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Has anyone ever seen (heard) this before? :D We have this old black hen that for a while now has been acting a little "odd". She hasn't raised any chicks but if I scatter any grain, bread, vegetables or anything she'll pick up pieces and cluck like she's calling her chicks, or like a rooster would do. A few different times I was certain I heard a crowing noise which I thought odd when my meat chickens were too young to crow. I did used to have rooster in the coop but it's been months since he died, (maybe even a year now, I don't exactly remember) and I haven't replaced him. Back in the late spring/early summer I lost a bunch of my hens to a coon and now only have 3 left. We do get an assortment of noises coming from our coop what with the chickens, turkeys, ducks and peacock, but since the meat chickens are now all gone there is nothing in there that should crow. Well today I was out there working on something and the old black hen opens her mouth and..."COCKADOODLEDOOOOOO!" She did it a couple of times. I have never, ever heard a hen crow before. :rolleyes:

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Yes, sometimes when no rooster is around hens will start to behave like roosters.

 

J.

 

Do you know if it's just behavioural, or are there any hormonal changes too that would affect egg production? She's old and winter's coming so she's not laying now anyhow but I'm just curious. Also, do you know if it's more likely to happen with hens that are used to living with a rooster in the coop and would it be less likely to happen with young chicks that have never lived with a rooster? I recently bought a dozen chicks that are now a week old and in my basement under a heat lamp that will end up "roosterless" unless freebie #13 turns out to be a rooster. I've had chickens for years but I've always had one or more roosters around. This is a new one on me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Most hens are sexed on day one and never get to grow up with the boys. It won't affect their laying ability at all wether or not they are exposed to a rooster. Some hens will even grow broody(trying to hatch a clutch) never having seen a rooster. Our chickens, all our fowl acctually, got wiped out by a pit bull a while ago save for one banty hen she crows and still lays an egg every afternoon.

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  • 2 months later...

We have a buff orp hen who was very broody, though she had never laid an egg that I saw. This went on sporadically for the first two years, then a few months ago, she started getting bigger and developing rooster type feathering (a cape and long tail feathers.) Beautiful bird, but neither hen nor roo. I think it may be some type of androgeny. This hen looks like a rooster but doesn't crow, doesn't have spurs and doesn't go after the other hens.

 

Very odd, but not unheard of.

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