Can Genders Change ?

jadedaisy

In the Brooder
Dec 28, 2015
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In June myself and my family had our first chick hatch; as you cannot tell the gender of the chick when first hatched we waited until we could see characteristics that would enable us to tell; after careful research and comparing genders it was clear that our chick was a hen however last week our hen being now 6 months old started crowing ?
Is it possible for a chickens gender to change ??
 

QueenMisha

Queen of the Coop
Jan 14, 2015
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Yes. This is called spontaneous sex reversal. This can range from simply a crowing hen to the bird actually growing male plumage, ceasing production, and adapting to male behavior. It's often the result of a hormone imbalance in the bird. Hens have only one ovary; the other sex organ is in a dormant, neutral state. Sometimes, if the hen's ovary is damaged, the other will begin to develop and oftentimes produces a male hormone rather than a female one.
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
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Long Beach, WA
In June myself and my family had our first chick hatch; as you cannot tell the gender of the chick when first hatched we waited until we could see characteristics that would enable us to tell; after careful research and comparing genders it was clear that our chick was a hen however last week our hen being now 6 months old started crowing ?
Is it possible for a chickens gender to change ??
At 6 months old, it's likely your 'hen' was actually a cockerel.
 

jadedaisy

In the Brooder
Dec 28, 2015
10
0
22
Yes. This is called spontaneous sex reversal. This can range from simply a crowing hen to the bird actually growing male plumage, ceasing production, and adapting to male behavior. It's often the result of a hormone imbalance in the bird. Hens have only one ovary; the other sex organ is in a dormant, neutral state. Sometimes, if the hen's ovary is damaged, the other will begin to develop and oftentimes produces a male hormone rather than a female one.

if this is the case here , does that mean that my bird is unable to fertilise hens ? Or will he not be able to reproduce ?
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
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Long Beach, WA
if this is the case here , does that mean that my bird is unable to fertilise hens ? Or will he not be able to reproduce ?
Spontaneous gender reversal usually happens in older, mature hens that have had some sort of trauma to their functioning ovary or a tumor. It isn't something that happens with young immature birds. It's likely the bird was always male, you just missed some of the early signs or he was slow to develop.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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Jul 16, 2015
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I would have to agree with the others that your bird was a rooster all along, some are late to mature and a lot don't start crowing until 6-7 months. Gender switching is rare and not really true gender switching, just messed up hormones.
 

Dorthia

In the Brooder
Sep 30, 2015
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Mine looked and acted like a hen for the first 8 months and then crowed. It was is and always will be a rooster. Yes, you will have fertile eggs.
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
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May 14, 2014
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At 6 months old, it's likely your 'hen' was actually a cockerel.

Spontaneous gender reversal usually happens in older, mature hens that have had some sort of trauma to their functioning ovary or a tumor. It isn't something that happens with young immature birds. It's likely the bird was always male, you just missed some of the early signs or he was slow to develop.
X2 on junebuggena's posts.
 

QueenMisha

Queen of the Coop
Jan 14, 2015
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Placerville, California, USA
Ah you know what, I somehow glossed over the part where it was six months old. That's what I get for choosing TV over sleep last night... x3 on junebuggena and everyone else, you've probably got a late blooming cockerel.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
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Jun 18, 2010
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I agree your bird was likely a cockerel all along. Late bloomers happen and confuse the heck out of folks. Do you have pics of your bird?
 

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