A rooster, also known as a cockerel, cock (from Old English coc) or chanticleer, is a male chicken (Gallus gallus). The female is called a hen.
Immature male chickens less than one year old are called cockerels. The term "rooster" originates in the United States, and the term is widely used throughout North America, as well as Australia and New Zealand. In the United Kingdom and Ireland the older term "cockerel" is more commonly used.
"Cock" is in general use as the name for a male of other species of bird, for example "Cock sparrow". "Roosting" is the action of perching aloft to sleep at night, and is done by both sexes. The rooster is polygamous, but cannot guard several nests of eggs at once. He guards the general area where his hens are nesting, and will attack other roosters that enter his territory. During the daytime, he usually sits on a high perch, usually 3–5 feet off the ground to serve as a lookout for his flock. He will sound a distinctive alarm call if predators are nearby.
Famous quotes containing the word rooster:
“DArrast: Just tell me, has your good Jesus always answered your call?
The Rooster: Always, no, Captain.
DArrast: Well, then?
The Rooster burst out in a fresh and childlike laugh: Well, he is free, isnt he?”
—Albert Camus (19131960)
“I respect the ways of old folks, but the blood of a rooster or a goat cannot turn the seasons, change the course of the clouds and fill them up with water like bladders. The other night, at the ceremony for Legba, I danced and sang my fill: I am a black man, no? and I enjoyed it like a true Negro should. When the drums beat, I feel it in the pit of my stomach, I feel the itch in my hips and up and down my legs, I have got to join the party. But that is all.”
—Jacques Roumain (19071945)