Cock

Dunghill cock (Period)

Dunghill cock (Period)

The cock, or cockerel, is the male chicken, noted for its fighting spirit; it is found as early as c.1285, in the canting arms of Cockerel [ANA2 201].  The cock is often blazoned more fully as a “dunghill cock”, to distinguish it from male birds of other species:  e.g., the peacock; the turkeycock; the “heathcock” or male partridge; and the moorcock.  (The term “rooster” is a modern American usage, and no longer used in blazon.)

All these types of cock are statant close by default.  There are some terms which appear to be unique to the Society:  A dunghill cock without wattles or crest may be blazoned a “gamecock”, as the wattleless breed was favored in cockfights.  A dunghill cock rising may also be blazoned a “cock hardy”.

Chicken hens are also found in heraldry (as in the canting arms of the Counts of Henneberg, c.1340 [Zurich 82]), as are capons (in the canting arms of Capenhurst, 1610 [Guillim1 164]).  These seem to be much less common than males, however.

Merwenna Maycock bears:  Per fess embattled Or and gules, two cocks counterchanged.

Wenllyan Goch bears:  Gules, a cock between flaunches argent.

Sabine de Provence bears:  Quarterly azure and ermine, a hen close Or.

Anne of Bradford bears:  Azure chapé, a chicken martletted close to sinister Or.

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