Top hen mounting other hens like she's a rooster... Is this normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nicole01, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    My oldest Easter Egger hen, which is my top hen is mounting the group she grew up with like a rooster. She leaves the others alone.

    This just started about 2 weeks ago. She is grabbing the neck and then actually doing the rooster mating motion. Is this normal behavior? When I do see it happen, I pick her up off the hen she's mounting. It's only certain hens too. The first time I saw this, once she jumped off they both shook like they were fertilized.

    This hen has either stopped laying or slowed down drastically. I have other hens with her egg color.

    It's the strangest thing I've ever seen too. In the last 2.5-3 years of her life, she's never done this. I spend a great deal with my flock, so I know them pretty well down to their egg song and calls.
     
  2. SuburbSpurs

    SuburbSpurs Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've heard if a female hen starts crowing she will stop laying, so the pseudo-mating with her peers may explain the lack in production from her. I've had rough hens before but nothing like this, they have crowed and beaten other girls but I've never seen them mount each other. I hope you find out why she is acting like this. That is really odd.
     
  3. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    She hasn't crowed yet. I wonder if hen crows are as loud as roosters?

    I have 3 cockerels right now and I'm thinking of keeping one. He has an awesome personality so far and the pullets he grew up with tend to crowd him already. This cockerel hasn't crowed yet, so I wonder if my eldest hen will continue this behavior?
     
  4. SuburbSpurs

    SuburbSpurs Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's odd, I think the hormones that go into crowing or, well mounting the hens and thinking she is a rooster causes her to lose the ability to lay. Hen crows sound very squeaky like bantam crows, and are often kinda cut-off.
     
  5. ittybittykitty

    ittybittykitty New Egg

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    Two of my 7 hens recently started crowing. They are all between a year and 3 years old so i know they aren't roosters. I am sitting her looking out the window and have seen one (probably the alpha hen and one of the oldest) mount another hen twice. From what I have read these behaviors aren't uncommon when there is no rooster in the flock. We don't have any roos (city ordinance). So I don't think your hens are acting that strange at all. But it is perplexing a bit :)
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    First, I have to ask - are you sure she's a hen? Do you have a picture?

    And yes, hens can display mating behavior as a sign of dominance.
     
  7. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dominance mating is a fairly common animal behavior.

    If you want to make sure that your hens still understand that you are the head of the flock you might want to try making them all, including this one, squat for you.
     
  8. sssharon

    sssharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well,3 killerbs, first u have to be able to catch them. I have 14 chickens and seven of them squat for me. The rest of them run. Don't think i'll run after my chickens other then to catch them and rehome them if they don't clean up their act! ahahaha!
     
  9. Hen-nah

    Hen-nah Out Of The Brooder

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    Its been a while since this thread was written about, but I just had the same thing happen with my red star! She mounted another darker red star and actually lasted longer than her rooster (*snickle). I have only seen it once, but since I have 8 hen and 7 eggs a day I tend to wonder if her production has gone down.

    No crowing yet thankfully!

    She is the smartest of my hens too! She can free range whenever she wishes and comes back when I call her. She sits near me when I work on my homework (getting my BSN) outside on the patio and grabs the bugs in the even hours as if she was in heaven. I thought she may have been the alpha hen, and I may just be right! She also didn't leave when spooked (everyone else jumped a fence and it took patience to wait for them to return...three I had to capture myself since they got over the fence, but are clipped and couldn't seem to get back! LOL!), she stayed with me and looked at me like "what? Oh...I am safe...got any worms?".

    It was pretty funny...I looked at my Rooster named "Roo" and said "what's up with that?". He just looked at me like 'eh' and continued to eat some nice dandilions I picked for them. So much for his help! LOL!

    Amy AKA Hen-Nah
     
  10. Hens rule

    Hens rule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've seen a hen do this before once but never twice. Maybe since she slowed down on laying or stoped laying completely she thinks that's she's a rooster. That is very weird you should probably ask a chicken-specialist vet why she's doing that.
     

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