I found the culprit this morning: Pearl. I can’t really explain it except it appears Steve taught Pearl to crow before he headed out into the sunset. She crowed three times again this morning, but nothing since then.
It’s so hard to explain rooster noises without sound… Maybe I can find some way to record her when she does it. My old flock (Pearl, Hazel, and Winnie) used to really get noisy sometimes in the morning. I would call it a “baa-cack off” because they would get each other so rilled up.
But what Pearl is doing is different. It’s a loud, deep crow. The science-fiction side of my brain is eager for her to start laying eggs again, otherwise I might start assuming she has undergone a whole sex change. In the 3 years I’ve had her, I have never heard any hen make a rooster noise like this before.
I should also say I am so incredibly relieved not to have another rooster out there – the flock is fine as is. I just hope Pearl forgets Steve’s crowing lessons and goes back to just being the top hen. I think she was trying to compete with his dominance or something by crowing back. Have you guys EVER heard of anything like this?