Lesson 1001 – There’s something about Zelda

When I was young, my grandmother used to always tell me the story about a hen living in her family’s flock, who turned into a rooster.

“Yeah, right Grandma,” I’d reply as I rolled my eyes and helped myself to the package of Fig Newtons always sitting on her dining room hutch.

She’d look at me, shake her head, and then ask if I wanted milk with my cookies.

That was just Grandma being Grandma – a little old, a little forgetful, a little, um, out there.

I still loved her.

This past winter something odd has happened in our hen house. Zelda, our Easter Egger, went into the coop at the beginning of winter as the “Queen” of the flock (actually co-sharing that position with Granite, our Barred Rock.) Zelda is our fat grey bird who has shining gold speckled throughout her mantle. She’s a mighty protector who routinely gifted us with gorgeous bluish-greenish eggs. In fact it was Zelda who gave us our “golden egg” – the first egg from our flock.

This is what Zelda looked like in the fall.



This is what she looks like now.



“Hey mom,” my daughter, Addy said to me. “What happened to Zelda? She’s got weird neck feathers and she grew a tail.”

“Well, I think that over the winter, as the protector of the flock and because we have no males, she decided to start throwing off testosterone in her body. Because of the hormonal imbalance, in essence, she has turned from being a hen, into being a rooster.”

“Yeah, right mom.” Addy rolled her eyes and helped herself to the latest batch of cookies sitting in the tin on the counter.

I sighed and sent a silent long overdue apology to my now deceased grandmother. “Want milk with that sweetheart?”


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

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Filed under Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Chicks, Holidays, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotable Chicks, The Family

12 responses to “Lesson 1001 – There’s something about Zelda

  1. She’s a beautiful hen…umm…rooster?

  2. Humans imitate . . . chickens? I have known at least two “trans gender” people. One was doing the whole surgery and drugs route (which I think is very sincere). The other suffered from DID, which use to be called “Multiple personality disorder.” “David” whom I only knew over the Internet for ten years, fooled me completely until I put “him” on my “bucket list” to meet in person, as David only lived one state away from me. Just before we met, David came clean and sent me a picture of his fictional “girl friend” who turned out to be a rather harum scarum guy, and David turned out to be Joan. Joan has all the female parts, but her psyche (which turned out to consist of about eight different personalities which Joan calls “alters,” ). Well, it’s hard to believe, and even stranger than a hen which turns into a rooster. I am going to go out and look at our hens very carefully today. Who knows what they have “up their sleeves” so to speak. Do hens have sleeves?

  3. MommaNorton

    Our rooster came up missing after the first cold spell. Here we are spring being sprung on us and my husband has insisted that one of my laying hens is behaving oddly like a rooster. I thought he was seeing things. Now I know!

  4. How far does this conversion go? Will she stop laying?


    It calls to mind my grandmother’s saying of ‘whistling women and crowing hens ain’t no good to god and men’. Heh..

    Good luck!

  5. Wow that is amazing!! She was an awesome looking hen….and is a very handsome rooster…what type is she??

  6. She is a BEAUTIFUL hen. If she does make the “change” would be interesting to see more of the difference

  7. Pingback: Lesson 1083 -NO CROW Collars – discussion | Lessons Learned from the Flock

  8. We had a rooster that turned into a hen! Brooded and hatched eggs and raised babies even!

  9. Pingback: Lesson 1158 – There’s something else about Zelda | Lessons Learned from the Flock

  10. Pingback: Riding the tide of a great story | Live to Write - Write to Live

  11. Pingback: Lesson 1261 – Update on Zelda (hen to rooster to hen) | Lessons Learned from the Flock

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