I KNOW the topic of gender identity has been in the news lately. I simply didn’t realize that our hen would be the one having an identity crisis. As of last week our fluffy flock consisted of four hens and one neurotic goose. Yet today, I kid you not, our Plymouth Rock hen is cock-a-doodle-dooing louder than a fire engine and strutting around the coop with a newly minted cock’s comb and flopping waddle under her chin. What the halibut?!?
Chickens are crazy creatures and sure enough - it’s rare but a hen can take on male characteristics if their one functioning ovary is damaged or diseased. In the embryonic stage all birds have two developing sex organs. However, as the embryo develops into a hen, the right ovary becomes dormant. If the left ovary stops functioning the right sex organ will begin to grow and may produce male hormones. Holy cock-a-mole Batman, we’ve got a rooster in our midst. I just hope she (or do I say he) doesn’t learn any fowl language.