Chickens are one of the most common domestic animals reared by man for its delicious meat and eggs. They are predominantly found in Asia, Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa. In the recent times, the rearing has assumed a commercial dimension as poultry farms have become a source of livelihood for many who engage in them on a commercial basis for the supply of the meat and eggs that are usually on a very high demand.
How do chickens mate; do chickens have sex?
Do Chickens Mate?
The answer is in the affirmative. Like other birds, mature chickens actually mate, even several times a day. The hens mate with the roosters. However, they mating will not necessarily make the hens lay eggs. They can lay eggs on their own once they are matured enough to do so.
Without mating, placing the matured hens on feeds rich with vitamin E will enhance their chances of laying eggs profusely. In this case, the eggs are mostly for consumption and not for the breeding of young chickens. However, for the hens to lay eggs that could be incubated and hatched, they have to mate with the roosters for fertilization of the eggs.
Do Chickens have Sex?
Similarly, the answer is in the affirmative. Chickens actually have sex or mate just like other animals do but in their own peculiar way. The peculiarity lies in the fact that the anatomy of the female bird has no separate vaginal structure. The hens or the females have an organ called cloacae which are a common orifice used for defecation, urination, and reproduction. The males equally have the cloacae but no penis, and could, therefore have no penetration during their sexual act. While in the process, the rooster mounts the hen and discharges its sperm into the cloacae of the hen, thereby, completing their sexual act.
It is to be noted that the roosters would always want to have sex with the hens. They will continue to chase the hens all about. In the process, the hens will be losing feathers which are not favorable to them because their wings keep them warm during adverse weather. The constant harassment can equally lead to a reduction of the number of eggs they produce. Similarly, it adversely affects the general mood of the hens, which ordinarily, would be more productive in a happy mood.
In order to prevent the excesses of the roosters as well as its effect on the productivity of the hens, the proper ratio of one rooster to about twelve hens would be maintained while in a separate apartment or coop.
Do Chickens Have Sex To Lay Eggs?
As stated already, the male and female chickens have sex but not necessarily to lay eggs. This is because; a mature hen can lay eggs without mating with a male after it has grown to maturity and has developed the necessary hormones. This is more or less, a social factor and not especially for reproduction. Consequently, the eggs the hens lay on their own would not hatch, but could only be eaten or sold by the owner.
How Do Chickens Mate?
Read more about: 15 Reasons Chickens Stop Laying Eggs And The Solutions
Chickens actually mate. The process of mating takes off when the roosters start to display their maturity and authority within their domain while they are under the hormonal influence. By then, they start to initiate courtship. While in the mood, a rooster may start an enticing dance around one of the females in a circle form, often times lowering its wing that is closest to the hen and would start to make some croaking sound as if to demonstrate its ecstatic mood.
This is their own way of courting.While still in the mood of courtship, the roosters try to lure and entice their mates by way of displaying their beauty. They will attract the hens as they fan their wings in a romantic manner; it is called the wing drag or wing flicking. Their size and general beauty are all employed in the game of seeking attraction from their female counterparts. See the display below:
Image via: the-chicken-chick
As soon as this dance elicits a positive response from the hen it was intended for, the process of the actual mating would take off with the rooster mounting the hen to proceed with the mating. The male chicken then grabs the hen's neck firmly until he is through. When the rooster gains balance, it slides its tail under the tail of the female for both cloacae to meet.
As both cloacae meet, the rooster quickly ejects its sperm into the female’s vent. Through this process of mating, fertilization could actually take place without penetration which is contrary to the case with many other animals. The process could be amusing. See the demonstration below:
In view of the foregoing, one could assert that, indeed, chickens actually mate. They have sex and have sex organs peculiar to them. They can lay eggs without mating once they are matured. Such eggs could not be incubated and hatched. For the hens to lay eggs that could be hatched, they will have to mate with the males or rooters in order to allow the fertilization of the eggs. Equally, the procedures involved were elucidated.
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