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Transgender Chicken?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by peartreehens, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. peartreehens

    peartreehens Out Of The Brooder

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    So this is Sarah. She's 21 wk welsummer pullet. She's had this red comb and wattle situation for at least a month. She's the alpha chicken, and super protective of the other girls (to the point of getting aggressive with me when I hold them).

    [​IMG]


    I'm assuming she's a pullet from her coloring, as well as her coloring as a chick. She hasn't crowed at all, but no eggs yet, either. On occasion she'll sit on a roost and open her mouth and hold it open like she's yawning (or crowing?), but no sound comes out. She's also starting to grow spurs.

    So here's the question: if her face has been developed and red like this for a month, and still no eggs (no interest in nest boxes etc), do we think she'll still eventually lay? Or is she listing toward the transgendered-problem-with-my-left-ovary crowd?
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    She looks like a perfectly normal Wellie pullet. She's only 21 weeks, just give her time. And not all hatchery Welsummers lay the terra-cotta egg, she may be laying a regular brown egg and you don't realize she's laying.
     
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree...she is either close to laying or she may be laying somewhere you don't expect...go on an egg hunt. New layers often don't know to lay in the nest box or more often are discouraged by others...altho being an alpha it might be more of wanting to hide her eggs.

    As to perching with mouth open....they do that to cool off...she probably has her wings spread a bit too.

    Lady of McCamley
     
  4. peartreehens

    peartreehens Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the hope! I know she's not laying yet as I only have 1 that's laying (my cuckoo marans), and I know it's her because she the only one to go in the nest boxes & when she leaves her favorite box, there's an egg. I check the run and the coop several times a day (I'm waiting on 7 pullets--somebody get a move on!)--they only have access to the lawn/yard when I'm supervising as we have so many hawks and coyotes here, and none has ever gone off alone. They all stick together on the lawn, so far. I'll try to be patient! thanks for the encouragement!
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Looks female to me too. But, though it's a slight chance, the furthest away red bird seems to have more typically male feathering on its neck and maybe rump. You might have a stealth rooster. I had a Wellie rooster who was of normal female appearance long after he should have been laying... And then he decided to be a rooster.
     
  6. peartreehens

    peartreehens Out Of The Brooder

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    that furthest one is an easter egger, for what it's worth.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree, unless it's laying you might want to post a pic of that red bird. Can't see it really well, but it looks like it could be roo-ish. then again, if they're all the same age, it would be a lot more obvious.
     
  8. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's a she. She's just a bossypants. Once she matures more, you may even see her cover some of the other hens.
     
  9. peartreehens

    peartreehens Out Of The Brooder

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    these are my two EEs.

    Kathy Selden
    [​IMG]

    and Lina Lamont

    [​IMG]

    and here's another view of Ms Bossypants, Sargeant Sarah Brown. She's front right.
    [​IMG]
    that's Lina again next to Sarah. Kathy is behind Nellie (the buff orp). All these gals are 19-21 wks and no one is laying except Millie (cuckoo marans) and Janet (barred rock), both at the very back of this shot. Janet started just this afternoon! Yay!

    thanks for the help, everyone!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  10. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    In a weird follow up of that...and not saying this is happening to the OP's hen or to Chooks4life's roo....

    Science is often stranger than fiction and a hen CAN "change" into a rooster...ie stop laying eggs and develop male characteristics like male feathers, large comb and wattles.

    It is rare and only happens when the female hen has some sort of an adrenal issue that shuts off the ovary and allows a dormant mechanism to kick in the androgens. She/he won't father chicks, but look like a rooster.

    This article gives a good overview of it.
    http://www.livescience.com/13514-sex-change-chicken-gertie-hen-bertie-cockerel.html

    My daughter said her vet studies indicated that sometimes when there are only hens in a flock, the dominant hen's dormant mechanism can kick in and she takes on the rooster aspects.

    Interesting.
    Lady of McCamley

    EDITED to say: OP's photos just came up after this post...and all your hens look lovely and all should be laying very, very soon. :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013

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