Hen "crowing" and mounting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bellmare, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. bellmare

    bellmare Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently purchased two beautiful black Australorp pullets from an awesome person here in the city who was moving. I've had them for a week in quarantine, with three more weeks to go. Their previous owner mentioned the smaller of the two was laying already and the bigger hen was still expecting her first egg. The smaller hen did lay for me the second and fourth day I had the birds and even though she has a very noisy egg "song" I didn't mind the little bit of extra noise (my RIR girls are not very noisy at all).

    Day 5 and 6 - no eggs. Day 7, today, I heard crowing. Not long and beautiful roo crowing, just noisy ErrrRRR, and it was coming from the smaller hen. I was surprised and nervous, because I live in the city. My neighbors love my hens but I don't think they'll take kindly to the crowing!

    I let the hens out to free range today a little bit, and the smaller hen jumped on top of the other lorp's back! I've heard that a hen can take on a rooster's responsibilities when there is no rooster, but I never expected it would happen to me. I'm at a loss for what to do, I just need some advice.

    Should I rehome the pullets (they are bonded, otherwise I would keep the larger, more docile one)? Or should I wait until they are integrated into my small flock and see if the behavior vanishes? These are beautiful, healthy birds, I'd love to keep them and give them a chance, but since I don't have room for very many birds, I do want consistent layers and I can not have the crowing.
     
  2. Joshua G

    Joshua G Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you sure that they are pullets?
     
  3. bellmare

    bellmare Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I suppose I'm not 110% sure, since I'm not getting eggs from both of them... but both of them practice "squatting" when I go to pick them up, and one of them (both their previous owner and I are pretty sure it's the smaller one with the weird behavior) is laying eggs.

    Like I said... I have owned them for 7 days. On day 2 I found a lovely light brown egg, which I attribute to the smaller hen. On day 4 I got another egg. For the last three days - no eggs, and the start of the crowing today, day 7.
     
  4. bellmare

    bellmare Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope someone can help me.
     
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    X2 on can you post pictures of them, I would wonder if one is a roo. But, pullets often get noisy and cranky etc just before they start to lay, figure it is their hormones acting up, they usually will settle down after a couple of weeks/months. If they are girls and you like them, I would wait until you have integrated them into your flock, being younger and new they should be at the bottom of the pecking order, at least to start with, and if your RIR are typical they won't put up with much dominant behavior from the new girls.
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Pictures would help to be 100% sure.

    A hen can crow, though it's not super common. A hen also can mount another as a sign of dominance.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Give them time to acclimate to a new environment...then they'll have to acclimate to being integrated with your existing flock...you will probably see a plethora of interesting behaviors in the next couple months.

    But you know, some hens are mouthier (beakier?) than others.
     
  8. bellmare

    bellmare Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is the hen in question. Today she crowed, but only once! I'm hoping this is getting better.
     
  9. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    She looks like a hen to me. A hen will sometimes crow if a rooster is not present.
     
  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, that is a hen. Sounds like she is adjusting to her new environment.
     

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