Hermaphrodite hen???

ByeEyed

In the Brooder
May 21, 2016
20
7
34
So I have an Appenzeller Spitzahauben named Madeline. She is a year and 2 weeks old and lives with 4 other sisters (differing breeds) since I got her as a day old. No rooster.

Madeline seems to be dabbling her little chickeny toe beans into the rooster pool. She has always had rather large "horns" and wattles for a hen but I just chalked it up to sub-standard breeding (hatchery stock). She consistently gives me 4-5 eggs a week and hers are the only white ones so it is easy to keep track.

Today while free ranging I was startled by what seemed to be a goose honking in the yard!! I live in a neighborhood with no other chickens or livestock and ran out to see what was going on. All chooks were happily kicking around in the dirt so I figured maybe some geese had flown over head.

Ten minutes later I see Madeline stretch up and make the honking noise while flapping!! It sounded reeeemarkably like a half arsed crow but I can't believe it and am calling it a honking noise for now.

Madeline doesn't have spurs but she does have big nubs where the other girls have just barely there buttons on their legs.

Is my girl trying to tell me she wants to be called Mikey rather than Madeline? I am supportive either way just trying to get an idea of if this is normal hen behavior or if she does have rooster bits tucked away. Any help or advice would be appreciated, especially if you have had the same happen to you!
 

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Poultrybreeder

Crowing
Apr 21, 2017
1,502
1,616
272
New Mexico
Sometimes the dominate hen will crow at one point in her life. She has kind of taken the role of "rooster," especially when there are no roosters around. I have had multiple hens crow over the years, I just rolled with it
 

ByeEyed

In the Brooder
May 21, 2016
20
7
34
She is middleman on the totem pole- definitely not the dominant hen (that honor belongs to my Florence the black cow as we call her) but she is by far my friendliest and most inquisitive one.

That is good to know that she isn't an outlier though!! What are the chances she'd keep up the honking/crowing and it gets more frequent/distinctive??
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,756
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
I had a 2yr old hen that started crowing a duet with the rooster. Would not have believed it if I had not seen it and heard her for myself and hers was a proper "cock-a-doodle doo" crow. She continued to lay eggs and since I have heard roosters joining in the egg song plenty of times, I say, "good on her!" I'm all in favour of equal rights for women!
 

ByeEyed

In the Brooder
May 21, 2016
20
7
34
Thank you again for your replies everyone! It brings peace of mind knowing that this isn't totally unheard of.

I will definitely get a kick out of telling the story to my non-chickeny friends: "Oh yeah that black and white one there? She likes to lay an egg in the morning then practice her goose impersonation in the afternoon!"
 

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