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molting and odd behavior

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have two hens; one is going through a hard molt and one is not. The molting hen started making this little chirping sound a few days ago. At first I thought she was just complaining about molting, but I noticed that she does it when she finds worms in the ground, and then my other hen runs over. I have read that this is a rooster behavior, chirping to call hens over for treats (I have never had a rooster, though, so I don't know if the sound and behavior are the same). Is my hen starting to exhibit rooster behaviors, triggered by molting? I hope not, but is this possible? Or is there some other reason she would be behaving this way while molting? The molting hen has always been the lead hen but is less assertive than usual these days as she is clearly not feeling herself. The non-molting hen is getting fat and glossy on the Feather Fixer feed and is a little more confident than she used to be.

post #2 of 4
When you don’t have a rooster one hen becomes the flock leader and often takes over many of a rooster’s normal duties. That sounds like what is happening with yours. I’s probably not related to the molt, just coincidence that you saw it.

It does not mean that she is becoming a rooster. She will lay eggs and be a hen, just will also be in charge. Don’t be totally shocked if you see her mounting the other hen and going through the mating ritual as far as touching vents. I’ve seen that behavior in my flock when I did not have a dominant rooster.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #3 of 4

My lead hen actually started to crow :lol:

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

When you don’t have a rooster one hen becomes the flock leader and often takes over many of a rooster’s normal duties. That sounds like what is happening with yours. I’s probably not related to the molt, just coincidence that you saw it.

It does not mean that she is becoming a rooster. She will lay eggs and be a hen, just will also be in charge. Don’t be totally shocked if you see her mounting the other hen and going through the mating ritual as far as touching vents. I’ve seen that behavior in my flock when I did not have a dominant rooster.


Good heavens, I am glad you warned me about that as I most certainly would have been shocked! :) Thanks for the reply; much appreciated. This is my first time raising chickens and my first molt, so I tend to fret.

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