Sex reversal in chickens

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by chickNjake, May 6, 2009.

  1. chickNjake

    chickNjake Songster

    Sep 3, 2008
    east tn
    I found this today and I'm finding it pretty interesting! [​IMG]

    lets see if I can explain this simply and correctly:
    in birds, the female controls the offspring's gender (ZW)instead of the male in humans (XY)
    the female basically has all the necessary information to be male(Z), but is is overridden by the female genes (W)

    The hen, like most other animals, has two ovaries, but only one functions, the left. The left contains all egg cells and hormones (basically the information on the female chromosome, W). the other serves no real purpose, and does not contain these hormones. if something happens to the left, functioning ovary (usually disease) the right ovary is then stimulated to grow rapidly to produce the body's hormones. but it cannot produce estrogen so it produces testosterone. this causes the "Hen" to now become a rooster for most intents and purposes. this can include, while rarely, the formation sperm.The hen can then "father" Offspring! How weird is that!? the resulting offspring are 1/2 of the chicks female, and 1/4 male. 1/4 not ever developing.

    I can't find any practical use for doing this
    one thought I did have is that if the hen produces egg cells and you freeze them; you could then fertilize "Her" own eggs by "Himself" [​IMG]

    One example I found of sex reversal in chickens is Freaky the Wyandotte, in the UK. In this case, she laid numerous eggs until one day she got hackle and saddle feathers, began to crow, etc. in this case it was not fertile.

    I'd like to add that NO ONE should try doing this! this is a miracle of nature, and I'm merely curious and find it very interesting.
    Last edited: May 6, 2009

  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    You've got your Zs & Ws backwards [​IMG]

    ZZ = male
    ZW = female

    Thanks for sharing; I knew a little, but learned more [​IMG]
  3. Kev

    Kev Crowing

    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    "sex reversal" is not uncommon in peahens, usually those are also very old when this starts to happen- these hens often are no longer laying or lay extremely few eggs in a season. They can either get just a few or a little bit of the adult male coloring, or a hen can turn completely colored like a male peacock, get the long tails with complete eyes etc(usually they don't get as long as male's, just about halfway as long). However AFAIK, none of them ever show male behavior such as trying to display or mate with anything. Feathersite has a few pictures of those 'male colored' peahens.
  4. chickNjake

    chickNjake Songster

    Sep 3, 2008
    east tn
    Quote:[​IMG] DUH! [​IMG] thanks so much! I've been in front of the computer too long!
  5. The Poultry Peanut

    The Poultry Peanut lives under rock

    Quote:How would one do it anyway????

  6. chickNjake

    chickNjake Songster

    Sep 3, 2008
    east tn
    Quote:I'm not sure anyway, but I had this awful picture in my head of someone trying to take out some poor chicken's ovary, "cause chickNjake said so"! [​IMG]
  7. Puddle Foot Farm

    Puddle Foot Farm Songster

    Aug 20, 2008
    This happened to one of my hens who got her leg bitten by a rat and then got it amputated. I'm guessing the infection killed the ovary or something..? All I know is that all the sudden, she stopped laying eggs and started crowing. We knew it was her, too, because she lived in our house for months. [​IMG]
  8. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    our EE hen turned into a rooster. I was so amazed by it LOL!
  9. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I've heard of this happening, but I had no idea the hen could actually produce sperm. That is very cool from a Mad Scientist viewpoint.

  10. Henk69

    Henk69 Songster

    Nov 29, 2008
    Groesbeek Netherlands
    Quote:I couldn't find that part in the given link. [​IMG]

    Practical use is that you get less cockerels.

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