The common chicken is not known for being particularly stunning – but a new fad has allowed these fowls to peacock around the yard. Photos of chickens in tutus have been paraded across the internet and we all agree it is our new favorite thing. Forget chickens in diapers, these robust birds have been accessorized to look stage-ready, and you won’t be able to hold your applause.
Animals may not be able to perform the same elaborate choreography that humans do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t dance. According to Ed Hagen, an anthropologist at Washington State University, who has researched the roots of dance, we can observe lots of animals dancing in nature. These movements can help communicate important information and help find a mate. The process of using dance to find a mate is part of something called courtship – which can be observed in chickens.
Extension poultry scientists from the University of Georgia explains the courtship and mating of chickens as a sequence of events: “dropping one wing and dancing in a circle (the lowered wing will be on the inside of the circle dance). The hen will crouch (dip her head and body) to indicate receptiveness to the male. The rooster will then mount the hen and grab her comb, neck feathers, or the skin on the back of her head or neck to help hold onto the hen’s back.”
There are more chickens than people on earth – 25 billion. There are also more chickens than any other bird species. Chickens were first domesticated in Southern China around 8,000 years ago in 6000 B.C. These birds have prehistoric roots and are the closest living relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.