I found my second crower - surprise!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by swordgeek, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chirping

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    About 6 weeks ago, I brought 5 pullets into my flock, 4 of whom are about 14 or 15 weeks old now. I've never had any of the breeds before, but I was assured that they were all females. Then a few weeks ago, just before dawn, I was horrified to hear a strangled crowing sound coming right on the heels of my rooster's crow. (Sounded suspiciously like he did when he first started - and up until then, we had thought he was a female.) Anyway, Prince would crow, then ANOTHER bird would... sort of crow. This has happened at least three times in a few weeks. I was sick to my stomach. Devastated. I love my new babies! And my kids are so attached to them.

    Now, I can't have two roosters. I would mean the end of my marriage, right then and there. Keeping the one rooster has brought enough marital discord to my home, but I adore him and he's good to his girls, so he stays. If I were to have a second rooster, it would have to be capable of paying his half of the mortgage.

    So this morning, I heard the sound again. Prince crowed, followed by the awful strangled noise, almost as loud. One then the other, over and over. I crept outside and noticed that ALL of my new birds were outside in the run, leaving only my rooster and 3 laying hens inside with him. WTH? "Crooooow!" "Creeeeeaghh?" I peeked inside, and there's my roo, crowing. And lifting up her head to the ceiling is my alpha bird Sunny (far above him in the pecking order, mind you) starting her answering crow. I slid open the door, and she shut right up, trying to look innocent. The other 3 birds just looked at me, then looked at her, then looked away.

    There I was, heartsick for weeks, thinking one of my new birds was a roo, and it was my alpha bird all along. I thought hens only crow when they have no rooster and feel threatened! It looked more like a pissing contest between the two of them. She's on the top perch, he's in the middle, he crows, SHE has to crow, too, just to keep him in his place. I'm relieved, amused, and confused all at the same time. When did she get so butch?
  2. LivinNewDreamInND

    LivinNewDreamInND Songster

    Mar 22, 2010
    That is a funny surprise. I am glad it turned out to be her and not one of your new pullets actually being a roo. I have several that I am wondering about right now, but I haven't heard any extra crowing, so maybe they really are all pullets.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    How old is Prince and how old is she? I bet at some point he becomes dominant over her. My rooster climbed the pecking order 1 hen at a time starting with the lowest ranking girl. Before he was beat to crud, now he's top dude.
  4. 3rocksandme

    3rocksandme Chirping

    Jul 23, 2010
    Brookline, NH
    I really enjoyed the story of your butch chicken. A girl has got to do what a girl has to stay number 1.
  5. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chirping

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    Quote:They both came from the same order back in May 2008. His original name was Princess - then The Rooster Formerly Known as Princess - then just Prince. You'd think we would have KNOWN he was male sooner than crowing, being a Polish and all, but we were complete chicken newbs. That's when I learned about saddles, hackles, head gear...

    I don't think he'll ever claw his way out of the #2/#3 spot, at least not till Sunny (my red cap) dies. She's aggressive beyond words, and will have NONE of him. (She actually tried to mount him once.) The only one he regularly mounts is our cochin, who suffers him for a second or two then shakes him off. The former house chicken hides from him after one surprise attack, so he's not getting anywhere there. His only hope is to assert himself over the new girls once they're of age, and my guess is that half of them will smack him down. If he hasn't moved up in 2 years, I don' think he will. He may go DOWN, though! He spends part of every day in a nest box, all alone. Gender confusion abounds in my coop, apparently. That's just fine, we're cool with that. [​IMG]
  6. Tigerjane

    Tigerjane Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Pflugerville, TX
    Go Sunny! Girl Power!
  7. nonseq

    nonseq Songster

    Sep 16, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Oh that is all too funny![​IMG]

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