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Hens mounting hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by timco, May 15, 2011.

  1. timco

    timco In the Brooder

    Mar 14, 2008
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Hello all again!

    We have a 3-4 year old RIR that lately has been laying different and thinner eggs. By different I mean they are not the same color and smoothness they used to be.

    Today I watched her mount a 2 year old Aulstralorp hen and act just like they were mating.

    Is this in any way harmful to either or the flock? We have 9 chickens, a few different types, ranging from 4 years to a year and a half old or so.



  2. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    It may be just dominance behavior, or it may be related to hormonal changes in the old RIR. I understand that at times, when their ovaries are running out of eggs, female hormones drop, male hormone levels rise, and older hens can begin to exhibit male characteristics, such as crowing, an increase in the size of the comb, etc.

    I highly doubt it's harmful, it's just something that happens. Biology can be a bit strange and is often "messy" but never dull.
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/8561814.stm Chickens are unusual creatures. They have both male and female cells present in their bodies, and at any time, due to perhaps some external pressure, they may exhibit behavior of the opposite sex.

    In extreme cases, they may undergo a "sex change". This goes back to their reptilian ancestry.

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