Avian Physiology

pp 403-431

Reproduction in the Female

  • A. L. Johnson

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The right ovary and oviduct are present in embryonic stages of all birds, but the distribution of primordial germ cells to the ovaries of the chicken becomes asymmetrical by day 4 of incubation, and by day 10 regression of the right oviduct begins. The reproductive system of birds (Galliformes) consists of a single left ovary and its oviduct, although on occasion a functional right ovary and oviduct may be present. Among the falconiformes and in the brown kiwi, both left and right gonads and associated oviducts are commonly functional, although the ovaries may be asymmetrical in size; in sparrows and pigeons, about 5% of specimens have two developed ovaries (see Romanoff and Romanoff, 1949; Kinsky, 1971).