Ever See Hens Like This ??


In the Brooder
11 Years
Nov 4, 2008
Check out my RG hen, she has developed spotting on her tail just like the males. She is 4 years old and this year she is getting a males spots. I'm not sure why, but I have a juvenile hen with yellow plumage in her head feathers also. No inbreeding or line breeding is taking place and these two hens aren't related at all. They aren't even in the same pen. Anyone have any ideas, both are laying and the oldest has proven fertile, the males still court them, but it looks weird to me.
1st hen


2nd hen

More than likely damaged has occured to the (left?) ovarary. As a result the bird is not longer producing estrogen, which cuases testosterone to become the dominant hormone. This in turn causes the bird to adopt male secondary sexual characteristics such as male sex feathers. This happened to one of my yellow golden hens last year. They will not be fertile, but look interesting never the less. It is not common, but does happen.
Idk how common this is, but I have seen it to, older hens will sometimes take on male plumage, it took one hen a I know a couple molts and now she looks just like male.
I have no idea how that could happen or if that is indeed why she is taking on males plumage, but she is still fertile. I hope she continues to be fertile, and she isn't at all aggressive. She is the most passive of all my golden girls
I hope so. I think it will be so cool to have a hen that looks like a male. I made a mistake in her age. she will be 5 years old this spring. I received her as a juvenile. My girl with the yellow feathers on her head will be 1 year around May 1st. She is from a clutch I hatched last spring. Those yellow feathers just started and she hasn't even molted yet. Does that mean she will not be fertile and will have male plumage as well?

These are the only two hens I have ever had do this, and as I said they aren't related. I am stumped by it but it is still weird and cool at the same time
Thanks for all your input ...
It is hard to say what could cause damage to the ovary, age, sickness etc, but damage has occured rendering it useless. What is more surprising is that the hen is still fertile. Out of curiousity, how long has she had the male tail feathers? If they came in last molt she may not be fertile this year. If you do not mind feeding them, they are interesting to have.
X2 They are also known as "Mule" pheasants. I've seen it more in Ringnecks than the ornamentals. As it progresses with each molt, she will obtain more and more male plumage, but never really look 100% male, as some of the hen feathers will aways be present.
Soybean meal is throwing all the hormones off. Look for a soy-free supplement to mix with wild bird seed or scratch and junk the soft feed- (soft feed=crumbles, pellets, mashes).

UltraKibble is a soy free supplement- feed 1 part ultrakibble to 10 parts wild bird seed or 1 1/2 part ultrakibble to 10 parts scratch grain.

I don't know of any other supplements on the market that don't use use soy.

The soy industry is very powerful and we can be certain that for every real issue we get a grip on using good science there are going to be ten papers that refute those findings in humans.

The GMO -we just don't know what if any side effects there may be from a pesticide used together with the GMO that is developed to grow in that insecticide...or herbacide or whatever cide - I'm not an expert on the subject- just have some opinions -many based on substantiated science- many based on empirical data.

At any rate, don't feed your breeding stock soft feed and use supplements without soy throughout their lifetime. Pull any and all soft feed during moult- increase supplementation and be generous with the wild bird seed.

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