Can hens ever turn into roosters?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pricey, May 17, 2007.

  1. pricey

    pricey Hatching

    May 14, 2007
    Someone told me yesterday that if a hen gets sick, her ovaries can turn into testes and she can actually *become* a rooster (i.e. grow a comb, start crowing, and gain the ability to fertilize eggs). Is this true? If so, what causes it? And how often does it happen?
  2. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    Here is a link you may find interesting:
    hens do crow and I think Spotted Crow has a crowing hen, you could ask her if that hen still lays eggs. And if I remember correctly, she had a neighbor that complained about the crowing!
  3. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    "A whistling girl or a crowing hen
    Is neither good for God nor men."

    Or so said my Scottish great grandmother!
  4. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    When all I had were hens, I had two that developed male characteristics. One had a very rooster-looking body, grew enormous spurs, laid very poorly, and was forever mounting all the other hens. The other looked like a fat old hen, but she also grew very long spurs and was certainly queen of the pecking order. She laid well.
    None ever fertilized any eggs though...[​IMG]
    I believe some kinds of amphibians can change gender.
    EDIT: They both also made a racket! It wasn't a real crow, though; it was a three syllable thing, but LOUD!
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  5. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    Hey pattycake,
    I remember trying to learn to whistle as a child and my great-grandmother would say to me,
    "A whistling girl and a crowing hen, always come to some bad end."
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  6. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Hey, I whistle!!!!
    Slifer was a true hermaphrodite, so she was both sexes...Most times that you get a crowing hen is because she's gotten an infection in her main ovary which shuts down. Since she's not getting female hormones the male hormones take over and she starts showing the male sexual characteristics like sickle feathers in her tail, large and red comb and wattles, pointed hackle and saddle feathers, spurs, and last but not least crowing. She probably WON'T lay again. But she won't be able to fertilize eggs because she won't be genetically a male, just look and act like one.
    Slifer laid me one baby yellow egg in the 3+ years that I had her and that was because I put her on female hormones, homeopathically.
  7. Grace Boyer

    Grace Boyer In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2007
    I had a hen that crowed, but still layed eggs. I've heard that hens may start crowing as they get old. Mine never developed any other idiosyncracies though, although she may have had we not had a rooster at the time. She was probably 4-6 years old when she started crowing. It wasn't a regular thing, just every now and then.
  8. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    Spotted Crow, out of curiousity did she fertilize any eggs?
  9. ella

    ella Songster

  10. Rafter 7 Paint Horses

    Rafter 7 Paint Horses Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    East Texas
    I had a pen of Buff Orpingtons that I thought were 25 hens & 1 rooster. They were over 1 year old when one of the hens escaped & started running around with my free ranging chickens. One day I looked out & saw this beautiful Buff rooster walking across the yard. I asked DH how my rooster got loose, & he said that is that "hen" that escaped!
    I didn't believe him & went to check on my Buffs...and sure enough, my roo was still in the breeding pen.

    I did some research & found out that if you have a very dominant rooster & one that is more submissive, the submissive one can "hold in" his male characteristics in order to protect himself from the dominant rooster. When removed from this environment, he will blossom into his true self.

    For over a year, I thought this was a hen. I knew that not every one was laying every day, but with 25 hens, I didn't expect 25 eggs a day anyway, so I didn't think much about it.
    There were never any conflicts between them.

    This is just my experience with this.


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