SERIOUSLY, BOYS?! (Did my hen decide to replace them?)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickensbythesea, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. chickensbythesea

    chickensbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

    187
    0
    99
    Jan 1, 2011
    Okay, so now it's been a few months since my alpha rooster died. All 4 of his male offspring are at least 6 months old, and while they defend the flock, not one will crow or mate my hens.
    I hate it. I miss hearing that barbaric yawp all day (I've taken to walking down our laneway and loitering until I hear the neighbors' guy in the morning).

    Today, I think I hear a terrible excuse for a beginning crow. But it sounded kind of like a crow!!! So I turn around, and the only chook in that area is my Sicilian Buttercup hen, who coming out of this molt has also decided to grow spurs. I also haven't seen an egg from her since she stopped molting.

    It kind of seems like she's decided to switch teams, doesn't it?
    I am having a hard time believing that with 4 roosters, even if they're dweebs, she'd feel the need to switch genders, especially since she's not all that higher in the pecking order, but no eggs + crowing + spurs (but no saddle feathers) on a hen? I don't know about this.
     
  2. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    4,489
    76
    251
    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Hens that are older can get long spurs & some hens will do a crow sound in the absense of an alpha roo. If the cockerals are too young to crow that would make sense, but 6 months is 24 weeks so I'd expect at least one of them to step up and take the role. Are you sure they are roos? [​IMG]

    When I had 4 White Leghorn roosters they all started to crow around 8 weeks with the youngest crowing at 6 weeks. However, only Foghorn crowed the most - and if anyone crowed around him he shut them up pretty quick. Her coming out of molt means it will take longer for her to lay again - depending on how bad the molt was from what I'm reading at BYC it could take a month. Up her protein and maybe give a vitamin dose.

    I'm new to all this so I hope someone else can offer some better suggestions!
     
  3. chickensbythesea

    chickensbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

    187
    0
    99
    Jan 1, 2011
    Quote:She's not even a full 2 years, so I don't know if it's age (18 months or so). But she was definitely a reliable layer right until she molted last month. She's had her new feathers fully in for about 3 weeks, she was an explosive molt- all out at once, all in at once.

    They are DEFINITELY roos. They all look the part, and act like great guardians, they just seem like eunuchs.

    Their dad, his hatchmates, and our other batch of roosters were all crowing at about 10 weeks, the latter batch doing it even with the alpha securely in place. These boys have had 8+ weeks without a leader, the oldest is 7 months, and not one will get to work.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by