Could it really be a hen?!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by drdoolittle, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    I was given a young hen on Labor Day weekend, by a co-worker who took 2 roos off my hands. Last week, I was looking around for my youngest roo (who is approx. the same age as that hen), and found the two of them engaged in sparring behavior. They were facing each other, neck feathers frilled out, heads bobbing, and jumped up at each other. I called my co-worker last weekend to tell him I had gotten a roo, and needed to bring it back and get a hen (this is what we had agreed to IF it turned out to be a roo). He asked if it was crowing yet----no. But neither is my other young roo. But my co-worker said that al his roos around that age are crowing now, and he is certain that I have a hen----he says hens will sometimes act that way (I've never had a hen try to fight with a roo). He says to wait a little longer to see if it starts to crow. I was just wondering if any of you think it's possible that this is a hen? Don't have pics. to post, but I am positive it's a roo---not just because of the sparring, but because of the way it stands and moves. I don't know, I almost got the feeling my co-worker was getting irritated with me for questioning his ability to tell a hen from a roo. Maybe I should just keep the thing no matter what it is----but I really do NOT need any more roos----I have 4 others!!!!!
  2. txcarl1258

    txcarl1258 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2010
    It still could be a hen. I have had some nasty ones that would take on and whip a roo! Some hens act more rooish than others. I have even heard reports of hens crowing! I have never had this happen, but hope it does one day just so I can see it.
  3. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    The sparring behavior may just be your roo and the "hen" figuring out pecking order. I would look for other signs that the "hen" is a roo. You don't mention age or breed but you can look for the other indicators like comb development, saddle feathers, hackle feathers or spurs (depending on age) If you could post pics that would help but I would say to hold off judgement for now.
  4. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    Thanks for the input. I believe this bird is about 4 1/2 months old, and it is a marans-cross. What do I look for as far as saddle feathers----those are the feathers on the back, right? The comb is not that big, but neither is the comb or wattles on my other roo, who is about the same age.
  5. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2008
    Our pure marans are very easy to sex by comb development very early on-- like 2-4 weeks!
    By 4 months you should have saddle feathers and tail feathers that are very roosterish.
    And our hens and roos do fight on rare occasions!
    Now, if you can help me figure out how to sex those darn orpingtons....!
  6. gvntofly05

    gvntofly05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    A picture of the bird in question would help us to determine if it is indeed a roo. [​IMG]
  7. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    Quote:x2 al my chicks did the sparring thing m/f, f/f, m/m, I don't see them do it anymore now that they are laying, but 1 pullet was going to attack the other when I was looking at its wings, I think she was jealous.
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    My hens spar every day. Just not all the time. They don't want to lose their status.
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Oh, yes, sparring occurs between the sexes, too. Especially since she's new to your flock, there will be some testing to see where she fits into the pecking order.
  10. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    Well, here's an update on this situation: the "hen" was a roo. He never did crow, but about a month ago, my roo (who was around the same age as this one) killed him. We found him already dead in the pen, with my young roo standing over him. I tried to tell my co-worker who I got the bird from that it was a roo, but he wouldn't listen. It's so strange how some roos can coexist peacefully, and some just don't fit in-------my 2 older roos have a few minor skirmishes once in awhile, and sometimes chase after my younger one, but there is never any blood drawn. Wonder why that happened with the other one?[​IMG]

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