I've been feeding and watering my neighbor Jennie's chickens all week, and collecting the eggs each day. In four days I collected 30 eggs. So far I've dropped one, given three away to a passing neighbor, and eaten several each day for breakfast.
There are 16 hens in the coop. When I went over on Tuesday, the first day, three were outside the coop. I caught two of them, but the third - a large white one with a black tail - eluded me. It had returned to the coop by the next morning.
Yesterday - Friday, the fourth day, I was picking green beans in my garden and I heard a rooster crow close by. I thought it might have been a neighbor boy imitating a rooster, but it sounded very authentic to me. It was repeated three more times in ten minutes. I noticed my Jennie's husband Jason had come home and wondered if he'd stopped by someplace and bought a rooster to join the hens.
Today when I was walking home from the library I saw Jennie in the yard. We chatted about her trip and then a rooster crowed! Turns out the large white hen with a black tail who escaped the coop wasn't a hen after all. Jennie and I discussed how eggs get fertilized - something I wasn't familiar with. As we stood there, the rooster mounted a hen. It was very fast - like maybe two seconds - and then it was over. Jennie and I laughed about what a quick thing it was, and how easy for the hen. Then she said the rooster might only be practicing. Remembering its robust crowing, I wondered.
So, for you keepers of chickens out there, is it really that quick? I told Jennie I'd post a blog entry and ask.
A year later
9 hours ago
It's rather surprising to me that you didn't know about the "birds and the bees"!
I hope you won't tell us next that milk comes from the grocery store. :)
You certainly gave me a much needed chuckle today.
When I moved to Oregon in 1980 from California, there was a blackberry patch near our house. I was 32 years old and I was thrilled to see food that grew all by itself close by, and it was free!
I thought about that today as I was picking blackberries in the breezy weather. It's no longer new, but just as satisfying as back then.
I have no idea how long it takes to fertilize an egg, but that does seem a bit on the fast side! I sure did smile when I read this post, Linda.
I know nothing about chicken sex. But, they do seem to be lacking in any need for foreplay, mood lighting and back rubs.
What a treat getting all those eggs! I've no clue how quick chickens and roosters are, but have first hand knowledge of rabbits! The girls each had a dwarf one, and one day they were in the backyard. One hopped on the other for a split second, (no body parts were exposed!) the one below lay flat another second, and a few weeks later, we had seven baby bunnies! Oh, they were the cutest things!
Yes, Virginia...it really IS that quick. And sometimes almost brutal. LOL
Fertilized eggs can be a bit unappealing.
A dominant hen can act as a pseudo rooster. Roosters nearly always have prominent red combs and wattles. The dominant hen might have 'gone rooster' due to the owners being on vacation--a change in the pecking order.
When I first started reading this, I thought it might be one of those complex math problems. And I guess it was. The question is, how long does chicken sex take? And just like all those old math problems, most of the data in the story problem is useless.
Why should it be any different for the hens than it is for us?
My friend who rescued a hen gets an egg every day without the rooster. They're only needed if you want to breed more chickens. And roosters make a lot of noise at all hours of the day and night (contrary to popular portrayal). And two second sex besides? Not needed!
Never a dull moment here! I'm envious of all the fresh eggs you've gotten to have.
I know all about cat, dog, hamster, mice, rat, guinea pig, gerbil, various fish, sparrow, cockatiel, parakeet, African Grey, mallard, frog, toad, salamander, garter snake, turtle, anole, and dragonfly sex but I have no personal chicken sex knowledge. Judging from the other bird sex I have witnessed, though, it is generally quick.
As for practicing, the funniest thing I ever watched was a young male cockatiel who tried this poor patient female's head, sides, neck, every which way until he finally got it right. Took him a couple of days. In all fairness, all they do is rub parts, so he was perfectly content to just rub anywhere. But once he got it right, he never forgot. ;)
Oh and by the by--yes, males and females can attempt to switch roles if the immediate population has gone one-sided. In some fish the females can actually physically switch over to males! Not sure if they are fertile or not--but, if not, why bother? LOL!
As Sandi said, I haven't a clue as to how quick a rooster and a hen mate! But I do know how quickly I started laughing. That you for today's delight.
I think I need some chickens. Yes most birds are fast.
I have a comment for wheels4me. I am the husband of Jennie (the beautiful owner of said chickens)...so I have first hand knowledge of the coop and the insanity that takes place within the flock. The rooster we are all speaking of is in fact a rooster...not a hen desiring to be the alpha-hen in the flock. This is a bona-fide 100% cockadoodle doo-ing rooster.
Linda, thanks for taking care of our flock. All 14 hens, 2 roosters, 1 turkey, 1 banty hen and 1 banty rooster appreciate your time.
Gee, all this sex talk! It might be time to put the mature audiences notice on your blog!
That speedy attention makes me not want to come back as a lady chicken. What, no foreplay?
Clever fellow masquerading as a hen.
I do love the sound of a rooster crowing. Enjoy.
Not sure on that. We had chickens when I was very young child and unaware of such things.
It's time to put him (the rooster) to the test! I'm dragging out the incubator this evening. I'm going to clean it up, warm it up and fill it up with eggs! I think I'll put in about 5 or 6. In about 48 - 72 hours we should be able to candle the eggs (hold a light behind them in a dark room) and see if we can locate a developing embryo. Then we'll have an answer to our question. Does this homegrown rooster (that we hatched ourselves here in our home) know what he is doing or not?!? Stay tuned...
Post a Comment