Now I'm a chick! Gianni the gender-bending cockerel starts to lay eggs, baffling scientists
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:05 PM on 22nd April 2010
Comments (26) Add to My Stories Gianni started life as a red-blooded cockerel and would often wake his Italian owners up crowing on his farm in Tuscany.
But when a fox raided Gianni's enclosure and killed all of the hens inside, Gianni felt it was time for a change.
Within days the bird was laying eggs and trying to hatch them as he began his new life as a hen.
All change: Gianni the former rooster has taken to laying eggs and trying to hatch them
The sex-change chicken has baffled scientists at the UN's Farm and Agriculture Organisation, who are now planning to study Gianni's DNA to see what made him change.
An expert at the centre said: 'It may be a primitive species survival gene. With all the females gone he could only ensure the future of his line by becoming female.'
Professor Donato Matassino, who will be leading tests on Gianni, said: 'This rooster-hen will be taken to the laboratories of Consdabi (Consortium for the experimentation and application of innovative biotechniques) for a series of behavioural and genetic tests.
'This will allow us to decipher this bizarre DNA mix up that appears to have literally given what looks like two chickens in one.'
Professor Donato said the cockerel-hen was transported by train to Naples where the laboratories are based.
Read more: Gianni the gender-bending rooster starts to lay eggs | Mail Online