Monday, 22 September 2014

One Of My Hen Turning Rooster-Like

Serama Hen - Then (insert) And Now

As far as I could tell, it was a normal Serama hen when it was hatched. When it reached maturity it laid eggs and even went broody at times, just like the other hens. There was nothing out of the ordinary. That was until the beginning of this year when I noticed a change in this particular hen - the pattern and colour of its feathers began to transform. I did not give it much thought at that time as it was not sick, nor was it acting in any bizarre way, but at the back of my mind, I did find it odd. None of my other chickens had ever changed their plumage before.

From a hen that had mostly a gray plumage (sorry for the poor quality insert picture above - I don't have a good camera at that time), today it is a hen with mostly black and dark-brown feathers. It looked nothing like what it was a year earlier. In fact, it now looks more rooster-like than that of a hen. Note the hackle feathers around the neck; and its long and stringy tail feathers, which looks very rooster-like - it even has sickle feathers. It does not crow nor fight with the other roosters. Neither does it chase nor show much interest with the other hens. In general, it still behaves like a normal hen - obedient, gentle and still taking leads from one particular, but not dominant, rooster.

Serama Chickens - Rooster And Hen

At one time, I thought that the change in this hen was caused by a genetic defect. But after reading the story about Freaky, I am beginning to believe that one of its ovaries must have been damaged (it has not laid any eggs for quite awhile now), causing the other ovary to be active, but for some reason it produces more male hormones, testosterone. The odds of this happening is about 1 in a hundred. Base on what I have, I can say that this statistic is just about right since during the last 12 years, I have hatched roughly about a hundred Serama eggs.

I can't be sure if this hen is still evolving. At the moment it does not have any male-looking comb or wattles like a rooster. The spurs on its lower legs is still like before - short. I will post an update if there is any further changes.

Thanks to for providing the link to Freaky. Otherwise, I would still be thinking that I have a mutant hen.

Update: 6th October 2015
The hen died last night due to, I believe, old age. She hasn't been very active over the last couple of months. She should be about 10 years old.


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