MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: How can you tell the sex of a newly hatched chick?

Date: Wed Jun 30 08:15:13 1999
Posted By: Kurt Wollenberg, Post Doc Genetics, North Carolina State University
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 929991122.Zo

The way you are telling roosters from hens (watching behavior) is probably
the simplest and easiest way. The way to tell a rooster chick from a hen
chick without making any mistakes is to somehow look at their genes. 
In birds, gender is determined by the types of chromosomes that they
have. The chromosomes are the long strings of DNA that are found in the
nucleus of every living cell. In all animals the chromosomes exists as 
pairs, with one copy coming from the mother and one from the father. One
pair of chromosomes will determine the gender of the chicken. If these 
chromosomes are the same (called ZZ) the bird will be male. If these
chromosomes are different (called ZW) then the bird will be female. No one
knows exactly how this works, but the genes that are on these chromosomes
control the gender of the bird. Unfortunately, to examine the genes in
the birds to determine their gender would require a very expensive and
complicated molecular biology lab. 

Current Queue | Current Queue for Zoology | Zoology archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Zoology.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-1999. All rights reserved.