Who says sex change can only occur in humans? Chickens belonging couple Jim and Jeanette Howard who came from Huntington, England had gender reassignment from female to male.
Pet chicken named Gertie began pacing in the yard and crowed like a stud. A few weeks later, the male characters begin to grow, like wattle on the chin, cockscomb on his head, and dark brown fur typical male.
Jim Howard said at the Cambridge News, "I know it sounds weird, but I can confirm this is all true. People think this is a silly thing, but this turned out to be true."
Publication of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences University of Florida in 2000 stated, "Changes in sex in fact happened, though not so often. But until now, have not found the change from male to female."
These sex changes can be explained from the biological development of the chicken. In the embryonic period, there will be male and female sex. Once a female dominant gene, then the ovaries will develop.
But unlike humans, chicken ovaries developed only in the left hip only. Meanwhile, would have sex in the right hip will experience dormancy, do not develop into males and females. Part of dormancy called ovotestis.
Under certain conditions such as cysts, tumors or disease adrenal glands, ovaries can degenerate chicken. When it is, ovotestis may grow into a male sex organ.
"If going to the right genital develop into testes, it will secrete androgens," said Mike Hulet, a professor of poultry science at Pennsylvania State University. Androgens are hormones responsible for male characteristics.
"The production of androgens is what will cause changes in female behavior and make it behave like a stud," Hulet said as quoted by Life's Little Mysteries.
However, the chicken will not fully be male. Although looking male, genetically female chickens as Gertier fixed. So, though no longer will be able to lay eggs, chicken sex change also would not be able to fertilize another female. As a result of gender reassignment, Gerte now renamed Bertie.