Can Hens Crow?

I am not new to the chicken raising world, and I’m usually pretty good at picking out the roosters from the hens.  

Except for this year.

Meet Vicky, the hen I had pegged as my favorite from day one.

Well, Vicky crows.

What are you doing? I asked. You’re a hen. Stop crowing!

The more I yelled, the more she crowed.

Every chicken person who came to my farm would be asked “Hey, do think this is a hen or a roo?” Every single one of them answered, “Oh definitely a hen.”

Then Vicky would crow.

Crowing hens do happen. Sometimes it’s because there isn’t a roo present. Sometimes it’s a hormonal thing. Friends who have had chickens longer than I told me of a hen they had with huge spurs who laid huge eggs. Another friend told me of a hen who only ever laid one egg in her lifetime, but crowed all day long.

I’ll chalk our crowing hen up to a strange year at the farm. Our 2012 flock seems to be all out of sorts. We started the year with a certain home-hatched chick who, when it was three weeks old, decided to “mother” a batch of chicks we’d received from a hatchery. She’d sometimes nestle down on top of them and be their good and protective mother.

See her in there? That bigger chick in the foreground?

As it turns out, that “good mother” turned out to be a rooster.

Go figure. Cock-a-doodle-doo.

It just goes to show you that there is always something to learn on a farm. And that’s definitely something to crow about!

Want to read more about my farm adventures? Check out A Farmish Kind of Life.

Published on Jul 25, 2012

Grit Magazine

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