Crowing hen?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SophiaMoon, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. SophiaMoon

    SophiaMoon Out Of The Brooder

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    This is a strange question and tale so here it goes.
    On Friday last week I came home from dialysis sick as can be, my Dad helped me out by giving the flock some fresh water and let them out to free range in my fenced in yard. Dad then went home, but i fell asleep without going out to watch the flock. Now the girls have been left out before with no trouble before but this time I was not so lucky two things went wrong. I came out at dusk to close up the coop and found 4 out of 5 chickens sitting on my picnic table, the wind had closed the coop door. While I was getting them in I was trying to find where the mia hen was. My neighbor from across the street came over and told me that my hen had gotten out and was chased down the street by a fox.(I think a cat) No sign of it anywhere. I got the flock in for the night and that was that til Monday morning. I had an early appointment and was outside to go with Dad and we hear one of the hens crow(?). Dad tells me this is the second time today she did it. She has not laid an egg but is no roo, alpha hen yes. I go to the drs and come back. While waiting for my ride to dialysis I do some yard work while not letting the hens out of the coop/run, no time to free range. I see a gray blur across the street and it moves, then I hear my chicken calling out to the flock. I call her and she comes a running across the street and up the driveway. I get her back in to the yard pick her up and put her back in with the others. She is no worse for wear on being lose for two days. Now you ask whats my questions, 1 why did my hen crow was she calling the other one back and 2 is the wanderer likely to try to do that again or even take more with her? I had to promise my neighbors that if i ended up with a roo and he crowed it was dinner. I dont want to do that to a hen what was just telling another where home is. So any ideas on why or what to do would be helpful.
     
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Occasionally you'll get a hen who will crow. It is rare but it happens. Can you post a photo of the suspected crower? As to why hens crow is a mystery and many people have a theory or two. Now if you have a young cockerel (Age of flock?), he's going to crow as often as he wants to let the world know he's a male, his location, and he's available.
     
  3. SophiaMoon

    SophiaMoon Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2013
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Three photos of Athena the crowing hen. She is 5 months old,give or take a week or two. I was at the state fair yesterday and in the poultry barn i heard a lot of roos crowing. The noise she makes is not like an advertising roo, I think its just her way as alpha hen to keep her flock together. Its just a loud where are you, get over here call. And yesterday she only did it when separated from the flock, every one else was taking a dust bath she went off to forage and found herself alone. She crowed/called and everyone came a running.
     
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    At five months you'd expect to see more comb and wattle development in a young cockerel. However, compared to the white pullet she/he does is definitely showing more comb development. You pictures are blurred so I can't tell what kind of feather are developing along the neck and at the base of the tail.

    Here is a photo of a young cockerel. Note the pointy feathers (saddle feathers) at the base of the tail. Also note how the neck (hackle) feathers are pointed.

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    Give your bird a few more weeks. A cockerel will continue to develop and the crow will improve. A pullet near point of lay will also develop comb and wattles and can be very vocal. Some of the behaviors you describe can either be a young cockerel learning the ropes of taking care of a flock or a dominant pullet assuming the role of leader.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    That's no mystery, and no crowing hen. That's a young rooster. Look at that flashy coloring, it's all boy. He's just slower to mature is all.
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    x2. Look at the red on the shoulders on that boy. That's 100% a cockerel. His saddle feathers and rooster tail are coming in, too.
     
  7. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, that's a boy. The crow has to develop, it sounds more like a strangled frog when they first start up. It takes them longer to start it if they don't have another rooster to hear in the background. Usually the first couple of weeks it sounds like "EEeerrrg" and doesn't have many notes. Some practice a lot, others don't.

    A pullet will have some come growth, even a lot sometimes, but it doesn't flare up red until they're close to laying, like within 2 weeks of laying there is a definite "bloom" that happens. How long as that bird been red in the face? If it's been several weeks, that's for sure a male.

    If you look at the pale pink on the white bird, that's what a female will look like, up until she's about ready to lay, and then that pink will turn red, as red as he is right now. Generally speaking anyways, there is a range in development they can have. Such as a late blooming rooster. I've had some try to crow as young as 8 weeks, and others put it off until they're older.
     
  8. SophiaMoon

    SophiaMoon Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2013
    New strange behavior in Athena! She has stopped crowing but now won't go into the coop with the other 4 chickens at night. Mealworms and fresh cooked rice two of my chickens favs won't get her in the coop. Last night i had somewhere to go and could not get her in before i left so Dad came over later to see if he could, nope she disappeared on him. Now tonight i got a flashlight and went looking for her after i got the others in. She was in the old puppy tent pen that was the chickens first coop. There is a fake hollow rock with a doorway cut into it that they used to go into. She was in there so i closed it up to keep her in. She came out of the rock and started to jump at the mesh doors and window. She just could not take being confined. But she finally settled down and went back to the rock. I don't know what has into her or him but at this rate its going to get themself killed. I think the dang bird is crazy.
     

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