Chicken Sex

I read a book on intersexual chickens once. Too bad the hamsters ate the OP.

F’ing hamsters…

Before getting laid. However, a hen does not need a rooster to lay eggs, just ones that will become chickens.

Originally posted by mske**
Please don’t ask how - but my wife and I got on the subject of how chickens reproduce.

The question is - and pardon our city-living ignorance - when do chicken eggs get fertilized by a rooster? Before or after getting “laid”?**

Before. And it is a sight to behold. The rooster spots a likely candidate hen and starts after her. The hen immediately runs away with the rooster in pursuit. When he catches up he jumps on her back, grabs her comb in his beak and performs. The whole process, excluding the chase, takes maybe 10 seconds, 15 max. After finishing the hen shakes her feathers and, usually, resumes scratching around for something to eat.

Cocks have cocks? Really? Can someone confirm this?

Cocks do not have cocks. Ducks have cocks, but most birds, even most male birds, do not. Most birds (male or female) have only the multipurpose orifice known as the cloaca. They just press one cloaca against the other and squirt.

From the CD 2000 Edition of Britannica "All birds have internal fertilization … Male swans, ducks, geese, tinamous, ostriches, and some other ratites (flightless birds), however, have an erectile median penis like that of crocodiles and turtles. **Chickens have an organ consisting of a small amount of erectile tissue, but lymph vessels, rather than blood vessels, become engorged. **

So, if cocks don’t have cocks, why call it a cock in the first place?

(Try saying that five times fast!)

FWIW, chickens have “reversed” sex chromosomes. That is, the male has two of the same, and the female has one each - as oppossed to mammals, where the female has two of the same (XX), and the male two different (XY). In chickens, the sex chromosomes are called W and Z, to avoid confusion.

Why I remember this, I’m not sure.