Difference Between Rooster and Hen

Main Difference

The main difference between rooster and hen is that rooster is a male chicken, whereas hen is a female chicken.

Rooster Vs. Hen

Chickens are social birds that enjoy being accompanied by their flocks. Despite their sociability, they maintain a definite hierarchy in their flock. They exercise their power order to determine who eats, perches, drinks, and pairs first, which are known as a pecking order. A male chicken is known as rooster, whereas its female counterpart is known as a hen. When chickens are young, it is quite difficult to distinguish between hens and roosters. If they haven’t celebrated their first birthday, hens are known as pullets and roosters are known as cockerels. People who know the way around chicken anatomy can determine the sex of the newly hatched chicks by observing the vent. But, it requires an experienced eye to determine gender properly. Rooster has longer and fuller tails whereas hen has a shorter tail. Rooster has colorful bright shiny feathers on the other side; hen has less colorful feathers. Rooster is larger in size; on the flip side, hen is smaller. The rooster does not lay egg while; hen lay eggs.

Comparison Chart

RoosterHen
A male chicken is known as a rooster.A female chicken is known as a hen.
Name of Young Chickens
Young roosters are known as cockerels.Young hens are known as pullets
Other Names
Adult roosters are also known as cock.Hen has no other name.
Etymology
The term ‘rooster’ was originated from the United States, while the word ‘cock’ (adult rooster) and ‘cockerel’ (young rooster) were originated in the United Kingdom and Ireland.The term ‘hen’ was originated from the Old English ‘henn,’ which came from the West Germanic word ‘handjob’ (female fowl).
Gender
Rooster is a male fowl.The hen is a female fowl.
Tail
Rooster has longer and fuller tails.Hen has a shorter tail.
Type of Feathers
Rooster has colorful bright shiny feathers.Hen has less colorful feathers.
Shape of Feathers
Roosters have pointed feathers.Hen has rounded feathers.
Legs
Roosters have thicker legs and have pointed, sharp spurs.Hens have thin legs and less long or sharp spurs then roosters
Combs
Roosters usually have a comb that is tall, upright and larger and tend to have red combs and thighs at an earlier age.Hen has less prominent combs and developed latter then same age rooster.
Wattle
Roosters have more prominent wattles.Hen has less prominent wattles.
Eggs
The rooster does not lay eggs.Hens lay eggs.
Making Noise
Roosters crows more often.Hens make less noise or rarely crows.
Mating Dance
Roosters make mating dance for hens at the time of mating.Hens do not show mating dance.

What is Rooster?

Roosters are also known as “cock” ( Adult Rooster) or “cockerel” ( young rooster). The term ‘rooster’ was originated from the United States, while the word ‘cock’ (adult rooster) and ‘cockerel’ (young rooster) were originated in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Roosters include many types of birds such as turkey, quail, partridge, grouse, and chicken, usually referring to roosters. Unlike other animals such as penguins, barn owls, and wolves, bald eagles, roosters are polygamous (marriage or committed to many). They maintain several nest eggs usually by maintaining a common area where the chicken’s nest. They are protective in nature and will attack other roosters entering their territory. Usually, during the day, a rooster will sit at a high place and function as a scout for the group, hence the name ‘rooster.’ A rooster usually crows at any time. While some crow just a few times a day, most crows are almost constant. The difference depends on the specie and individual personality of the rooster.

What is Hen?

Hens are female gallinaceous birds. The term ‘hen’ comes from the Old English word “henn,” which comes from the West German word “hannjo” (female fowl). Like roosters which have the term for younger self, young hens also have their own term, known as a pullet. While hen may also refer to many other avian species that are usually related to them. Hens usually not crows, but they cluck when laying eggs and using special sounds to lure their children. Unlike roosters which are usually more solitary as adults, chickens are known as ‘warm-to-others’ chicken types.

Key Differences

  1. A male chicken is known as rooster, whereas a female chicken is known as a hen.
  2. Adult roosters are also known as cock while; there is no other name for the adult hen.
  3. The term ‘rooster’ was originated from the United States, while the word ‘cock’ (adult rooster) and ‘cockerel’ (young rooster) were originated in the United Kingdom and Ireland on the other hand, the term ‘hen’ was originated from the Old English ‘henn’, which came from the West Germanic word ‘hannjo’ (female fowl).
  4. Young roosters are known as cockerels conversely young hens are known as pullets.
  5. Rooster has longer and fuller tails on the flip side; hen has a shorter tail.
  6. Rooster has colorful bright shiny feathers; on the other side, the hen has less colorful feathers.
  7. Roosters have pointed feathers; on the other hand, the hen has rounded feathers.
  8. Roosters have thicker legs and have pointed, sharp spurs while, hens have thin legs and less long or sharp spurs then roosters.
  9. Roosters usually have a comb that is tall, upright and larger and tend to have red combs and thighs at an earlier age on the flip side; hen has less prominent combs and developed latter then same age rooster.
  10. Roosters have more prominent wattles, whereas; hen has less prominent wattles.
  11. The rooster does not lay eggs on the flip side; hens lay eggs.
  12. Roosters crow more often. Conversely, hens make less noise or rarely crows.
  13. Roosters make mating dance for hens at the time of mating on the other side; hens do not show mating dance.

Comparison Video

YouTube video

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it is summarized that rooster is a more colorful male fowl that protect its nests and show mating dance while mating whereas, the hen is less colorful female fowl that lay eggs and does not show any mating rituals.

Author:

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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