Hen Is Changing Into A Roo! Eeep!


10 Years
Apr 22, 2009
Um, so… my hen is morphing into a rooster. I had heard about this before, but man! For about two years, my laying flock had Rocky, my Welsummer roo, but last month I gave him to my brother to be a pet. He was hatchery stock, and I believe he had a problem with his legs, since he walked so stiff, and mostly chose to lie down. There was no point in breeding him (he hardly could anyhow), and I didn't, but I kept him anyways. He was gentle, and because of his loss of mobility, didn’t tear up the ladies. Once he was gone, however, I noticed my hens becoming more aggressive. It should have clicked then, but if you know me – you’ll also know I’m a space cadet. Yesterday, I was sitting outside in my chair, with a Polish chick in my lap, watching the big hens. Then, there they went again, that Welsummer hen jumping my Columbian Rock, but this time… she was really jumping her, right on her back and doin’ the rooster thing! I knew I was in trouble. This evening, I went in and checked on them after they had just roosted, and examined everyone. I was looking around, saw some spurs, and did a double take, “Whaaaaaaaaaa?” Spurs are starting to grow!

Anyway, my question is, to what extent will this hen change into a rooster? Are we talking just spurs, and only appearing to be one, or her actually becoming a full-fledged cock-a-doodle-doin’ thing?
What you saw was most likely just a dominance thing. And hens do have spurs on occasion--my blue Orp hen, Velvet, had spurs and she was all woman. Some hens do crow or something like it, I've heard, but that doesn't mean they are changing sex, literally. There are hermaphrodites that have the sex organs of both.
Some hens have spurs. You probably just never noticed them before. My Welsummer hens tend to have spurs. I had an older hen I gave away who was Flock Queen and didn't lay eggs. One of my best Welsummer hens took her place and actually quit laying eggs for a few weeks. ( She was not molting.) I took her and kept her in a large dog crate for 3 days and nights. When she was in there I made sure to give her attention and lots of treats. I released her back into the laying flock and one of the lower hens immediately dominated her. A few days later she started laying again and is still laying. There usually will be one hen who is Queen but not all stop laying.
Well, I feel stupid. Thanks for the replies, everyone. You have calmed my nerves. I just knew I had read something about hens being able to do this (or maybe I imagined it?). And yeah, I must not have ever noticed the spurs, but I did notice the absence of her eggs in the nest. I think I'll try what you suggested Featherland, and separate her for a bit, then reintroduce her. Thank you!
I have a production red that is doing the same thing to the newer, younger black sexlinks we introduced. It took awhile, but these 3 BSLs are finally part of the flock - they can eat, drink, and free-range with the rest of the hens. But.... my production red mounts them and does the rooster thing. She only does this with the 3 black ones, so I'm sure it's a dominance thing (but still unsettling and unladylike). We've never even had a rooster (not allowed here).

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