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Home > Science & Nature > Nature > Birds > Hens and Roosters Compared

Difference Between Hens and Roosters

Hens vs Roosters

Apart from the most obvious difference of being male and a female for a rooster and hen respectively, there are some more important distinctions. Certain behavioural and morphological aspects are important to notice the differences between these very useful domestic animals.

Rooster

Rooster (aka cockerel or cock) is the male of domestic chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus. Roosters have a special feature called comb located on their heads, which is a fleshy crest or tuft. Their comb is large, prominent and colourful. Moreover, roosters with prominent combs attract more females. They have more features to attract females and wattle is an important one, which is a large, colourful lobe of flesh hanging from the chin. Their feathers are colourful and especially the tail feathers are long, bright, and appear as a mob. The neck feathers are significantly long and pointed. Rooster is polygamous and guards the area where its hens are nesting. They prefer to sit on high perch during daytime. Roosters are large and weigh between four and five kilograms generally. They prefer often crowing with the characteristic cock-a-doodle-doo, and it is more prominent in the early mornings. Roosters, more often, fight with each other to establish the dominance in front of females. The cockerel waltz is a specialized dance, in which they establish their dominance in a tricky method that does not involve fighting. In the presence of many males among females, the cockerel waltz dances continuously take place in order to establish the dominance. Roosters have been a friend of human in many ways including breeding females to lay fertilized eggs for making generations as food animals. Cockfights are also an interest among some people, and they earn money through those fights. Usually a rooster lives for about 2 – 6 years, but sometimes up to 10 years.

Hen

Hen is the female of the domestic chicken, and she is small with a weight ranging less than four kilograms. Hens do not have to be attractive, and they are in fact, less colourful, but productive. Therefore, they have developed an extremely efficient reproductive system that could be responsible for an egg per day. They do not have long and colourful neck and tail feathers. Moreover, hens do have neither prominent combs nor wattles. Certain studies have revealed that hens do not like to wander around humans. Upon mating with a male, they lay fertilized eggs and incubate until hatching for 21 days with much care and responsibility. Hen become aggressive during this time until she lets her chicks on their own. She teaches the chicks how to forage and adapt to the environment with care and love. Hens deliver one egg per day, and it does matter whether a male has fertilized it or not. However, the hen incubates only the fertilized eggs. Since their capacity to lay eggs lasts for only two years, people cull them around that age. However, hens have lived for more than 10 years.

What is the difference between Hen and Rooster?

• Rooster is always the male of domestic chicken, while hen could be the female of some aquatic birds as well as crabs, lobsters, and salmons.

• During daytime, hens stay on the ground while roosters prefer to perch on a higher place.

• Roosters are larger and heavier compared to hens.

• Rooster is more attractive with long and colourful tail and neck feathers, but those in hens are short and less colourful.

• Neck feathers of the rooster are sharp at the tips, whereas hens have round neck feathers.

• Roosters have more prominent wattles and combs, which are brighter colourful. However, hens do not possess such prominent combs and wattles as in males.

• Hens lay eggs and roosters guard the female nesting area.

• Roosters are social and friendly around humans but hens are not.

• Roosters are more often crowing, but hens crow very rarely in the absence of roosters.

• Cockerel waltz is common among roosters, while hens do not perform those dances.


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