We have three 13-week old laying hens. And just recently, one of the Rhode Island Reds started to crow. Not a full cock-a-doodle-do, but more of a strange, coo-coo! She even puffed her feathers out and crooked her neck. You may think that roosters crow and hens do not. That is what we thought too. But she is a hen. I have been researching this for days.
Apparently when you don’t have a rooster in the flock, a dominant female can literally change into a male. They will start to crow and grow spurs and even get the rooster strut when they walk. They will even stop laying eggs. They say that infections in the ovaries can also cause the hormones to switch, but we don’t know if that is the case.
Our beloved Juniper was making the switch. She has a small crown, but no signs of spurs or aggressiveness. She is our favorite. The most friendly and curious of the bunch. But we absolutely cannot have a crowing bird in our backyard, for the sake of our neighbors.
We immediately started to watch videos on Youtube on how to kill and clean a chicken. We were even planning a BBQ party. But I decided to list her on Craigslist first to see if someone would take her instead. I had a lot of replies and within 12 hours, she was picked up. She will now be living with 2 ducks and another chicken on a family farm. Farewell Juniper. Her sisters seem sad and confused that she is gone 😦