Just so you know, this post may contain affiliate links. Meaning I receive commissions for purchases made through those links, at no cost to you. You can read for more info.
If you have chickens, have you ever heard the crow of a rooster when you don’t have a roo? Or if you do have a rooster, swear that it wasn’t his particular ‘crow’? Today I want to bring up the subject, do hens ever crow. You might not realize it, but yes, they do! And there are different reasons and causes for it which I’ll also cover.
Main Reason Why Hens Will Crow Like a Rooster
Now let’s discuss why hens will crow like a rooster. First, you want to verify that your she is really a she. Sexing adult chickens is pretty easy compared to sexing chicks. Though I covered that in another post. So once you’re positive you’re dealing with a hen, most of the time a crowing hen has to do with the pecking order. If there isn’t a rooster, sometimes the most dominant hen will then take on a rooster’s duties. Which includes crowing.
However there could also be times when you have a rooster and you hear the sound of another, foreign crow in your backyard. Most sites claim that a hen will NOT crow if there are other roosters around. But I’m here to tell you that’s not true. We have 2 adult roosters on our property. And I’m extremely familiar with their individual crows. The other ‘cock-a-doodle-do‘ came from one of our hens. And she mangled it.
I immediately went outside to see who was doing it. Although she must’ve been shy, because she stopped after the second crow. I have a suspicion that it was the co-parent of the broody hen we had. She’s a pretty dominant hen, in a sea of mostly docile birds. I think she crowed to warn off any possible danger to their clutch of chicks. Or possibly to tell the other chickens to stay away. Yes, I’m speculating, but I haven’t heard any more crowing. But then, they no longer are raising their chicks.
More Reasons Why Hens Will Crow
Some other possibilities are
- you might have a Longcrower hen
A Longcrower is a rare breed in Kosovo, Germany, Indonesia, and Japan that has an exceptionally long crow. And evidently the hens can crow as well.
- or your hen is going through a sex change
What?!? No, that’s not a typo. You might already be aware of this if you’ve had backyard birds for a while. But just in case you’re unfamiliar with this phenomenon, chickens are one type of animal that can go through a sex change, where they actually can change genders. However it also can happen to ducks.
Both female ducks and hens have only 1 functioning ovary. And both are on the left side. While the one on the right side is held in reserve. However if the left ovary gets injured by either trauma or illness, then the right one will start developing. And sometimes it develops into a male reproductive organ, except they won’t be able to father any young. At least not in the chicken’s case.
A hen that starts developing into a rooster will begin to take on more than just his crow. She will start to acquire bigger wattles and a more prominent comb. She’ll also grow more colorful plumage like that of a rooster. Additionally she will start to mount the other hens. So, in essence, she will be a he, in all but when it comes to actual reproduction.
Things You Can Do
If you have a hen that’s crowing, and you want to stop it, there are things you can try. If she’s crowing due to pecking order issues, try isolating her for a few days. Usually this will sort out any hierarchy problems, because chickens don’t like to start back over from the bottom. However sometimes it’s necessary if there’s bullying by a dominant hen.
If, on the other hand, you actually have a rooster instead of a hen, then you will have to come to a decision on whether you want to keep him. Or whether you even can keep him. And the same goes for if you have a Longcrower hen.
But if you in fact have a hen that is going through gender change, there’s really nothing that can be done. Other than deciding on if you will keep him once he’s completely transformed, although there’s only ~ 1 in a 10,000 chance of that really happening. Also, there has not been anything reported about a rooster changing into a hen, as of yet.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and as always, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to ask or leave a response!