hen with gender identity issues :)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ygOhio, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. ygOhio

    ygOhio New Egg

    1
    0
    7
    Aug 19, 2011
    We recently were gifted three hens- one of them thinks she is a rooster. She is also the only bird that we think is not laying. They are all 2 years old. The previous owner did have a rooster that stayed with them but he was recently killed by a raccoon. She makes a pretty poor attempt at crowing, but usually not at dawn more like around 9 am. It is not a very good attempt at crowing either it isn't very loud and she doesn't really sound like a rooster at all. Should I just play lady gaga, "born this way" for her, or get her a good gender identity therapist or put her in a crock pot? Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,655
    1,177
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I'd like to see a picture of this "hen". I'm betting you have a rooster instead.

    You can upload via photobucket and post the link here. Or you can post a bit more, then upload here.
     
  3. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

    960
    1
    111
    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    It could be either hen or rooster. If not laying, I'd lean more towards roo. One of my hens does act like a rooster, mounting teh other hens, but she lays. Unless she is broody. She can't make up her mind, I think.
     
  4. 10 point

    10 point country boy

    Feb 19, 2011
    LaFayette, NY
    Quote:x2
     
  5. Kaceyx73

    Kaceyx73 Chillin' With My Peeps

    157
    0
    99
    Dec 14, 2010
    I've heard many stories of hens acting like roosters... trying to crow, watching for predators while the others eat, and so on. I've even heard that on occasion, a hen will present gifts to other hens. It always is in the absence of a rooster, and it is usually a dominate hen that will "take on the role" of the rooster.

    We tend to forget that in nature, masculine and feminine are both necessary to most species. We may marvel at the silly things a rooster does to impress hens, but it isn't just mating. Its being a good flock leader. The role of a rooster in the flock, from the dominate boy down through his lieutenants, is to provide time keeping, the vigilant eye for predators, and so on. Crowing also serves to announce the rooster's, and by implication, the flock's presence. The additional Lts crowing serves as a warning the relative strength of the flock, in addition to showing off for the ladies. Its the rooster that tells them its time to roost so that they can find their positions and settle roost disputes before it gets too dark to find their way back up.

    These many things a rooster does are actually necessary to the flock, and on occasion, if there isn't a rooster around, a hen will take up the mantle. I suspect that hearing a hen crow in the wild would be a signal to young roosters that their abilities are needed, and might leave their own submissive positions to take up with a new flock. That's just my thinking, but it isn't unheard of for a hen to take on that role. I don't think your hen just started playing for the other team at 2 yrs old. Its safe. You may want to try and find a rooster for them, if possible. They seem to want one...lol

    Ken
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by