As you know, chickens can carry eggs without a rooster. However, in order for chickens to be hatched from them, they must, of course, be fertilized. And here it’s really impossible to manage without a male specimen. One of the unusual features of this type of poultry is that the males do not have a penis. Rather, they have it, but in a rudimentary rudimentary state. In this regard, many have a question about how roosters fertilize a hen. About this and talk further.
Why the cock does not have a penis
Unfortunately, even scientists do not know the answer to this question. When examining the embryo, it was found that at first the chicken's penis is developing quite normally. However, on the ninth day, its growth slows down, and subsequently stops altogether. This is due to the active work of the Bmp4 gene, which controls the cell death program. Typically, in animals and humans, Bmp4 is responsible for preventing uncontrolled cell division (and hence the development of cancer).
The mechanism for stopping the growth of the penis of a rooster is thus studied by scientists. However, they still do not have an answer to the question of why the Bmp4 gene is activated at the tip of the genital organ of a bird embryo. There are only a few versions that more or less plausibly explain this phenomenon. Some scientists believe, for example, that the concentration of the Bmp4 gene at the tip of the penis of the embryo is somehow related to its presence in the embryo's beak. In the latter case, he is responsible for curbing the growth of teeth, which chickens do not need.
There is another rather convincing version, according to which the restraint of the growth of the sexual organ in embryos is the result of natural selection and hyperactivity of roosters. Some researchers believe that chickens for a long time in the process of evolution preferred to choose males with a smaller penis. As a result, it turned out that the genitals of their cavaliers were completely atrophied.
How cocks impregnate a chicken
Physiologically, the mating process in this bird looks like this:
- the cockerel starts chasing the lady he likes,
- having caught a chicken, he dances on her back, as they say, tramples her,
- while he presses his cloaca to his girlfriend's cesspool,
- with short-term contact of this kind, semen overflow occurs.
Below you can see how a rooster fertilizes a hen. The photo demonstrates this clearly. As you can see, despite the fact that the cockerels have no penis, this process looks nothing special in the hens.
Device of the reproductive system
So, as the roosters fertilize the chicken, we think you are more or less clear. Now let's see how, in fact, the reproductive system of chickens is arranged. The process of fertilization of eggs in this bird is quite natural and common. That is, after the spermatozoa get into the cloaca, they begin to move in search of the egg cell and, upon discovering it, are introduced inside.
The cloaca used for mating, in passing, also serves in chickens to remove waste. The reproductive system of these birds consists only of internal organs. In chickens, this is the uviform ovary located on the left side of the peritoneum, in roosters it is a pair of yellowish-white testes with vas deferens flowing into the cloaca.
The ratio of individuals of different sex in the herd
Perhaps the question of how a rooster fertilizes a hen is important for purely educational purposes. However, for the successful breeding of the herd, this knowledge can hardly be too useful. It is much more important to be aware of how many cockerels in the herd should fall on a certain number of chickens. After all, the quality of fertilization of eggs, and therefore the percentage of hatchability of chickens, will depend on how correctly the ratio of individuals of different sexes is chosen.
Usually the owners give one cock to ten chickens. In large poultry farms, a ratio of 1 to 20 is often used to obtain an incubation egg. These numbers and should focus. Ten individuals - the best answer to the question of how many chickens can fertilize a rooster. The only thing that can affect the required number of males is the peculiarities of this particular breed. If the character of its representatives is lively and active, they increase the number of chickens. When keeping calm breeds, on the contrary, more cockerels are turned on.
How to choose a rooster?
Thus, the ratio in the herd of individuals of different sexes has a rather serious impact on the quality of the offspring. However, the survival and productivity of subsequent generations in the herd depend to an even greater extent on the characteristics of the rooster. Of course, you need to choose the manufacturer correctly. As the rooster fertilizes the eggs of the hen, we figured it out. The process is completely natural. That is, the sperm just penetrate the egg, resulting in the latter begins to divide. But, of course, for good fertility, they must first be active and healthy.
It is believed that a good rooster can be chosen based not only on its exterior (which, of course, must fully comply with the requirements of the breed), but also drawing attention to its behavior. Leave in the herd is the bird that:
- actively suppresses attempts to establish leadership in the herd of any chicken,
- sings loudly and with his whole appearance shows who is in charge here.
Of course, you should pay attention to how the rooster fertilizes the hen. A good individual mates with representatives of its “harem” willingly and confidently.
