Crowing Hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sureyeawhatever, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. sureyeawhatever

    sureyeawhatever Hatching

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    Sep 19, 2018
    So I got a 12 week old Buff Orphington pullet back in April. It only took her a couple weeks to start laying and quickly became the head hen of the flock. About a month ago, we went broody. But it started while my husband a I were away on vacation for about 2 weeks and the 'feather baby sitter' didn't know what was going on so it got pretty bad. When we got home, we had to do our best to correct the situation since we weren't planning on getting chicks anytime soon (our city has a hen limit according to the amount of property you have and ours is 6. We already have 4 hens and Tractor Supply and chicken breeders near us will only sell a 'starter flock' or 6 chicks at a time) and we also couldn't get a rooster (also not allowed). We did our best to close off the nesting boxes after the other hens have layed, separated her from the flock at night so she wouldn't sleep in the boxes, and when all that failed, we put her in chicken jail for about 3 days. This seemed to work but ws then immediately followed by what seems to be a moult. But it isn't typical moult...she's losing feathers like crazy but in no particular pattern similar to what you'd expect....she just looks, scroungy. She' also much more aggressive than she normally has been, now attacking one hen in particular. She typically doesnt let people near her and often lets out a quick 'scream' when you try to pet her before she runs away but today, she kept coming up to me and even briefly let me pet her. About 2 hours ago, she started crowing - loud - and not the typical 'egg song' but like "PAY ATTENTION TO ME NOW" squawking. This went on for about 20 mins before another hen joined. Then another, until I finally had a full on hen accapella group for my poor neighbors to listen to. I put them all back in the coop where they continued, all huddled at the far end, with the Buff Orphington on the outside, leading/seemingly guarding them from some invisible danger.

    Has anyone dealt with anything similar? Did I cause some kind of weird hormone shift when I broke her from being broody? Did I break my hen? Help!
     
  2. ThracianHorse

    ThracianHorse Songster

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    I had an australorp hen who crowed. Had a flock of about a dozen hens, with one rooster. The rooster got a little too nasty, and went to freezer camp. I never bothered to get another rooster to add to the flock... flash forward a couple years down the line, she started crowing. Not super well (As in, a well-defined "Cock-a-doodle-doo!"), but you could tell that's what she was doing. She also developed small spurs, and a larger reddish comb. Never developed the male feathers, but she did lay eggs. I ascribed it to the lack of a rooster. It never wound up being a problem for the egg-laying.

    Obligatory Jurassic Park joke here! "Life... finds a way."
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  3. sureyeawhatever

    sureyeawhatever Hatching

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    Sep 19, 2018
    I was reading that they can actually fertilize eggs...have you heard of that?
     
  4. ThracianHorse

    ThracianHorse Songster

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    Oh, I've heard of it. Until I see proof of an ovary turning into a testicle, then I am firmly of the opinion it's a myth. It's one thing to start crowing and acting like a male because of hormones, it's another to generate the physical parts necessary to actually be a male - and fertilize eggs - which is extremely unlikely to impossible. It's possible with fish, and certain species of amphibians, but I have yet to see a shred of evidence of a hen literally turning into a rooster, or any other bird for that matter.

    What is possible is because of the way they are wired is for a bird to be born half female, half male in an uncanny division right down the middles of their bodies. I've seen one such bird, and it was uncanny. That however is extremely rare, and you would know if you had one.

    This is in your favor, I might add. If it's a crowing hen, means you can't be told to get rid of her because she lays eggs. Just sayin'.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
    sureyeawhatever likes this.
  5. sureyeawhatever

    sureyeawhatever Hatching

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    Sep 19, 2018
    Thank you! Do you think this has anything to do with her being broody?
     
  6. ThracianHorse

    ThracianHorse Songster

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    Aug 19, 2010
    Washington State
    Maybe? Hard to say. I'd be inclined to think it was the lack of a rooster causing it. I don't think it was the stress of breaking her from being broody if that's the answer you are looking for. I'd say it's because she's the top bird (As you already observed), and her hormones are agreeing.
     

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