Hen copying rooster’s (clucking at finding feed)

esme13

Songster
Apr 22, 2014
463
225
156
New York
My girl is 6years old and this spring we added a rooster. Out of know where she is now clucking and looking around and calling for everyone to eat the grain ive given her. The rooster does this all the time. Is this normal for an older hen to pick up on? She is molting and Freaking out, every time the rooster comes by her. He doesn’t even touch her. Any advice? Should I be concern? She’s old , but this is not her typical behavior each year
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
Jul 16, 2015
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Hens with chicks will do the clucking for food. Maybe she's feeling motherly? Hard to say though.

Molting can be very uncomfortable for some. Every molt is different for each bird. Some years they molt harder than others, and they act off.
 

esme13

Songster
Apr 22, 2014
463
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156
New York
This is a very hard molt on her and have been trying to get her to eat and drink. But she just clucks and clucks at the feed , looking for everyone. Even grabbing pieces and dropping it. She’s over 6 and never been broody. She’s a boss girl. Trying to get her to eat some calcium in her feed, but I may have to make is very fine.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
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Jul 16, 2015
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During a molt they need more protein, or some animal based protein. People feed cat food, canned fish, meal worms, and stuff like eggs or cottage cheese to help. Generally switching to a higher protein ration, or a feather fixer will help too.

I am see more hard molts here too.
 

Fallenone05

Songster
Oct 7, 2015
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260
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SE Oklahoma
I've got a hen that's hard in molt right now and she's been tidbitting the other flock members to her too. Ive been meaning to get meatbird feed for my older hens protein while they molt.

I've seen articles tho that suggest some hens can go through a sex change as they age when their ovary stops working. Is this happening to your bird? Probably not, but it's interesting to study chicken biology.

http://www.urbanchickenpodcast.com/... occurs in,the hen's testosterone levels rise.
 

esme13

Songster
Apr 22, 2014
463
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156
New York
She’s over 6 years old and was laying eggs up until 2 weeks ago, so I don’t know if different hormones are acting up. But it got so cold this past week! Frost cold and she was shivering and shedding like crazy. I’ve been also giving her dark leafy greens from the garden and other treats. She is not eating in front of me, so I’m not sure what she’s taking in. Today I put the water next to her and she did drink and took her out of the enclosure. But I have been on high alert, because there is a cooper hawk that keeps coming into the yard. Very gutsy cooper hawk! And she’s basically the same size as the Cooper’s hawk.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
Sep 19, 2009
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Holts Summit, Missouri
My girl is 6years old and this spring we added a rooster. Out of know where she is now clucking and looking around and calling for everyone to eat the grain ive given her. The rooster does this all the time. Is this normal for an older hen to pick up on? She is molting and Freaking out, every time the rooster comes by her. He doesn’t even touch her. Any advice? Should I be concern? She’s old , but this is not her typical behavior each year
Odds are they are talking in a manner you have not picked up on, yet. Listen closely to the sounds the rooster makes and his posturing towards the old hen. I bet he is directing low intensity threats because she is not being nice either. You can let her ride the relationship out until her molt is complete. I have a similar old hen that is simply penned by herself and given a higher protein feed mix to get her through the molt. She also has issues with roosters and I suspect they are related to hormonal issues. Whatever is going on makes so I can get her to adopt chicks without going broody first.
 

esme13

Songster
Apr 22, 2014
463
225
156
New York
Odds are they are talking in a manner you have not picked up on, yet. Listen closely to the sounds the rooster makes and his posturing towards the old hen. I bet he is directing low intensity threats because she is not being nice either. You can let her ride the relationship out until her molt is complete. I have a similar old hen that is simply penned by herself and given a higher protein feed mix to get her through the molt. She also has issues with roosters and I suspect they are related to hormonal issues. Whatever is going on makes so I can get her to adopt chicks without going broody first.
I wish I understood chicken talk :D. The rooster is pretty laid back. I think he must have pinned her and it affected her emotionally. Which is weird. That’s the only thing I can think of. She’s molting and it must hurt and her old bones must hurt. She screams when he comes next to her. It’s nothing I’ve seen since the past 3 months he’s been there. I mean screams and runs like a crazy lady. It sort of reminds me when they’ve seen a hawk sneak up next to them in the past.
She won’t silent her self , even when I take her out to roam with me. She’s independent and doesn’t want the chicken food. She did eat some tomatoes. Strange. I will keep trying with this lady :) and I have her on the protein feed, with some scratch and calcium. She won’t even scratch the grass. I feel like she must be starving. But she’s walking and pointing to the food and that’s about it.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
Sep 19, 2009
26,264
17,005
786
Holts Summit, Missouri
I wish I understood chicken talk :D. The rooster is pretty laid back. I think he must have pinned her and it affected her emotionally. Which is weird. That’s the only thing I can think of. She’s molting and it must hurt and her old bones must hurt. She screams when he comes next to her. It’s nothing I’ve seen since the past 3 months he’s been there. I mean screams and runs like a crazy lady. It sort of reminds me when they’ve seen a hawk sneak up next to them in the past.
She won’t silent her self , even when I take her out to roam with me. She’s independent and doesn’t want the chicken food. She did eat some tomatoes. Strange. I will keep trying with this lady :) and I have her on the protein feed, with some scratch and calcium. She won’t even scratch the grass. I feel like she must be starving. But she’s walking and pointing to the food and that’s about it.
Isolate her. Something is wrong, and it may have nothing to do with molting or nutritional status.

Could you show a picture of both her eyes up close? See if she flinches when you put your hand close to her face.
 

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