Can a hen act as a rooster if I don't have a rooster?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yellowchickensmomma, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. yellowchickensmomma

    yellowchickensmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Just a question. I have 22 hens and no rooster. Will a hen take over the responsilbity of a rooster if there is not a rooster with the flock?
     
  2. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    In terms of being number one in the pecking order and disciplining the other hens, yes. In terms of fertilizing eggs, of course not.
     
  3. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Sure thing. And if you introduce a rooster later she'll likely try to take him on at first to maintain her position.

    Quote:[​IMG]

    And if she does, get video... you're going to be RICH! [​IMG]
     
  4. yellowchickensmomma

    yellowchickensmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    I know they can not fertize. I quess I should have put as far the pecking order. Ha ha.
     
  5. HickChick Wannabe

    HickChick Wannabe Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2008
    North Ridgeville, Ohio
    I've been wondering something along those lines... One GLW hen seems to have taken over the flock since the rooster left. I can usually tell somewhat who I'm getting eggs from and I've been getting very few from her for quite a while now. Could some testosterone-like hormones be kicking in while she's in stand-in-for-rooster mode that interfere with egg-laying? And if so, when the new roo is fully matured, will her egg production go back up?
     
  6. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    How long has that particular hen been laying? How old is she? Is she going into a molt? Are you supplementing daylight for her?

    I won't say it cannot happen, but I would be inclined to blame it on another circumstance first.
     
  7. HickChick Wannabe

    HickChick Wannabe Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2008
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    She was a year old in June, there are 5 others the same age and, except for the one who's been on "maternity leave", is by far the worst layer. The rooster has been gone since early June and her low production, I think, roughly correlates with that. It didn't occur to me to watch for it sooner, so I'm not positive. I think it's been long enough to eliminate the daylight as a factor, but if her egg laying is that much more susceptible to day length or moulting then the rest, then her number may be up next weekend. I still have just a couple more birds than I have space for.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    Quote:I've read of lead hens sometimes not laying as much. They will also "mount" other hens sometimes; I had one do this for a month or two, but she never reduced her laying. They will sometimes even crow -- sort of -- mine did this, too. It did not sound like a crow but I finally realized that's what she thought she was doing.
     
  9. NarleevilleClucks

    NarleevilleClucks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2009
    Linthicum, Maryland
    My Camilla is head hen and isn't even laying yet at 23 weeks. She's a Barred Rock and will step up to my dog if she gets so inclined! It's funny!
     
  10. HickChick Wannabe

    HickChick Wannabe Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2008
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    So is it the lead hen, just when a rooster is absent, or it doesn't matter? And does production ever pick back up when a rooster is present again?

    I've never heard her try to crow, though! [​IMG]
     

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