September 7, 2012

"A lone rooster sees a lot of all the hens in the flock, but the hen with the largest comb gets a bigger dose of sperm."

A discovery about chickens.

IN THE COMMENTS: Paddy O gets it:
There should be a Bulwer-Lytton type contest for the world's worst written aphorisms.

31 comments:

rehajm said...

I thought we were still talking Bill Clinton...

gerry said...

Combs are analogous to tits, right?

Darrell said...

That's the way I've always played it.

Sheridan said...

It must be a republican chicken since it had no say either in its insemination or the carrying of the chicks to term.

Was the rooster a democrat? The horror....

traditionalguy said...

A Rooster work is never done. I have to go rest now.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sorun said...

And big hair on women keeps cycling back into fashion.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

How do you measure rooster sperm volume? Did they have to invent a spermometer?

chickelit said...

This guy is not falling!

The Crack Emcee said...

"A lone rooster sees a lot of all the hens in the flock, but the hen with the largest comb gets a bigger dose of sperm."

Well that explains this then.

No word from Planned Chickenhood?

Ralph L said...

Todd Akin was right!

deborah said...

Finally. News I can use.

Scott said...

Chickens are descendants of dinosaurs.

If natural selection got them this amazing transformation, and cocks are selecting hens based on comb size, then what will a chicken look like in another million years?

Roman said...

This "study" has to be paid for by tax dollars. I'm sure some needy PHD will make a real effort to justify the need for sperm volumn in chickens, but really, who cares? Does the hen really know?

David said...

So the comb is kind of like chicken tits?

Scott said...

A mother ALWAYS knows.

edutcher said...

Does she get it Saks or Bloomie's?

gerry said...

Combs are analogous to tits, right?

Either that or broad in the beam and round in the rump.

Lindsey Meadows said...

When curiousity urges you to stop and "find out", resist.

......I suspect there is one big time grant at work behind all these nuggets of information.

Lindsey Meadows said...

Roman said...
"Does the hen really know?"


a woman always knows Roman.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I once had a very large, very feisty rooster named Diefenbaker (after the Canadian PM of half a century ago). That bird was ALL cock.

Even his beak was a pecker.

kentuckyliz said...

So are hens with small combs now lining up to get comb implants?

sleepless nights said...

I always thought those things were made out of gizzardy nipple-y genital material. That's why it's so creepy to see them flopping about on some bird's forehead.

Synova said...

Hens that are fertile and who are laying eggs (they don't always lay eggs) have larger, redder, combs than when they are not laying eggs.

You can tell which hens in your flock are probably laying just by looking at their combs. When they aren't laying their combs are relatively pale.

Synova said...

The rooster pretty much ignores hens that aren't laying, though. But I'm sure there is an inbetween stage.

Should I go read what the link says now?

Synova said...

Ah... they connect comb size to bone mass and comb size to egg laying. Leghorn hens are some of th highest layers ever but other "pea combed" hens are very very good as well.

The pea comb or flat comb are inherited traits. Breeds like Leghorns that lay a lot of eggs are skinny, thin birds. Many pea combed chickens are heavier breeds, who often lay less but grow much larger and put on more muscle. Cornish, that are crossed (usually with White Rocks) for our eight-month-old fryers have small combs but huge, blocky bodies.

In any case, it makes far more sense to me that roosters deliver more sperm to visibly fertile hens than to pullets (young hens) or hens just starting to lay for the season, and that this accounts for more "investment" in the hens with larger combs, than to think that the hen lays *more* eggs and that's why her genes get passed along.

Paddy O said...

There should be a Bulwer-Lytton type contest for the world's worst written aphorisms.

Ann Althouse said...

"There should be a Bulwer-Lytton type contest for the world's worst written aphorisms."

LOL.

virgil xenophon said...

I guess Democrat chickens are all Road Island Reds, nez pa?

Paddy O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paddy O said...

I'm excited by the mention, yet a little concerned about the phrase "gets it" with this topic.

I mean it's nice to be the proverbial hen with the largest comb in this commentariat of hens, but...

Paddy O said...

Also, I'm reminded of one of my favorite Little Rascals shorts, in which Spanky's dad gets promoted to "head cluck"