“Hi! Love your newsletter! I have four Banty Hens and a Rooster. Mr. Ricardo crows when I cone home in the morning. Lately, Lucy, one of my hens has been crowing after the rooster crows! It was an awkward crow at first, but now she’s a little louder, and she definitely crows.
The locals here in North Carolina tell me that means someone is going to die, and to kill the chicken. She does all the rooster posturing when she crows. I’m not sure if she is laying, I think she is because I will get three eggs one day, then a day or two later one egg, which I think is hers. Is she really crowing? Is that all that unusual? Look forward to your reply!!!” ~ Cat.
Hi Cat, thanks so much for the question.
Isn’t local lore interesting?
I love to sit with older people and listen to them tell stories about the area and this legend or that.
It is true that occasionally a hen will crow. This is most often seen when the rooster has been removed from the flock. Apparently a hen just takes it upon herself to take his place in the area of noise making.
Because Mr. Ricardo is still there though, I wonder if Lucy really is a rooster instead of a hen. You didn’t mention the breed(s) of your flock so I can’t give you any physical indicators to look for other than the typical differences; larger in size, foot spurs, longer waddle and comb.
The other reason I wonder if she’s a rooster is because you’re not getting 4 eggs on any given day.
It could just be that one of your hens is more prolific than the others and it is her additional egg you’re seeing on those off day.
If your flock is young, let’s say under a year, it could very well be that Lucy – the rooster – is just now getting the urge to crow.
We have had two different roosters that we were sure were hens because they didn’t crow and they hadn’t fully grown into adulthood.
Then one morning I heard this awkward, screechy noise. I looked out to see a hen (or so we thought) perched above everyone else trying to crow. Sure enough, within a week or so, he had finally figured it out and was ready to wake the neighborhood with a strong, deep “Cock-A-Doodle-Do!”
It wasn’t but two weeks later and another one did the same thing!
Mind you, we already had a rooster who had taken his position at the top of the pecking order long before. It just took the other two a little longer to show their rooster-ness.
Again, depending on their age I wonder if you have seen any mating behavior in this chicken.
Obviously, a rooster will not likely let another rooster cover him. So if Lucy is on the receiving end, then yes, she’s just a hen who’s decided to crow.
Sometimes in the busyness of life and we don’t see our chickens mating because they’re pretty quick.
But it might be worth a little extra time investment to find out though because 2 roosters and 3 hens is not a good ratio.
Two roosters will fight over the three hens and the hens will be exhausted and likely a little beat up from all the “attention” they are receiving.
Best of luck Cat, let me know how it turns out.