Farming forum: Some strange chicken behaviors

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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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Sep 1, 2013 3:53 AM CST
I had a hen I put into a cage, as she was being picked on by the others and needed time to grow back feathers and fatten up some. I kept her in the horse barn. One morning I heard a rooster crowing, much like a young rooster just learning to crow. I have a few roosters around, but all mature. The sound was coming from the area near the cage, so I went and looked. Sure enough, the HEN crowed again while I was watching her. She repeated this for about a week, and during this time she didn't lay any eggs. Then she quit it,and started laying eggs again. She repeated this again a month or so later, Started crowing and stopped laying eggs. Then stopped crowing and started laying eggs again. Thiink she was having a gender identity crisis??? Well, just before I decided I should move her back with the other hens, a racoon broke into her cage, and she was toast. This hen was hatched last year. I have heard and read about hens changing to have rooster habits, and had it happen a few year back to an old hen. She grew a larger comb, grew spurs and started to crow.
Just yesterday, I saw a different hen, an Austra White, mounting another hen like a rooster would. First time I've ever seen any thing like that. Even that older hen that developed rooster characteristics didn't do that. This hen has not crowed to my knowledge, and she doesn't seem to have any change in traits to make her look like a rooster. She's two years old. Maybe a lesbian hen? I'll keep watching. You can read about the hen changing to a rooster on the feather site, I had learned about this happening from my Ag teacher in HS years ago. I recently changed my feed to a pellitized layer mix, and I'm beginning to wonder if there is some hormone added or something. I'll have to check it out. Shrug!
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Sep 1, 2013 7:20 AM CST
I have always fed a pelleted layer mix and never seen such behavior - maybe it's the water, it always seem to get the blame for the inexplicable...
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Sep 1, 2013 8:02 AM CST
My, oh my - that is just flat weird. But interesting.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Sep 1, 2013 9:15 PM CST
Yes, just weird. I was going to say, something in the water too? Hilarious!
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Sep 1, 2013 9:37 PM CST
I have no idea. But yes, strange!

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