Crazy "rooster" hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sferreira59, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. sferreira59

    sferreira59 New Egg

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Hey all, I am new to this forum and I've looked through a lot of posts and haven't found a situation quite like mine. Short version: we took in 3 chicks back in March (after their 'cuteness' was wearing off) and I quickly rediscovered my love of these fabulous fowl! Our starter 3 were an ameraucana, a RIR and a Leghorn (all female), so my grown daughter and I then went and few more: 2 Buff Orpingtons, a Cuckoo Maran and a Cochin. That was back in early Spring, and we were assured they were all female. One of the Buffs grew much more rapidly than the others, with a far more pronounced set of wattles and comb, as well as much longer feathering. We took bets that it was a rooster, but as her tail feathers grew out, they remained short and rounded, with no sign of spur buds. The Leghorn was leader of the flock and when egg laying started, the Cochin went first, then we'd find the occasional ameraucana egg, the once in a while, a Buff egg. No white eggs, ever, which is NOT where I'm going (I Figure Bernice is just a late bloomer:lol: ). Lately, we've been seeing rooster-like behavior from the large Buff, and today she attempted to mount the Cochin (to which Lil Bit stenuously objected!). I am 100% positive Angel (the large, rooster-acting Buff) is a HEN, plus she's never crowed and is 6 months old. We did some reading and found out this isn't all that odd, (stay with me, I'm getting to my point and questions!) and the camp is divided on what causes the behavior. One camp says it's because we have all girls and the other says it can happen where there are males and that it is actually a hormonal imbalance. Anyway, we got some more chickens today and brought in a gorgeous 16 week ameraucana rooster. Of course, there was the hen fights for domain and Angel would break them up. We had put the rooster in the coop while the 'girls' met in the yard. After things calmed down and the ladies were all agreeably pecking about, we let the rooster out. The Buff and he were fine for a while, then NOT SO MUCH! As Angel is a BIG girl and the new guy is, well, a rooster, it did not go well for my big old confuzzled he/she Buff. I finally broke it up, realized the Buff had facial bleeding so I removed her to the 'wellness' pen, and put her bff in there with her. NOW, my question is (whew! finally!) will I ever be able to flock these 2 together or will this be a constant problem? If hormonal, will it rebalance and if so, any guesses on how long it might take? I'd appreciate any input on this, as I only have the one yard and coop, although they free-range when one of us has the night off (we're all night-workers, so someone has to be here to tuck them in). I would like to keep them both and I can come up with alternatives if the prognosis for them pecking happily ever after together is not good.
    Thanks
     
  2. boogiedog

    boogiedog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2010
    Oakland hills, CA
    I have all hens and three of the hens (2 BOs and 1 australorp) will mount the other hens. The other hens will literally posture for them and allow them to mount. Not a rooster in the bunch, and they all lay eggs. I need to watch that the humpees don't get bald backs - and have saddles ordered to put on the three most frequently humped.

    In your case it sounds like you have a rooster - I would suspect that he will soon acheive dominance of the flock and the females may stop mounting.
     
  3. Farm_Maven

    Farm_Maven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2011
    Tishomingo
    I think that probably your dominant hen took over the rooster duties since you did not at first have a rooster. Now that you have added one, they are fighting over that right to be leader. When said dominant hen goes back to the group, her place in the order of things will have changed, along with the rooster taking over the duties a rooster normally has. It may take a few days of separation for that scenario to take place so a long convalescence may be in order, lol. IMO
     
  4. sferreira59

    sferreira59 New Egg

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Thanks for the input folks. Unfortunately, the hooster (that's the hen that thinks she's a rooster) was never the dominant hen, that's always been the Leghorn, so the dominant- turns-rooster doesn't work. Now that I have an ACTUAL rooster, I'm hoping the silly chicken suddenly finds her feminine side. I don't think she's ever laid, either, but before anyone tries to convince me she really IS a rooster....she attempted to crow, once she heard the rooster and it was, well, more of a pained squawk, she has rounded tail feathers, and no spurs at 6 mo old. I really would love to hear from anyone who has dealt with introducing a rooster to a hooster, if there is anyone out there. I grew up with chickens and know hens will mount hens, but I have never encountered a hen that thought she really WAS a rooster. [​IMG] Thanks, again!
     

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