My Hen Thinks She's a Rooster!

way2bizzymomSeptember 1, 2008

I have eight hens who have all been laying eggs for some time now. I recently had to give my only rooster,a white Silkie away, because the neighbors complained of his crowing. He's been gone for a week now and all of the sudden today, I heard a faint weird crowing sound coming from the chicken yard. I looked out the window and saw our Black Minorca hen mounting our New Hampshire Red hen. Then, the Black Minorca hunched down on the ground in a submissive pose. This black hen has always been the lowest hen of the pecking order. Our rooster never offered her food and would chase her away from the rest of the hens. She would never submit to him to mate. Now, it's like she's turned into the rooster. I can't believe what I saw. Very weird. She laid an egg just today. I know this because she's our only hen that lays white eggs. Strange.

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believe it or not, its actually quite common for a hen to take the place of a rooster thats flown the coop. crowing, growing spurs, and even mounting other hens is not unheard of. usually its the highest hen in the pecking order that takes his place though!

theyre crazy animals!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 7:37PM
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sumac(SE MI)

Too funny! I posted almost identical inquiry some time ago. I think you can find it here:
or search this forum for hen turns into a rooster.
I will add that we still have our roosterette. Still don't know if she's a he/she or a butch hen like velvet sparrow described. We alternate between calling her 'she' and 'he' but we always refer to her as the rooster. She had one sickle tail feather and the start of roosterly hackles but lost that with the last molt. Still no spurs. She looks like a hen with big comb and wattles. I think I might have seen a male appendage when he was mating one of the girls, but not sure what that looks like! No eggs. Still low in the pecking order as the hens pretty much ignore his roosterly antics, but they do follow him around for goodies then proceed to ignore him again when he calls with treats.
Girly boy I guess.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 8:37AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Ha ha, the ol' 'crowing hen'. In the old days, they were seen as an ill omen and killed!

But yeah, it sometimes happens that hens crow, mount hens, call other hens over for goodies, etc. Nothing to be done about it. Their 'crow' usually sounds AWFUL, though. :)

Even though I've got two roosters, I have two little banty hens that insist on mounting other hens, and those two are daughters of another little banty hen that did the same, and all three have tiny, rubbery spurs. We roll our eyes and try to gracefully ignore the mounting bit.

Mother Nature does like her little jokes. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 5:38AM
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Well we seem to have a confused Brabanter hen. Our Rooster Clint a brabanter was crowing at 5:30, so I went and picked him up and brought him in for some bonding. Our brabanter hen, Alice, started to crow. I guess they are getting broody. So now sometimes they both are crowing. Alice just has a more girley crow.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:10AM
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it just happend to one of my hens, i moved to an estate and thought it would be to much to keep ower rooster, so he had to go then about 4 weeks later one of my hens started to crow, it was today, what to do now just got ride of one rooster, i wonder if i have to get rid of her, and will there be another hen would change too, i dont know ?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 6:50PM
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I have 4 hens. A delaware, a barred rock, a rhode island red and a black orphington. We know all are laying except the orphington which is the low man on the todum poll and gets pecked by the others. She has all of the sudden started mounting the other hens, bitting the back of there necks and everything. We thought mabey she was older than we were told causing her not to lay but now wondering if she is or just thinks she a rooster. No crowing, no spurs. The others all sleep on the top roost and make her sleep on the bottom every night. The other three peck her and snap at her when she gets close. Cry for effection? Transexual?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 11:34PM
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Well, it's now six years later, and we've still got our crazy crowing hen, who thinks she's a rooster. She has grown huge spurs, that we remove annually. Her crowing has improved so much that you'd swear she was a natural born rooster. She no longer lays eggs. She calls to the other hens to let them know there is food, and she dances around them like a rooster. I'm looking to find her a new home though because she's too loud and I don't think my neighbors like it. She is now a prize-winning hen. My daughter entered her into the county fair several times, and she has won several awards, including Best in Show, Best in Breed, Best in Variety, and many First Place ribbons and rosettes.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 1:22AM
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