by their feathers. The saddle feathers of a rooster are pointed and the feathers of a hen are rounded. Also, the feathers on the neck of the hen are rounded and the feathers on the neck of the roosters are pointed.

When roosters start crowing, is it faint?

The crowing of a rooster can be half a decibel of the sound of a dog. Still, they are considered noisy birds.

Many owners tend to find another place for their rooster because of the same reason why some people get rid of roosters before they can initiate crowing. Theoretically, it is not so loud.

The crow of a rooster can be a problem to its surroundings like when it crows before sunrise and disturbs your sleep or when it crows in the middle of the night. Most of the crowing has some particular reason and can be divided into categories.

Crowing before the sunrise is due to their mean internal circadian rhythm clock of 23 hours.

This means it crows after every 23 hours, just like a body clock. They crow at night time to protect their flocks from a night predator or any other danger if they see a beam of light.

Crowing is also related to mating and when females breed, male roosters crow to declare that the females are fertile when they lay eggs. However, most of the time they do it just because of boredom.

Do different types of roosters start crowing at different times?

Crowing can initiate at any age for any rooster chickens after they are two months old.

Usually, a rooster starts crowing after five months. Juvenile chickens cannot crow.

Silkie chickens can crow sometimes around when they are nine months old. The reasons behind crowing are their body clock cycles, an alert for danger, when they mate, or when the hens breed.

Rooster chickens also crow when a fight or pecking is called among the rest of the flock. The leader of the flock reclaims its position or the new head claims its authority over the flock.

Roosters tell the whole world that their hen has laid eggs by crowing to confirm their fertility. Most people prefer to find a home for their roosters way before they can commence crowing because it makes them very noisy birds.

However, many of them make the common mistake of not correctly differentiating between roosters and hens, which may lead to the loss of a perfectly good egg layer because they have given up a hen instead of a rooster before those chickens have commenced crowing. You should wait until they actually crow before letting them go.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for when do roosters start crowing, then why not take a look at why do magpies swoop or rooster facts?

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Written by Ayan Banerjee

Bachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Ayan Banerjee picture

Ayan BanerjeeBachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Thanks to his degree in nautical science from T.S. Chanakya, IMU Navi Mumbai Campus, Ayan excels at producing high-quality content across a range of genres, with a strong foundation in technical writing. Ayan's contributions as an esteemed member of the editorial board of The Indian Cadet magazine and a valued member of the Chanakya Literary Committee showcase his writing skills. In his free time, Ayan stays active through sports such as badminton, table tennis, trekking, and running marathons. His passion for travel and music also inspire his writing, providing valuable insights.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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