Do Roosters Have Balls And Penis | Rooster Reproductive System

Roosters are famous for their ferocious nature, sharp claws, and dominance. But these feathered creatures have other things like their reproductive system that are not so known by others. 

Do roosters have balls?

Intro Video - Backtobirds x
Intro Video - Backtobirds

Roosters have two bean-shaped balls (testicles), located internally in front of the kidneys. The testicles are elliptical and yellowish, positioned against the backbone in the abdominal cavity. The size of the testicles may vary according to the age of the rooster and time of the year. 

The size of the balls is much smaller in the winters whereas, during mating season, the sizes increase, making them swell up. The size of both the rooster’s balls remains identical to each other which is unlikely to be the case of most of the other birds.

The testicles consist of many thin and delicate ducts. The vas deferens connect the balls with the cloaca. The rooster’s testicles are responsible for generating the sperm and a male hormone called androgens.

The sperm is necessary for the fertilization of eggs and the androgen is responsible for secondary sex characteristics in roosters such as the size of the tail feathers, the comb growth, the spurs on the feet, the wattles underneath the chin, and mating behavior.

Do roosters have Penis?

Roosters do not have a penis like all the other birds except a few. These creatures, however, have a different organ called papilla which is located inside the cloaca on its back walls underneath the tail feathers. 

Like penis in mammals, this is seen for the identification of the male chickens but it does exhibit its function in the same way as the penis. The papilla is the organ through which the sperms exit.

The roosters do not have a penis because when they were an incubated egg, a cell death protein named Bmp4 covered their incipient penis and stopped its development, leaving it as a small bump or nub. 

The eggs that will become roosters start developing penis but the development stops later during the embryonic development because of Bmp4. 

Related Read: Do Chickens Eat Eggs? (or) Even, Will A Rooster Eat Eggs?

What is the Rooster’s role in reproduction?

The ultimate role of roosters in reproduction is to deliver the sperms to hen’s cloaca through the mating process. The roosters play a necessary role in the reproduction of young ones as the roosters release the sperms which fertilize the egg.

If a hen does not receive sperm from a rooster, the eggs laid by that hen will be incapable of developing chicks. A rooster is supposed to produce 35,000 sperms each second of its life. Rooster’s high-quality sperms are responsible for good quality chicks. 

The sperm’s quality depends on factors like the rooster’s nutrition, environment, and genetics. For a hen to lay hatchable eggs, rooster and its healthy sperms are vital necessities.

The reproductive status of a hen depends on the rooster’s reproductive system and their mating. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the roosters are responsible equally for the young population of chicks as the hens. 

Related Read: Do Roosters Have Spurs? (or) Are They On Chickens And Hens?

How does a rooster mate with a hen?

The roosters first exhibit mating behavior like a mating dance or encircling the hen with one wing dropped to the ground to impress the hen for mating. The hen is likely to flatten its back and crouch for the rooster and stay still until the rooster mounts the hen.

The rooster climbs on top of the hen’s back and holds or bites down on the hen’s feathers of head and neck. The rooster then presses his cloaca to the hen’s cloaca by forcing her tail feathers upward. He then ejaculates, deposits the sperms, and hops off. 

Once the mating takes place, the rooster may show victory dance while the hens simply straighten her wings by flapping them, and walk away. The mating process takes only a few seconds. The process is often termed as ‘cloacal Kiss’.

Related Read: Do Roosters And Chickens Molt? Molting In Poultry & Behavior

How does a rooster fertilize an egg?

After ejaculating the sperms in the hen’s cloaca, the rooster’s role gets finished but his sperms play the most important role in the fertilization. The sperms enter the oviduct from the cloaca and it is where the actual meeting of the ova and sperm occurs, known as fertilization.   

The sperms get stored in the oviduct so that the eggs can get fertile for two-three weeks and even longer. The sperms get collected in the small pockets located on the walls of the hen’s oviduct so that the hen can fertilize more eggs. 

It is believed that a rooster can fertilize about 14 eggs by mating once but the first egg that gets fertilized by a rooster is known as ‘egg of the day’. 

The hens release a hormone called progesterone right after laying an egg which activates some of the stored sperm to release and fertilize the next egg.

How does a rooster impregnate a chicken?

A rooster does not impregnate a chicken as chickens do not get pregnant but lay eggs that can be fertilized or not depending on the rooster if he has mated with the hen or not. The fertilized eggs grow the young chicks inside and then hatch chicks.

Do roosters die after mating or breeding?

Generally, roosters do not die after mating or breeding. The only chance of their death after mating is when they aren’t healthy and devote all of their energy and resources to mating. Mating may lead the unhealthy chickens to death.

Otherwise, the roosters continue to mate in all their mating seasons and can continue to live for about 5-8 years.  A hen dying after mating has more probability than a rooster. 

A hen may die due to the stress of the breeding season which makes them weak and destroys their immunity, leading to many diseases. However, the death of a hen or rooster after mating is very rare.

Related Read: Do Birds Fall From The Sky If They Stop Flapping Their Wings?

Can roosters mate with their offspring?

Roosters can mate with their offspring and may fertilize their eggs but only for a short period. Their mating is termed inbreeding which is quite common. The inbreeding even helps in intensifying genes in the next offspring. 

Inbreeding even helps in producing genetically identical offsprings. The process is used by many poultry farmers to produce good quality chickens. 

Conclusion 

The roosters are quite an interesting creature and so is their reproductive system. Their reproductive organs consist of two testicles, vas deferens, and a papilla. Unlike mammals, they do not have a penis. Their mating process is unique and different from that of mammals.

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