Silkie hen or rooster? Please help!

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by MamaSilkie, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. MamaSilkie

    MamaSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 10, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Hi everyone! This is my first post, so please let me know if you notice anything isn't right. I would like everyone's opinions on my 10 month old blue/black silkie "hen" named Bluebell. I have two other silkie hens that are 1.5 years old and a different color (splash/gray), so it's hard to compare her to them. We bought all of the chickens about 2 months ago, and we are total chicken beginners. Over the past two weeks, she has started crowing in the morning, lasting about 5 minutes, and it sounds like a rooster (ER-er-ER-ER-ER!!!). I've heard the others make noise before (which I'm assuming is the "egg song" and is more like bawk-bawk-be-gock! We've also noticed other changes in the past couple weeks...she's now slightly bigger than the other two, has grown small burgundy wattles that weren't there before, and her blue ears have gotten much brighter blue. She also has real feathers on her feet, where the splash girls only have fluff. Her tail feathers are also longer than the other girls' tails. It's hard to tell if the feathers on her head are "streamers," but the ends of them are slightly more brown than black, like highlights! As far as behavior, she crows but is also picked on by the other two, and seems to be at the bottom of the pecking order. I usually get 2 eggs every day, but I think this is normal as I heard that not all three Silkies will lay every day. I've sat next to them for hours hoping to witness one in the act of laying an egg, but cannot definitively say which of them are laying. I'm attempting to post some pictures...please let me know what you think! They are backyard chickens and don't want the neighbors to think I have a rooster! The lady I got them from assured me they were all hens, but that was well before Bluebell started crowing and growing her new characteristics.
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  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Everything is posted properly - no problems there. Silkies are tough, and I am only about 90% certain; however, I believe that 'Bluebell' is indeed 'Blueboy'.
     
  3. MamaSilkie

    MamaSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 10, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks sourland! Here are a few more pics if that helps anyone:
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  4. ChickenGirly

    ChickenGirly Out Of The Brooder

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    I think that either the chickens were not sexed correctly and that one is a rooster, OR In some cases, in a flock of all females, there will be one who is at the top of the pecking order who starts to take on the characteristics of a rooster. For example, the hen may start to grow larger comb and wattles, long rooser-like tale and saddle feathers, spurs and may even start to crow. They may also try to mount other females. they will no longer lay eggs when this happens.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  5. MamaSilkie

    MamaSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 10, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks Chickengirly! Would a rooster ever be at the bottom of the pecking order? Bluebell gets picked on by the other two...they chase her around and occasionally peck her at the food bowl. Do you think she would take on rooster characteristics to try to change her ranking in the pecking order?
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    A hen that takes on physical rooster characteristics generally has either an ovarian tumor or some other condition. Generally this condition shows up in birds far older than yours. I have only ever seen one hen that underwent a gender change. A friend of mine had a RIR hen that at five years old 'turned into' a rooster when she molted. Looking at the middle picture in the most recent posting, I am more certain that you have a cockerel. If he is younger than the two dominant hens, it make take a while before he gets his 'man on'.
     
  7. ChickenGirly

    ChickenGirly Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2013
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    Yes it is possible for a rooster to be at the bottom of the pecking-order. I've had many buff-orpington roos that were very low rank, as well as two silkie cockerels, and I don't think it is possible for a chicken to do a gender-change to move up in the pecking order. From what you said, I think the breeders just sexed your chicken wrong.
    I'm sorry I can't help more. It honestly just sounds like a case of mistaken gender by the breeders.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  8. MamaSilkie

    MamaSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 10, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Thank you everyone...he really was a BOY!!! Took sweet Bluebell back to the breeder today and she was shocked when she saw how he had transformed! She said it must be the organic food I was giving him that made him mature, lol. He was always submissive here with my two other hens bullying him...the second she put him in a new run with two new hens, he immediately went to town fertilizing those eggs! He had never acted like that here. The little girl who witnessed it said the hens were giving Bluebell "piggyback rides!" Anyway, I traded Bluebell for his sister, who I hope is actually a hen! The breeder said to just put them together and let them work out the new pecking order and not to worry about quarantining the new one first since they all came from the same place. What are y'all's thoughts on this? I put the new hen (who my husband also wants to call Bluebell!) in the coop tonight after dark when the other two hens were in a different nesting box asleep. They looked at her sleepily and didn't seem to care. I'm planning on waking up before dawn to be out there with them when they officially meet. Does anyone have any tips on making the introductions easier? The breeder said they'll fight for a few minutes, then get over it when they establish a pecking order. I'd love any advice or stories from your own chickens meeting new chickens!
     

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