SEX-SWAP CHICKEN- NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS- JUNE 2008

This bizarre story of a hen turning into a cockerel appears in Friday's national media.


National newspapers are always interested in unusual stories involving animals.


Read the full story below.


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SEX-SWAP CHICKEN STUNS OWNER.


NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS


A chicken called Honor stunned its owner when it turned from a hen into a cockerel.

The unusual 'before' and 'after' photos show how the Black Rock chicken has swapped genders over the past 12 months.

Owner Gill Whiteley originally thought the crowing she heard was from a nearby farm as she only kept hens.

But when the neighbours insisted there was a cockerel crowing in her orchard, where she keeps the chickens, she decided to check.

The 53-year-old teacher Gill who lives in the village of Treales, near Preston said: 'I had just bought some new hens and originally thought the poultry breeder had accidentally sold me a cockerel.

'I take photos of all my chickens and get to know all their character traits and couldn't see that any of the new batch were cockerels.

'Eventually, I found that it was a Black Rock chicken called Honor I had bought the year before who was crowing. 

'Because I see her everyday I hadn't really noticed the change but when I looked at her I could see she had grown a bigger comb and longer wattles beneath her neck.

'I couldn't believe it when I saw her crowing. I was flabbergasted.' 

After seeing Honor crowing away on the shed, the mother-of-two, who lives with her partner IT consultant Lionel Gowland, 53, went on to the internet to try and discover more.

A poultry website explained that this sort of sex change in chickens was a one-in-10,000 rarity. It happens when a damaged ovary causes the hen's testosterone levels to soar and therefore the bird's appearance and behaviour change from female to male.

Orginally called Honor- after Honor Blackman- owner Gill has renamed the bird 'Your Honor', to acknowledge the chicken's new more masculine status.

Gill said: 'Your Honour obviously doesn't lay eggs anymore but I couldn't stand to eat her so she gets to stay with the other chickens.' 



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