what do you think about this theory?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kelly FG, May 26, 2008.

  1. Kelly FG

    Kelly FG Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    I have a flock of seven hens, just over two years old. They've never had a rooster. Since the time they were only a few weeks old my Black Australorp has been the "top hen", she is small compared to some of my other breeds but she is feisty.
    She has never been a good layer-maybe a few eggs a week & a few months ago she stopped laying & squatting all together. She doesn't crow like a rooster but she does sound alarms to alert the flock of danger & she "sings" everytime someone else lays an egg, she often goes in the coop to watch them lay. She is absolutely at the top of the pecking order & its my theory that she has become too masculine to lay. Is this possible?
    Has anyone ever seen this happen or is she just not a good layer?
  2. bluie

    bluie Songster

    Aug 18, 2007
    Somebody else on the forum recently said in a flock without a roo, eventually one hen will take over the role of roo. Can't remember where I read it though.
  3. fivebigreds

    fivebigreds Songster

    Sep 9, 2007
    middle Tennessee
    You are correct a top hen will fill the duties of a roo until they can set eggs and grow another roo. Of course in a captive state she just keeps the role. Chicken society needs an absolute ruler , usually the roo. The flock would disintegrate without a leader. I believe the alpha hen is the one to keep the group in line when the roo is killed.
  4. Dewey101

    Dewey101 Songster

    Oct 29, 2007

    id say get a roo.
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Quote:I've wondered this myself. I have often not had a rooster. The #1 hen isn't always a poor (or the poorest) layer but it has happened. I couldn't really account for this deficiency another way.

    It seems reasonable that testosterone (which is probably produced in female chickens as in females of other species) gets "pumped up" in the dominant bird. And, that this hormone interferes with egg production.

    I don't intend to have another rooster, however, and would probably be scalded and plucked by the neighbors if I did.

    Besides, I am the dominant critter in this small backyard [​IMG].


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: