My Svart Hona pullet, Hitan is a very unique chicken. And I don’t just say that because she is completely black, inside and out. She has her very own quirks and perks that make her special.
Hitan does not think she is a pullet, instead, she thinks she is a cockerel! She crows, screams, and clucks just like a cockerel!
To make things worse, she is actually grown cockerel feathers! You can tell by looking at the neck feathers (hackles) and a few of the back feathers (called saddle feathers on a rooster). They are pointy instead of being rounded like a pullets.
This phenomenon is rare and can have several causes. Hitan’s could just be because she was raised with only three other cockerels and no other pullets. The other possibility has to do with one of her ovaries being damaged.
Hens have two ovaries, an active one and a dormant one. If the active one gets damaged, the dormant one could kick into action. In the case of a hen ‘turning into’ a rooster, the dormant one has kicked in and started releasing the wrong hormone, causing the hen to sound and look like a rooster. She will never be able to fertilize eggs, but in every other aspect she might be a rooster. She will no longer lay eggs and will start acting more dominant like a rooster. Some hens turn from hen to rooster several times in a life time!
Another unique thing about Hitan is that she is not completely black! Svart Hona’s are supposed to be completely black right down to their organs! Hitan, on the other hand, has a single white feather on her neck! I have no idea where it came from!
Hitan also runs funny! She runs and walks like she is on a balance beam, one foot right in front of the other. When she runs, it makes her look like she is weaving back and forth!
And we’re not done yet! I am teaching Hitan to walk on a leash! It takes a lot of patience, but we are getting there!
I have a harness that I put on her and then attach a leash. Unlike a dog, who will sometimes try to pull out of a harness, Hitan tries to back out of the harness! Right now she is just getting used to the feeling of being attached to a leash. Soon, though, I’ll be walking her down the street!
Sometimes it takes me a minute when I hear her crowing, I think I have another rooster! Her crow sounds pretty good considering she is not even supposed to be making that noise!
Have a great week!