Is my hen sick or changing gender?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KansasKate, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. KansasKate

    KansasKate Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2011
    I have a 2 year old Barred Rock in a small flock--formerly 2 Barred and 2 Easter Egger, although we lost an EE to predation. The girls stopped laying after the death of their flockmate, which seems to have spurred their full yearly molt in November, then the EE started laying, then stopped again due to stress (owl pair hunting in the yard; caused a partial stress molt last year). Long story short, my Rocks haven't laid an egg since last fall, but are otherwise pretty fat and healthy.

    SO....I noticed that one of the Rocks had red stripes on her legs. Last year both Rocks had bumblefoot, but after long treatment, they both recovered. I felt her legs and feet; no bumble, no heat. I noticed today that those red stripes that have been developing into redder and redder legs.

    The only thing I could discover about red legs is related to roosters and hormonal surges....so....any chance my girl is turning into a "rooster"? I know it can happen in all-hen flocks..... or is there a likely other reason for the red legs?
     
  2. Harry Rooster

    Harry Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know about the red stripes and maybe some who does will answer you, but I just had to reply to your post because I also have an old hen that looks just like the one in your avitar. She's supposed to be a Dominique, but I discovered that there are several others that look just like her but are not Dominiques. Anyway, I had a small flock also of just Dominique hens, for years, then husband brought 4 Bantams home- 3 pullets and 1 cockerel. After they got grown, they started attacking my Dominiques and I had to seperate 2 hens into a pen alone. One continued to lay until she died from what I think was egg busting inside her, but the other hen stopped laying and began to crow like a rooster, when she never had done this for years. And after the other one died, I would let her out with one of the other Dominique hens and she would immediately try to mate with her, I had never heard of a gay chicken before, (or prejudiced ones either, but Bantams are)[​IMG]. We actually didn't know why this happened, but after coming to BYC, I learned that hens can take on the role of the male whenever there is a small flock with no rooster present. She doesn't have spurs, she is deffinately is a hen, she used to lay eggs, but she has thought she was a rooster ever since we seperated them. She still crows all the time just like a rooster. LOL Although they can do this, I don't think it is actually possible for them to really change from one gender to another, just that they think they can.[​IMG]
     

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