Sunday, April 23, 2006

Hen Spontaneously Turns into a Rooster

A transgendered chicken in Saltford, England is befuddling his/her owner:
After eight months laying dozens of eggs, she suddenly sprouted a scarlet comb, developed tufty tail feathers and started crowing at dawn - all the signs of a red-blooded cockerel.

Stunned owner Jo Richards, 42, who has now christened the chicken Freaky, said: "One morning out of the blue she just started crowing. I've never heard of such a thing."

Freaky, who was born a Silver Laced Wyandotte hen, now wakes up Jo every sunrise, fights with other males and even tries to mate with his former laying mates.

. . . .

Bird expert Victoria Roberts, of the Poultry Club of Great Britain, explained that the sex change was a one in 10,000 rarity, caused by soaring testosterone levels.

Adrian Keep, secretary of the National Federation of Poultry Clubs, confirmed: "It does happen but the odds are very, very rare. I've only seen it once in 55 years."
Link (via Fortean Times). Well, I guess that answers the old question. Not really. But it might go toward answering that other question about the rooster standing on the barn roof facing north.

Indexed by tags science, biology, chicken, hen, rooster, Saltford, England, Jo Richards, transgender, sex change.


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