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#2982356 - 10/15/12 10:58 AM Bearded hens; are they hamaphrodytes?
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1312
Loc: south TN

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Shot one saturday morning. Thought it was a gobbler, about a seven to eight inch beard, didn't measure it. I know you can tell the difference between gobblers and hens by the head and body color and size and so forth, but it was on a ridge above me and you couldn't tell much about the color of her I just saw beard and killed her.
Any ways, have any one ever heard of them being hamaphrodytes? I have heard from many people that they were, but when I field gutted her I couldn't find any nuts in her, I do not know what the ovarys look like, but I did find her egg polyps.

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#2982360 - 10/15/12 11:01 AM Re: Bearded hens; are they hamaphrodytes? [Re: woodsman87]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1312
Loc: south TN

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sorry for the spelling, I think it is actually hermaphrodites
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#2982363 - 10/15/12 11:02 AM Re: Bearded hens; are they hamaphrodytes? [Re: woodsman87]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 17110
Loc: Franklin TN

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it's just a hen, a low percentage of hens have a beard. I have seen one a couple years ago behind my house but never one in the woods while hunting. I wouldn't think twice about killing one, I would love to kill a bearded hen.
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#2982374 - 10/15/12 11:09 AM Re: Bearded hens; are they hamaphrodytes? [Re: catman529]
woodsman87
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Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1312
Loc: south TN

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I have seen a few over the years and never tried to shoot one. This was an accident. I don't like to shoot hens, but the old man that told me she was both sexes made me at least feel better about it. It was perfect timing for thanksgiving food though.
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#2982380 - 10/15/12 11:16 AM Re: Bearded hens; are they hamaphrodytes? [Re: woodsman87]
catman529
spiderboy
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Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 17110
Loc: Franklin TN

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 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
I have seen a few over the years and never tried to shoot one. This was an accident. I don't like to shoot hens, but the old man that told me she was both sexes made me at least feel better about it. It was perfect timing for thanksgiving food though.
I don't know how good your turkey population is, but if it's booming like it is around here in middle TN, your flock should be fine losing a couple hens. If they are capable of growing to such big populations then they should do fine losing some hens from their flock. And you are right about thanksgiving. I was psyched when I found out they changed the fall season to before T-day so I could get a turkey for the tradition...
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#2982427 - 10/15/12 11:50 AM Re: Bearded hens; are they hamaphrodytes? [Re: catman529]
woodsman87
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Registered: 09/27/12
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There is a large turkey population, and I know that it want have much of an effect on it. But I enjoy turkey more than anything, and I want just gobs of gobblers. I have killed plenty of turkeys, so shooting a hen to me is meaningless. But I know she will be tender for thanksgiving.
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#2982429 - 10/15/12 11:55 AM Re: Bearded hens; are they hamaphrodytes? [Re: woodsman87]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 17110
Loc: Franklin TN

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 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
There is a large turkey population, and I know that it want have much of an effect on it. But I enjoy turkey more than anything, and I want just gobs of gobblers. I have killed plenty of turkeys, so shooting a hen to me is meaningless. But I know she will be tender for thanksgiving.
yep there are 2 reasons I can see for killing hens. 1 is for food and 2 is for population control if they are a nuisance.
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#2982444 - 10/15/12 12:11 PM Re: Bearded hens; are they hamaphrodytes? [Re: catman529]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1312
Loc: south TN

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I wish they were a nuisance on my property.
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#2982582 - 10/15/12 01:56 PM Re: Bearded hens; are they hamaphrodytes? [Re: woodsman87]
ImThere
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Registered: 08/24/06
Posts: 3013
Loc: Lewisburg, Tn

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Two reasons i see killing hens lunch and dinner! Lol
Oh and there is a season for it!
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#2982583 - 10/15/12 01:57 PM Re: Bearded hens; are they hamaphrodytes? [Re: woodsman87]
Rockhound
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Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 2978
Loc: Lawrence Co. TN

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 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
I wish they were a nuisance on my property.
you got that right!!!
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#2982797 - 10/15/12 04:27 PM Re: Bearded hens; are they hamaphrodytes? [Re: Rockhound]
Gravey
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Registered: 07/20/05
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Loc: Rutherford / Wilson County Lin...

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To answer the question no they are not hermaphrodites. Just an oddity in nature although not as rare as you'd think. Seems like I see at least one every spring.
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#3017531 - 11/05/12 06:27 PM Re: Bearded hens; are they hamaphrodytes? [Re: Gravey]
Southern Sportsman
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Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 1030
Loc: West TN

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I've read a couple different sources that say around 10% are bearded. Some areas have more than others. I can't prove it, but I believe (and have heard people smarter than myself say) that bearded hens are genetically linked to multi-bearded gobblers. Certain farms I know of that regularly produce multi-bearded gobblers also seem to have a bearded hen or two running around every spring. But no, they're not hermaphrodites.
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