How to make the cockerels not to fight
So, as a rooster fertilizes a hen and how many males you should keep in a herd, you now know. A ratio of 1 to 10 usually gives the best results. Thus, if there are a lot of chickens in the herd, there are, of course, several rooster males. Meanwhile, as is well known, by virtue of their activity, these birds love to measure strength. And in a fight sometimes cause each other serious damage. How to avoid such troubles? To do this, just need:
- Choose from the brood not too aggressive individuals.
- Put a ladder in the middle of the hen house. A weak cock in the attack of a strong will jump on it, thereby avoiding injury.
So you now know how roosters fertilize a hen. This process, as you can see, is quite natural. Even in spite of the fact that these birds have no external genital organs as such.
It all starts with flirting, when the male reaches 24-26 weeks of age.
The rooster circles a chicken, lowers a wing and scrapes it with its paw. In addition, there are other signs of attention (for example, sharing out loot). All this happens if the chicken does not shed.
After such a foreplay, the rooster "tramples" her darling, that is, climbs onto her back and tries to find the right hole, holding her beak by the back of her head. It doesn't look particularly romantic.
The pairing process lasts a very short time and repeats often enough during the day. By the way, the leader of the pack can come into contact with any individual when he wants.
Features of the fertilization process
During fertilization of the cloaca (lower part of the intestine), the bearer is inverted, and the glands secrete. Further, it passes through the cloaca of the female to the genitals and retains its activity for about 3 weeks. Eggs that are laid in this time period will be fertilized.
An egg is formed daily in the chicken ovary, and it is considered to be an egg cell. In the oviduct it moves to the cloaca to meet with the seed, which penetrates inside through the soft shell. After 24 hours, the shell becomes hard, turns into a shell, and the egg gets out.
How to check eggs on a germ at home
As you know, not every egg laid under a hen can hatch. If there is no embryo inside, then there can be no talk about the offspring. The presence of a germ in an egg can be determined by the presence of blood clots in the yolk, illuminating it with a lamp. You can also use a special device - ovoskop.
The procedure is carried out in a dark room. With a thick tip, the egg should be directed towards the light source. Tilt the translucent object, so it will be easier to view its contents. If you see a small area with blood vessels, then the egg is fertilized.
If there is no clot and spots in the yolk, but there is a blood contour, this indicates the death of the embryo. Such an egg can be thrown away, you should not wait for a chicken out of it.
How many chickens per rooster
It is no secret that several roosters in the pack will certainly fight fiercely for females. Thus, the leader of the whole group is also determined. If there is one male and there are many females, then there will be no problems at all. Moreover, in order for chickens to be considered his leader, it is necessary not to plant him in a chicken coop, but to see them as a future leader.
The optimal number of chickens for one rooster is 10-12 units. In the pack there should not be more than two males (young and old). If no offspring is planned, then you don’t need an “inseminator”. It can be simply isolated for a certain period from the females.
The process of fertilization in chickens is undoubtedly different from other animals. The rooster is ready to work more than once a day, if the females do not shed. He, like a true gentleman, shares his food with the individual he likes, dances around her and only after all stages of flirting does he go directly to intimacy.
Within 20 days after the act, the hen can lay fertilized eggs, which are easily determined by the presence of a clot in the yolk by x-raying. And remember, for a successful breeding of chickens in a flock there should be no more than two males of different ages and at least 10 females per one "seeder".
How a rooster fertilizes a chicken
In order to properly organize the breeding of chickens, it is important to know how the chicken breeds. One of the unsolved mysteries among scientists and geneticists, is the absence of a penis in a rooster. But even without a reproductive organ, he manages to fertilize dozens of chickens.
Nature has given the bird a penis, in the period of development of the embryo, the makings of the penis sexual organ are formed, but remain in the development phase.
How then do hens and roosters mate? Very simple - by touch. This explains the unruly sexual activity and striking male ability of the male. How does a rooster trample a chicken?
Before you get to the female, the cock performs a love dance. Releases one wing and wraps circles around the chicken he likes. After a while, he grabs the female by the neck, sits on top and begins to trample the layer. The cloaca (anus) is inverted, the testicles of the rooster come into contact with the chicken oviduct. Male genital gland enters the hen. This process happens very quickly.
The cock seed is active for 20 days. Launched during this period, eggs are suitable for chickens incubation.
At the poultry farm, in order for the chickens to multiply better, the rooster is changed to a younger one, since over time, their sperm concentration decreases and they can no longer inseminate chickens. To maintain the required number of birds in the flock and for a high level of egg fertilization, it is necessary to correctly determine the number of roosters per flock.
How to breed chicken
Earlier, when heavy breeds of hens were removed (brahma, kokhinhin), the rooster was supposed to fertilize 15-20 hens. In light breeds from 30 to 50. Birds reproductive age begins at the age of 1 year. And it continues for several years.
