Why Do Roosters Flap Their Wings? What Does It Mean?

Roosters certainly have some quirky and interesting behavior, don’t they? With their wake-up calls and funny mating dances, roosters add a little pizzazz to any flock of hens. 

One of the funny things they do is flap their wings, but why do they do it?

Roosters flap their wings for several reasons. They flap their wings to show dominance or prepare to crow, cool themselves, and for several other reasons.

This article will talk about some of the odd behaviors of roosters and what they mean. I will also go into more depth about why a rooster flaps their wings and what it means.

A Rooster’s Purpose

To better understand the behaviors of a rooster, it’s crucial to have a better understanding of their role in a flock. In addition, understanding what motivates some of their behavior is essential to identifying their peculiar ways. 

Roosters are born with the instinct to do rooster duties, and at around four to six months, their instincts take over once he matures.

The Great Protector

A rooster has no greater purpose in his life than to protect the flock. Therefore, he will often give his life for his hens, sometimes flighting to the death if he perceives something as a threat. However, his idea of a threat is probably different from ours, and we need to respect that about him. 

A rooster may see a small child as a threat to his flock even if there is never any intention of harm. Because roosters may see a child as a threat, it’s best to keep children away from the flock when the rooster is around. That last thing you want to see is a child attacked by a rooster. 

Along with a child, a cat or dog can also be perceived as a threat by your rooster. 

Not all roosters will see everything as a threat, and you may be lucky enough to have one that is docile and relaxed around the flock.

He Loves the Ladies

Another primary role of the rooster is to ensure that more baby chicks are made. He knows his job is to procreate, and so he will do just that, with whomever he pleases, whenever he pleases. 

Because roosters can be very competitive in a flock, you always want to make sure your hens’ ratio to roosters is ten to one, at least.

Rooster Behavior

Roosters are the king of the flock, and they know it. And while they are strutting their stuff, they exhibit some pretty interesting behavior that makes them stand out above the hens.

  • Keeps an Eye on the Sky
  • Gets Noisy
  • Crowing

Keeping His Eye on the Sky

Because the rooster is the great protector, you will see some interesting behavior from him when the flock is out foraging or free-ranging. A good rooster wants to be the hero, and he will take his duty seriously. 

It’s very common to see a rooster keeping his eyes peeled when the flock is foraging. He will consistently look up to the sky or scan the perimeter for trouble. 

He Makes Certain Noises

If the rooster senses danger, he will make a series of low noises to alert the flock. These noises tell the girls to stay close to him and be vigilant. 

The rooster also won’t hesitate to squeal loudly and gather the hens in a safe place. These sounds are very specific to the flock, and they know to take him seriously. 


We also know that roosters crow, and it’s the one thing that sets them apart from the flock.

Because of their internal clock, roosters crow to get a head start on the day and for defense. So when a rooster crows, he is often letting any other roosters in the area know they better not trespass.

Why Do Roosters Flap Their Wings?

Now that we understand some of a rooster’s behavior better let’s talk about why they flap their wings the way they do. What does that mean? 

  • He’s stretching
  • He’s attempting to fly
  • He’s preparing to crow
  • He’s telling you to back off
  • He wants some lovin
  • He’s trying to cool off

He’s Stretching

This may seem like a silly answer, but it’s entirely true. Often, a rooster is flapping its wings because he merely needs a good stretch. Hens and roosters will flap their wings at random, and it’s simply a method of chicken yoga, if you will. 

Attempting to Fly

Attempt is the keyword here because chickens are not very good at flying. So it may look like your rooster is about to take off after vigorously flapping his wings. However, he won’t get very far due to his size and thick plumage. But at least he’s giving it his all. 

He’s Preparing to Crow

Believe it or not, it takes a lot of work for a rooster to crow. This is because they have smalls lungs and a relatively complicated respiratory system, and because of this, it isn’t that easy for them to crow. 

You will notice that roosters flap their wings forcefully to push enough oxygen into their lungs to crow. Because, of course, he needs his voice to be as long and loud as possible. See how dedicated he is?

He’s Telling You to Back Off

In most cases, when a rooster flaps his wings, it’s because he sees you or something as a threat to the girls. This behavior will often come from the alpha rooster if you have more than one in your flock. 

By flapping his wings, a rooster thinks he looks bigger and scarier than he really is. Chances are he’s uncomfortable with your presence or that of another supposed threat. By wildly flapping his wings, he is telling you to back off and to do it now. 

You may also see a rooster flap his wings and then charge at you, perhaps while making a hissing noise. In this case, he is definitely trying to scare you and is about to go into attack mode.

He Wants Some Lovin…Again

The joke often is that roosters are typical men; only one thing on their minds! Well, it’s true! Aside from protecting the flock, a rooster’s main objective in life is to get busy with the ladies. 

Roosters do a sort of mating dance around the hens to get their attention. They will drop a wing and dance around her with the dropped wing held inside. 

He may look silly to us, but to the girls, it’s a sure way to win their hearts. And it must work because it seems to be all the rage in the flocks!

He’s Trying to Cool Off

Roosters and hens do not tolerate the heat as well as they endure the cold. So if you live in a warm climate, you will often see your flock flapping their wings, and it’s simply their way of trying to cool off by moving cooler air under their wings.

Final Word

We’ve learned that roosters are quite necessary in a flock of chickens and for good measure. They are fierce protectors who will put the hen’s life above his own.

Roosters have some quirky behaviors, and we’ve learned that it is all warranted. We’ve also learned that there are several reasons they flap their wings and all are indicative of certain instincts that we need to appreciate if we want a rooster in our flock. 

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