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How is a hen's egg-lifespan determined?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AmyRey, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. AmyRey

    AmyRey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2009
    I know that human women are born with all the eggs they'll ever have and once those eggs are "released" then the woman can't produce any more.

    Does the same hold true for hens? I know they "form" what we know as eggs, but is there a "starter cell" that becomes the eggs, which may or may not be limited to a particular number? Or is a hen's egg laying ability limited to a particular length of time?

    Does what I'm asking make sense? lol
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    AmyRey, a female chick is born with a limited number of early stage ova (oocytes) but that number is far more that they could possibly produce in a lifetime. It is something like one-half million ova. Germ Cells in the Developing Female Chick (you can click on "Full Text")

    I guess that this is true with all birds and quite different from mammals.

    The bird will become post-reproductive for some other reason than that they have reached the end of a supply of ova.

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  3. AmyRey

    AmyRey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2009
    Gotcha. Thanks!

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