When a hen is not a hen...oh, my...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by thegreypony, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. thegreypony

    thegreypony Songster

    I'm off to find the camera and get a few photos for the educated eyes on this site...but until then...

    We have a small flock of 11 birds - all are about 6-7 months old, most of the hens are laying. In this little flock we had 3 Australorps. One is definitely a hen, one was definitely a rooster. The rooster died about a month ago. The other Australorp is smaller than our rooster was, none of the hackle feathering the rooster had, not at all dominant. Since the big Roo died, this Australorp has stayed the same except for tail feathering....its tail feathering has begun to get longer and it tries to breed one of the other hens. The rest of the hens beat it up, it's completely submissive to them. Comb and wattles aren't really red, either.

    I'm just wondering if rooster development is ever late b/c of other dominant roos in a flock. We're sort of sad to think our Hattie will from now on be a Harry. Is there a chance that this is actually a hen having a special relationship with the BR hen?? I should say that this bird is 6 mos. old....no crow, no eggs yet.

  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Perhaps a late bloomer! Can you keep a roo?
  3. thegreypony

    thegreypony Songster

    We're out in the country so roosters aren't necessarily a problem ordinance wise. Our neighbors are pretty intrigued by the chickens and are enjoying the eggs but their enjoyment might be short lived if Harry/Harriet ever starts crowing....
  4. jemagsy

    jemagsy Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    Sometimes a hen will take over the rooster's role in the flock. We had one that would crow, and at first got into crow-offs with our legitimate rooster. Thing is she's also the best broody mama in the world.

    Now the above link references a sudden sex reversal, however, I and others have noticed just a mimic effect, crowing, breeding, etc and then a return to normal behavior once there are roos around taking care of the flock.
  5. thegreypony

    thegreypony Songster

    Here's the chicken in question...


    Hopefully this posting photos thing worked out for me....not technically literate... [​IMG]
  6. thegreypony

    thegreypony Songster

    The last one worked so good....another shot of Victor/Victoria

  7. Cherlyn

    Cherlyn Songster

    Feb 24, 2009
    Alconbury, England
    Quote:Looks like a roo to me. Nice tail feathers!

  8. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I say rooster.
  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I say rooster too.
  10. Kezzie

    Kezzie Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Coastal Georgia
    Tail feathers look roo-ey but I would expect more comb and wattle development at 6-7 months.

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