Since January, chickens start laying eggs for the future brood. In March, with the arrival of warm days, the laying of eggs goes on increasing and reaches its peak in late May - early June. Completely ends in the period of molting.
On average, 1 hen incubates 10-15 eggs. Before the advent of chickens, it takes 3 weeks. If there are a lot of eggs, and little hens, incubators are used for brood chicks.
Before the eggs are placed in the incubator, they must be checked for the presence of the embryo so that the works are not in vain.
After the birth of chickens in the household, they are left with the mother in a warm place. If the weather is warm, after a week the babies with their mother are transferred to the courtyard. Chickens are fed nutritionally and varied. Their diet consists of the following products: cooked chopped eggs, buckwheat, millet or rice porridge.
Before the complete formation of the chicken, two periods pass:
- Period 1 - from birth to 3 months. There is a phase of primary plumage.
- 2 period - from 3 months to six months. Phase - secondary feathers.
The mature egg cell enters the oviduct, in the upper part of which the fertilization procedure itself takes place through an acrosome reaction: the upper part of the spermatozoid penetrates through a special knob on the female gamete. Its tail is separated. During fertilization, several sperm penetrate into the egg cell of the chicken, but only one spermatozoon merges with it.
Next, the egg is gradually covered with protein produced by special glands located in the walls of the oviduct. When moving forward on the future egg, a so-called shell-shell shell is formed, and behind it - a dense shell, which is a compound of calcium carbonate. This substance is produced in the lower part of the oviduct.
How to identify fertilized eggs?
If the poultry farmer breeds chickens for the purpose of hatching chickens, it is very important to know whether the resulting egg is fertilized or not. Laying eggs bring eggs anyway, regardless of the presence of a rooster, but chickens breed only with the help of males. Chickens do not hatch from unfertilized eggs, - this is because there is no germ in such eggs.
You can determine a fertilized egg by the presence of a small amount of blood clots in the yolk. A lumen is needed to determine blood. Three things can help determine fertilized eggs:
- natural bright lighting
- artificial light source
- Ovoskop - a special device for instant determination.
The egg of interest must be carried to a dark place. It is placed with a blunt end to the light, after which it is tilted so that the inner contents can be examined in detail. The greatest difficulties arise with the lumen of brown eggs, so for laying under a chicken it is better to pick up specimens of light shades, ideally - white. There is no need to look at the contents for a long time: thanks to the intense light, the embryo will have no difficulty in determining even the beginning breeder.
In a fertilized egg, there are several blood vessels in a small area in the lumen. If during the observation no blood clots and black spots are found, the egg is not fertilized, and is not suitable for incubation.
There are also cases that it is impossible to determine the presence of a clot and spots in the center of the yolk, but at the same time the blood contour is clearly visible along the edge. This indicates a fertilized egg, in which, for one reason or another, the embryo died. Such specimens also will not do any good for breeding chickens: no one will hatch from them.
Injuries in chickens after mating
When observing the vital activity of poultry, a breeder may notice that roosters have “favorites” - preferred for mating chickens, with which males copulate more often than with others. From frequent intercourse in such chickens, the withers become scarce, the feathers are broken, and bald patches appear on the carcass. Females look dirty and shabby. In addition, chickens in this situation can cause abrasions and scratches on the back and sides.
This phenomenon is caused by the male's too long claws, therefore the surplus must be constantly removed, otherwise the situation will be repeated with the same regularity with which chickens mate.
It is necessary to take care of the chickens affected by the loving roosters. Abrasions are treated with any painless disinfectant solution, for example, with all known peroxide or Chlorhexidine. In addition, it will not be superfluous to treat the wounds with ointments that accelerate the regenerative processes:
- Vishnevsky ointment,
- zinc paste,
- ointment "Healer" and others.
Until the abrasions and scratches on the carcass of the animal heal, it is better to put the chicken in a place inaccessible to the rooster. If a lot of chickens suffered, then it is better to send a rooster to the “link”. This will not only give time for wound healing, but also allow the rooster to accumulate enough seminal fluid for future successful fertilization.
Regular fertilization of hens with a rooster is a guarantee of the constantly increasing number of this poultry. Ответственный заводчик обязан не только обеспечить куриц достаточным количеством здоровых петухов, но и позаботиться о здоровье и самочувствии пострадавших несушек.
Механизм процесса спаривания
Куры – это птицы, которые живут только стаей и никогда по отдельности. Любая стая имеет своего петуха – вожака. Вожак имеет доступ к любой курице в любое время и может топтать их столько раз, сколько ему необходимо. If this right is somehow limited to other males, then fights take place, sometimes ending in bloodshed.
