Hen or Rooster light Sussex

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Aussie Annie, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Aussie Annie

    Aussie Annie Out Of The Brooder

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    H[​IMG]ello everyone
    We have taken a friends light Sussex on because she crows (as does our buff orp) but I'm not convinced she is a girl. Our friends are certain she was laying. Can anyone tell from this photo please. Her comb and wattles are larger than my last light Sussex.
    Cheers
    Anne.


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  2. Aussie Annie

    Aussie Annie Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    Whole body view
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Her head looks masculine, but her feathering is feminine, how old is it, I'm pretty sure that's a hen, but I see why you might question it.
     
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  4. Aussie Annie

    Aussie Annie Out Of The Brooder

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    I think s/he is about a year old.


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  5. hicksfamily

    hicksfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

    The same thing happened to me!!! Female body, male head. Started crowing at 40 weeks old. Hasn't ever layed an egg. We had to sell her/him because there are no roosters allowed where I live. Mine looked EXACTLY like that one. I still don't know the gender, I just assumed he/she was a crowing hen.
     
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  6. Aussie Annie

    Aussie Annie Out Of The Brooder

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    Isn't that funny. I wonder if some hens can have an extra male chromosome?
     
  7. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    There are some possibilities in answer to your question.

    1. It is anatomically a female (by genotype...by genes), but because of an hormonal imbalance some of the phenotype (physical appearances) take on male attributes...similar to a menopausal woman growing chin whiskers and gaining a husky voice. She is still female, but now bears some masculine physical features. This can happen in chickens when there is injury or hormonal imbalance. Hens only have one working ovary and the other is an undeveloped gonad. If the working ovary doesn't work, or doesn't work well, then the other gonad can activate producing androgens that develop the male features. Normally this happens in older hens, but it can occasionally happen with a younger one. Usually they are not laying well due to the hormonal imbalance. These hens can grow saddle feathers, larger combs/wattles, and begin to crow.

    2. The dominant female in a flock will sometimes begin to make crowing sounds, almost always not a full cock-a-doodle doo, but a crow like sound. Usually because of reason no. 1 but can be a fully normal, laying hen, that is taking the dominant role. This usually occurs, when it does occur, when there are no males in the flock. (I kept a hen only flock for years, and never had this happen, so it is not common).

    3. It is a chimera...genetically half female and half male (although that doesn't look to be the case). That is very, very rare, but does happen. Typically one half of the bird is one sex while the other half is the other sex. See article link:
    http://www.sciencebuzz.org/blog/chimera-chicken-gives-insight-avian-sex-cell-development

    4. It is actually a rooster, but low male hormones prevent the full development of all features. Same as the girls, if the one gonad which would be producing male androgens fails, the male will not develop fully.

    5. It is a hen feathered rooster. Some breeds actually produce hen feathered roosters regularly (henny feathered), if not normally. The bird is fully rooster, it simply does not have the genetics for male pattern feathers, or rather the female pattern is switched on instead. Some breeds that do this are Silkies (though there is comb and usually crest difference), Henny-Feathered Games, Sebrights, Golden Campines, and sometimes Wyandottes and another one I can't remember at the moment....ETA: Hamburgs!
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/574747/hen-feathering

    Since this has been a hen that is known to have been laying, or thought to have been, I suspect reasons 1 or 2.

    I would trap nest the bird to see if it indeed is laying or a rooster in disguise.

    FYI,
    LofMc
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
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  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    If it's a year old, it's female.

    I'm guessing it's got ovarian damage or hormonal imbalance. Just cause a hen crows doesn't mean it's got male DNA. Hormones account for most of the gender behaviors. Would also explain why she's a poor layer.
     
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  9. Aussie Annie

    Aussie Annie Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow folks! Thanks for the amazingly detailed information!
    I really appreciate it.
    I do know hens can crow - as I said my buff Orpington does a pretty convincing cock a doodle Doo, but she's a very girly girl.
    Sounds like hormones might be the cause of her appearance and behaviour then.



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  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    agree with donrae
     

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