Picture this. You have some backyard hens - not a rooster - because you don’t want the noise disruption of 4 am crowing or you’re not allowed one due to local laws.
Then you hear crowing coming from your backyard...
Can hens crow like roosters? Yes! Hens CAN crow like roosters. Often not quite as loud, but it definitely sounds like a rooster crowing. I can explain the reasons why.
First of all, if you need some proof that hens can crow, check out the video below. A Brahma hen and rooster have a “crow off”, and they sound very similar!
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Reasons Why Hens Crow Like a Rooster
First of all, don’t panic, it’s not that common. Most backyard flock owners have never heard any of their hens crowing.
It does happen though, and there are some triggers that can cause a hen to start crowing. These are:
You Previously Had a Rooster
If you used to have a rooster but no longer do, sometimes a hen will take their place and start crowing.
It’s not known exactly why. It might be a hierarchy or pecking order thing.
Your Hen Is Top of the Pecking Order
It’s normal for a backyard flock to establish a pecking order. The top hen that sits above all the others will often display some masculine traits too, such as crowing.
They Are Imitating Your Rooster
On the occasions I’ve observed a hen crowing, much like the video above, it seemed like the hen was simply imitating the rooster.
If this is the reason, it’s one of the easiest ways to stop this behavior. Stop the rooster crowing and the hen will likely stop.
Sex Reversal Is Taking Place
There is a phenomenon known as “sex reversal” that can take place with hens. This happens when a hens left ovary (this ovary produces all their estrogen) fails or is damaged.
When their estrogen levels drop and their testosterone levels rise, they start to physically transform and act like a rooster.
They’ll stop laying eggs too, so if this also happens you have a good idea that a sex reversal might be taking place.
Related content - Different sounds chickens make explained.
How to Stop a Hen From Crowing
I know what you really want to know - how to stop your hen crowing!
If you can identify any of the reasons above as the cause of their crowing, you can try and find a solution.
There is another option, however, you can stop them crowing the same way you’d stop a rooster crowing.
By using a no-crow collar.
I wrote a more detailed post about whether or not no-crow collars are cruel if you want to check that out. The bottom line is that they’re not, in my opinion.
It’s certainly the best option if your only other option is to get rid of your chicken. As you’ll see and hear from the video in that post, you still hear a muffled attempt at a crow.
But rooster collars reduce the noise to a level where you can even keep them in an urban setting (check with your local governing body to be sure).
In Summary - Can Hens Crow Like Roosters?
Some people think it’s a myth that hens can crow, and others just assume it was their rooster that let out that crow.
But the fact is, hens can crow like roosters and it’s not that uncommon.
Sometimes I will be triggered by one or more of the reasons above, sometimes you might just have a crazy hen!
Why Is My Hen Acting Like a Rooster?
If your hen is not only crowing but acting like a rooster by bossing the other hens around and even trying to mate with them, there is a sex reversal change taking place. I would get them seen by a vet to confirm this.
Can a Hen Turn Into a Rooster?
There is a medical condition that can cause hens can start to produce more testosterone than estrogen and start to look and act more like a rooster. They won’t actually become a rooster though.
Why Do Hens Crow Sometimes?
I covered some of the reasons why hens crow sometimes in the main body of the article. It’s usually due to pecking order, sex reversal, imitation, or to replace a rooster.