An important step in the process of mating are ritual games. The rooster does not immediately trample chickens, at first it usually spins around the female and begins to lower one wing. After some time, he begins to stomp. In the process of mating, the rooster jumps on the hen, tramples her and with the beak grabs the female by the feathers on the nape.
Chickens reproduce with the help of the cloaca, an enlarged part of the intestine, which opens outside with an opening under the tail. When the rooster tramples on the hen, the cloaca of the birds turns out and the testes of the rooster come into contact with the cloaca of the hen. At the same time, seminal fluid is released, which enters the female genital tract. The seed is able to remain active in the genital tract of the chicken for about 20 days and all eggs that it will carry during this period will be fertilized and ready to hatch.
The pairing proceeds very quickly, this process quite often repeats. A healthy male is able to perform up to 22 matings per day, the quality of sperm depends on the frequency of this process. If the rooster tramples chickens too often, the sperm concentration drops significantly. Conversely, as the number of couples decreases, the concentration of germ cells in the seminal fluid increases. In order to maintain the number of flocks and to ensure a high level of fertilized eggs, it is important to determine how many roosters should be kept in the flock.
As already noted, the male tramples chickens up to 22 times a day, this figure may decrease depending on the season and the activity of birds. It is generally accepted that there should be one leader in a flock of 10-12 hens, if there are more, then fights will inevitably arise.
How does fertilization of eggs occur?
The process of maturation of the egg occurs in the chicken ovary, before egg-laying begins its rapid growth. In this case, the egg shell (follicle) actively produces a yolk mass. At the same time, from 4 to 6 large yolks can be seen in the ovary of an actively rushing chicken. When the egg cell has matured, the membranes are broken and ovulation occurs - yolk prolapse into the funnel of the oviduct.
The experiment in 1948 helped to determine where in the oviduct fertilization takes place. He found that an unfertilized egg leaves the oviduct and fertilizes when it takes 20 minutes after this point, in the upper part of the oviduct. There is no reason to believe that fertilization occurs in some other areas of the oviduct.
In the genital tract of the chicken, the egg and the rooster seed are found. Seminal fluid is able to pass through the thin shell of the egg. From 20 to 60 germ cells penetrate the egg at the same time, but only one of them fertilizes it. The penetration of the rooster seed is possible due to the fact that the shell still does not have time to form by this time. The hard external shell is covered only a day after fertilization.
The very contact of the sperm with the egg cell is accompanied by an acrosomal reaction, when a thread penetrates the egg cell from the body of the spermatozoon. Next, the male reproductive cell enters the female. Only the head that carries genetic information gets inside, the tail disappears.
How to determine if an egg is fertilized?
When it comes to chickens, it is important to determine if a chicken egg is fertilized or not. It may happen that some of the eggs laid under the chicken will not hatch. This is due to the fact that there is no embryo in them, that is, they are not fertilized and there is no hope for getting offspring. The fact is that the hens are rushing in any case, when there is a rooster or not. But they multiply only with a rooster.
A fertilized egg can be determined by the presence of a small amount of blood in the yolk. In order to clarify and determine fertilization, you can use the usual light from the lamp or purchase a special device - an ovoscope (you can see how it looks in the photo). You can also make it yourself, if you can not buy the device.
The device for radiography should be carried to a dark place. Egg should be laid with a thick end to the light, then tilted to see well what is inside. The most difficult thing to enlighten brown eggs, so it is best to choose white specimens for laying under the chicken. There is no need to consider the content for a long time: due to the bright light, it will be easy to determine the germ. In order to represent the whole process of scanning, you can view the video on the Internet on this topic.
A small area with blood vessels is seen in the fertilized egg. If there are no black spots and blood clots when radiating the inside, then you have an unfertilized egg, it is not suitable for incubation. Sometimes it happens that it is impossible to determine in the yolk of a clot, but the blood contour is visible along the edge of the yolk, and there are no spots in the center. This suggests that the egg was fertilized and the embryo began to develop, but for some reason it died. Such a copy should immediately be thrown away; the chicken will not hatch out of it.
What if the rooster tore the back and sides of the chicken?
Such a situation, when the roosters are tearing back and side chickens during mating is very frequent. This is due to too large claws of the rooster, so if possible, their surplus should be removed. It is advisable to immediately wash the wounds with any disinfectant, for example, Chlorhexidine or normal peroxide, and lubricate with any healing ointment. You can even ordinary for people: zinc well helps, Vishnevsky, Healer and others. Until the back and sides heal, it is better to keep such chickens away from the rooster or “petka” to keep them away from the hens in the pen.