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 Post subject: Hen crowing, what now?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Hi all,

Our Barnevelder hen 3 years old has been crowing for the past past month early in the morning.

Initially I believed it was purely behavioural as the boss Isa was ill. The Isa has since recovered. The Barnie hasn't layed for at least two months and her comb is looking huge right now and very red. She is otherwise in great health.

I am curious as to what our options are. They are living in the suburbs with a no rooster rule not exactly the quietest area near a train line. Have done some reading on this phenomenon and read of people killing the bird or getting a rooster.

If this is hormonal is there any literature on what exactly is going on?


Thank you for any and all thoughts, opinions and advice!

Eleanor

ps. the mini flock is Hera-Barnie, Etta-Welsummer and Aesa-Red Isa.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland
It's probably just assuming the position, but there is a condition, the name of which escapes me right now, where a hen can turn to a sterile rooster, usually due to damage to an ovary. There was a section of the BBC documentary "The Private Life of Chickens" which deals with the subject. Worth watching if you've not seen it and have a broadband connection.

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Last edited by madhun on Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:47 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Have seen that docu, it's a great one!.

I wonder if she is assuming the position whether it will eventually stop. Shall go do some hen sex change research. See if there something to pinpoint which of these two options it could be.

Silly hen :aaah!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:57 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland
If she starts laying again I'd say you've found your answer :wink:

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& now 8 of the cutest cross bred fluff ball feed hoovers. R.I.P Chilli.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Golden Pekin
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My boss hen is the same - she crows and has a bigger comb than she should. She only crows in the morning though, just after sunrise. She keeps the other two girls in line as well. She still lays in spring and early summer (but is old so doesn't lay a lot otherwise).

My guess would be that if you got a rooster the hen would revert to being a hen. But I'd only get a rooster if you really want a rooster :) At least if the crowing is coming from a hen you can honestly say you don't have a rooster!! I do try to limit the annoyance from my girl though, for the neighbours' sake - she sleeps inside in a cat carrier.

Birds are quite gender bending animals. They are very interesting - a bird can be male on one half on the body and female on the other half (so sex-linked plumage differs on one side versus the other).

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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One of my hens crowed for a time. Just in the morning. She was overthrown when my black hen hatched and reared some chicks. The black is now the top hen. (Previously she would have been the bottom)

Due to flooding I have a young male temporarily in the yard. (One of the chicks she raised). He has just started crowing. My black hen really doesn't like him being there. He is separated from the main pen. She has taken to 'treading' the other hens. She is still laying and otherwise acting like normal.

Their behaviour is really fascinating. I'm hoping she settles down he goes back to the farm.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:50 pm 
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Golden Robin
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i had a hen do this too.

introduction of a mature male broke her of the habit, but i understand this is not an option for you

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:53 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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No chance of a mature rooster with the neighbour I have. ( I wish). She has become really dominant since raising the chicks and I think is getting a little frustrated she can't put the young male in his place. She isn't especially rough with the other hens and doesn't do it a lot. I'll only have him for about another week. I'm hoping she will stop of her own accord.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:52 am 
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Great Game
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I had a hen of mine crow two days ago. She has some chicks a couple of weeks old, and had just had a scrap with another hen before I noticed this. Could be a dominance thing.

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