A number of weeks ago now we decided that Carlos, our beautiful Legbar cockerel had to leave our garden and find a new home. He was crowing a number of times a day, including early morning (but thankfully as he was in the coop it numbed the sound down a lot) and quite frankly it was getting on my nerves. But not because I didn’t like it but because I was worried about the neighbours complaining. The other thing was he liked to wander into other peoples garden, and though my neighbours didn’t mind him wandering I was concerned that he’d get aggressive, which he had with me a few times. So before any of that could happen I put an advert out and found him a nice new home where he could have his pick of hens and plenty of room to wander.
But something wasn’t quite right. Even though the cockerel had gone, the hens still didn’t seem themselves. They were still very quiet and kept away from us as they always did when Carlos was patrolling round. Pre Carlos the hens would greet us at the gate, stand next to me while I pegged out washing squatting down to be stroked, and be eager to see what treats I had for them when I brought out a pan of peelings. But this still wasn’t happening. We soon found out why.
On the Monday after Carlos had gone, myself and Ben were watching the chickens from Morgan’s, my son, bedroom window. We noted that Pip, our 5 month old chicken that we’d hatched, seemed to have grown over night. She seemed taller and her neck looked longer. How strange, we said, she’s being very bossy with the other chickens. We then went off to do things. But, I was soon shouting to Ben to ask him to confirm what I thought I’d heard: had I just heard a cockerel crow??
We both ran out side to see Pip, our ‘hen’ perched on top of the coop doing it’s very best to crow! How could this be?? This chicken had looked like a hen, behaved like a hen, we treated Pip as a hen! But there in front of us was a cockerel!
Thankfully I had been contacted by a chicken breeder who had wanted Carlos but we had already rehomed him. I gave them a call and they happily came to get Pip. I told them about how foolish we felt thinking Pip was a hen! He told us how he had been caught out before, a chicken when there is another cockerel will sometimes pretend to be a hen. This is what Pip had been doing. Once Carlos had left he stopped hiding, stretched up his neck, puffed out his feathers and crowed! Looking at the below photo, I cant believe we didn’t notice!