Why do hens crow?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sierradane, May 6, 2012.

  1. sierradane

    sierradane In the Brooder

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    One of my Silver Sebright hens who still sleeps in my mother's house is a crower. She seems to do this if she becomes irritated or impatient. When she was younger and we were still unsure what sex she was (hence the name Willie), "it" crowed & we were disappointed since we didn't really need another rooster. But that egg she laid the first time cinched the fact that she is indeed a hen. And we have another little hen we were afraid was a rooster, a cochin that also crowed. But I witnessed that egg coming from her!

    Any idea why a hen would crow?
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Whether natural or not depends upon the context. Natural crowing events which I associate with my free-ranging hens with chicks does not sound quite like a proper crow but serves the purpose of keeping contact with harem master and possibly other hens in area. The crow and sound of wingbeats carries well so enables contact over a couple hundred feet at least. The unnatural version that you are describing is closer in sound to a crow produced by a male. Such crowing is produced by females in isolation from males and from what I can tell by females of high rank. If a female is by herself she will be more likely to crow. Not all isolated females crow in a manner like a male does as I have yet to observe it in my games. I am guessing females crowing in the unnatural context have higher than average testosterone.
     
  3. jessica117

    jessica117 Songster

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    I was wondering about this too. We recently changed roosters (the old one attacked one of my kids so he went to freezer camp.) Our new roo is about a year old but I have yet to see him "do his thing" with the girls but he's a cochin so it might take a while longer. Today we were out in the yard and so were the chickens. My 4 year old hen, who we always joke about being a rooster because of her incredibly large comb, started crowing just like a roo. I know she is a hen. I have witnessed her lay and go broody. She's never done this before. The other odd thing is I have yet to get an egg from her this year. Though, since they have been free ranging more this spring, she might be laying somewhere I haven't found yet. She is probably the highest on the pecking order. She is always the one that goes in and breaks up fights between the others.


    She has me VERY confused :) At least I know I'm not the only one.
     
  4. mattwinz

    mattwinz Hatching

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    I had my 30 week old barred rock hen (I hope) Speckles (should the name have been 'Stripes'?) crow at me this morning when I opened the door of the coop. It's the first time I've heard her do this and it scared the pants off me. None of the 3 of my 30 week old chooks has laid an egg yet (it's winter here in Melbourne, Australia), but I still don't think she's a he.

    Speckles is by far the biggest of the 3, and is the dominant one, so I'm hoping that this is just a case of her acting the rooster in absence of one. It's the first time I've heard of this (being a relatively new chook keeper), so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    I love Speckles whether a she or a he (though the local ordinances have opinions about roosters), so regardless I'll keep her/him fed and housed and happy and see what happens.

    Chook keeping really is an adventure.
     
    ChickenCin likes this.
  5. ChicksandWeeds

    ChicksandWeeds Chirping

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    that would be interesting ...having a hen (that crows but lays eggs and is a hen) where roosters are not allowed - will they make you get rid of the hen?


    does it happen that they go through a permanent sex change?
     
  6. Farmer 87

    Farmer 87 In the Brooder

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    I recently bought a chicken at the livestock auctio.n .they sold it to me as a chicken .I have had her at home for 4 days now and still no eggs. the other strange thing is that she Crows almost all day long .is she a he, or did she just quit laying eggs? should I take her back ?
     
  7. marcusy2j

    marcusy2j Songster

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    to show some dominance!! if there is no roo in your flock
     
  8. Farmer 87

    Farmer 87 In the Brooder

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    modesto
    the strange thing is that there is and a rooster in my flock and she beats him up almost everyday. I have to go out there and separate them . and he is the nicest guy in the world .
     
  9. marcusy2j

    marcusy2j Songster

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    Hahahaha wow that's strange aha well she's the dominant leader in the flock (queen of the coop) and what is the breed of the dominant hen???
     
  10. Farmer 87

    Farmer 87 In the Brooder

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    modesto
    That brat is a gold stare and the rooster is a Americana .
     

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