Hen turning into rooster...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by maddogdodge, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. maddogdodge

    maddogdodge Chillin' With My Peeps

    329
    29
    116
    Apr 27, 2014
    Australia
    My oldest hen, Fluffy, has developed some unusual characteristics lately...

    She's around 5 years old, has been a fantastic mother to two lots of chicks and a great layer all her life. I have no idea what breed she is but she's a beautiful orange/golden colour.

    She's lived with a rooster for the last 2 years but a few months ago I decided to seperate her and a few others into a seperate pen of just hens. Since then her laying has gone down hill. She's been crowing, she talks to the other hens in the way roosters do (see videos). Her laying has completely stopped at the moment and today I went in there and she rushed at me in the way roosters do to intruders.

    In this video you can see Fluffy doing that funny rooster dance to a new hen (grey/white) that I introduced to the group.
    [​IMG]

    In this video (taken this afternoon after she attacked me) I threw some food on the ground and she's telling the other hens to come just the way a rooster would.
    [​IMG]

    I haven't caught her crowing on film unfortunately.

    Anyone experienced anything like this and is it likely that next moult she will grow rooster feathers?
     
    holleyhippie likes this.
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    17,230
    5,715
    501
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    Not all that unusual with older hens in this situation -- she won't grow male feathering.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,684
    9,171
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I had an older hen(3yo) start crowing this last year, she had molted and was not laying.
    She also help the cock maintain order to some extent.
    She has since stopped the crowing and started laying again.

    She's the head hen of the 'new flock' in that pen and may exhibit many cockbird behaviors, even dominance dancing and mounting.
    But she won't grow male plumage or be able to fertile a female.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    20,158
    8,671
    596
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    While a hen can demonstrate male behavior, that does not turn her into a rooster.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,543
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Amen!

    Older human women often develop masculine traits such as facial hair, or deeper voices, etc. No one says they're turning into men, especially just cause they're no longer ovulating [​IMG]


    You separated her a few months ago, and she's 5 years old. I would not have expected to get any eggs from her over the winter at that age anyway.

    It will be interesting to see if she goes broody this year, since she's been proven to do that previously.

    Hormones are funny things.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    10,528
    3,743
    461
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I don't see anything unusual in either video that indicates masculine behavior. Hens can tidbit as well as roosters, especially broody hens showing chicks what to eat. Hens do it all the time to point out something to their mates they just found. Also, the sudden aggressive movement is normal behavior of a hen reinforcing her rank

    I have a hen who loves to crow when she's feeling her new hormones in spring. She's a great egg layer and broody hen so the behavior isn't indicative of a hen who is giving up her feminine roles.

    You can expect crossover behavior in both roosters and hens due to chickens' biology. They all carry both male and female sex cells, therefore roles can be pretty fluid in some cases. But it usually requires a very stressful event to get them to change into the opposite sex.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. meetthebubus

    meetthebubus Chillin' With My Peeps

    345
    284
    136
    Mar 28, 2017
    My hen became a rooster she can't mate or lay but in all other areas she's a roo now I made a video of her story
     
    holleyhippie likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by