Sex Ed please

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by moodusnewchick, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. moodusnewchick

    moodusnewchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    Prompted by the egg and poop hole thread, I'd love if someone can educate on the process of getting an egg fertilized. If the Roo doesn't have a penis, how does the sperm get to the egg. Also, what's he doing back there with all that threading?

  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    The rooster passes the sperm when he touches his vent to the chicken's vent. See the following article:

    The Sex Lives of Birds

    Mr. Bird has found his season's love, and she loves him back. What causes these birds to form these bonds in the spring and summer, not when it is cold and snowy, nor while they are migrating?

    Hormones from the pituitary gland are the answer. During breeding season in response to the hormones, the male's testes become several hundred times larger than normal to produce sperm, with the left testis usually larger.

    The female bird's ovaries also enlarge during breeding season to produce the ovum. Female birds usually only have one functional ovary, the left one.

    In birds, an ovum is fertilized in the female bird's oviduct by a sperm cell from the male bird. Once fertilized, the ovum becomes the nucleus of the egg. The egg, that has its own food source, the yolk, will be laid by the female into her nest, incubated, and then the baby bird will hatch.

    But how does the sperm from the male bird get into the female? How can they have intercourse without any external male organs, such as a pen*s?

    The male's sperm, produced in the testes, passes to the ***cloaca where it is stored until copulation (act of sex). The female also has a cloaca that leads from the ovaries. The female bird unfans her tail, moves it to one side while the male climbs up onto her back or gets close to her.

    Their cloacas are pressed together and the sperm moves from the male to the female. This act is called a cloacal kiss. Click here for a diagram of the male and female bird sex (reproductive) organs.

    The sperm is stored by the female for at least a week, in some species over a hundred days. Then as each ovum from the ovary moves into the oviduct, it gets fertilized with the stored sperm, producing a clutch of many eggs, all with the sperm from that one cloacal kiss.

    There are a few species of birds where the males do possess a retractable pen*s that can be pulled back into the bird. These birds include ostriches, cassowaries, kiwis, swans, geese, and ducks. Since waterfowl sometimes make love while in the lake or pond, the pen*s helps ensure that the sperm is not washed away by the water.

    Sperm can be transferred from male cloaca to the female in a blink of an eye - less than a second. Some birds seem to want to linger longer though, sometimes having sex for more than an hour!

    And, although it is not necessary to copulate frequently since the sperm is stored within the female, remember those hormones are still making the birds excited. Many pairs of birds will mate numerous times within a few days.

    ***In zoological anatomy, a cloaca is the posterior opening that serves as the only such opening for the intestinal, urinary, and (usually) genital tracts of certain animal species.​
  3. turtle1173

    turtle1173 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2008
    SE Missouri
    Wow, that was informative!! I had no idea.


  4. I*Eat*Chickens*Yum

    I*Eat*Chickens*Yum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:LOL, thanks for asking this question. I am one of those people who always asks the question "why". I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge so I always like to know how things tick, work, process etc.

    I was too embarrassed to ask this question though ! haha
  5. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    wow, I have had a lesson today! LOL I never knew any of these facts and feel silly for not knowing. [​IMG] Raising chickens and not knowing the "facts of chicken life" seems neglectful now doesn't it? [​IMG] Thanks for sharing that info.
  6. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    yeah... when we talk about teaching kids about the Birds and Bees, there really isn't much birds and bees have in common with humans, if ya know what i mean... [​IMG]
  7. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Well, I didn't have a clue.. [​IMG]
  8. Janie

    Janie Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 29, 2008
    I never knew that either. How amazing to think the female can produce fertile eggs for at least a week 'the kiss'!

    Makes me a little more hopeful on the nest my Mrs Duck is currently sitting on as I didn't witness that much 'kissing' going on beforehand!
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  9. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:If you blinked you might have missed it! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  10. heyjami

    heyjami Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 7, 2008
    So, can you have a visiting roo every once in awhile?
    We can't have roos here, but I wouldn't mind having my hens hatch some of their own chicks in a few years.

    I'm sure somewhere around here someone has Roo Service Visits! hahaha.

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