Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Coolidge Effect .....?

Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl Gallus lafayetti 

Just into a good read “Why did the CHICKEN cross the world?” by Andrew Lawler ….it is so strange that we who are interested in birds seem to have just forgotten the most closely associated bird in our everyday life…..

There are 20 Billion chickens living in our planet at any given time. The closest competitor in the wild being the African Finch numbering a mere 2 billion or so……..

And most of us did not know that the domestic chicken is a descendant of the Jungle Fowl…Charles Darwin in 1855 researching on his theory of “Natural Selection” set aside his barnacles and turned to collecting and examining poultry…he had a lot to learn and he says …” I was so ignorant I did not know there were three varieties of Dorking Fowl nor how do they differ,”………he opened his correspondence to all researching on avian fauna and it was Edward Blyth the British ornithological researcher in Calcutta having researched in the four species of Jungle fowl cleared that it cannot be a descendant of the Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl Gallus lafayetti first cataloged in  1830…..not of the Javan species the Green Jungle Fowl Gallus varius   for it lacks a single comb and not from the Gray Jungle Fowl Gallus sonnerati in a restricted area to the south in the Indian peninsular ……it is related to the Red Jungle Fowl Gallus Gallus  of the Himalayan foot hills…..

Initially a sacred and venerated bird used in godly sacrifices but later turned to poultry.

Now for the interesting part…..the male bird is called the Cock bird but did you know that the “Cock has no Cock?”......a casual spectator may be of the opinion that when the rooster mounts the hen there is penetration as when the mammals mate. The act is over in lesser time than a Pilipino cock fight lasts…A healthy rooster can produce more than 8 billion sperm in every ejaculation…which takes a few seconds but the sperm installed in the hen’s single ovary can fertilize eggs up to a month it is said……………

However Biology can’t explain why our favored slang word for the male organ refers to a bird that lacks one? The American blush at the word bandied about shamelessly by the Canadians, Australians, British and other English speakers who still uses it without hesitation to describe the male chicken……… the American he is the Rooster derived from its favored perch overnight from where it crows…to the American the haycocks became the hay stacks, weathercocks became weathervanes and the water cocks became the faucets while the cockroach became plain roach.

However to the British Doctor from the Victorian era….. Cock is the preferred descriptor of the human organ over the more contemporary term penis, adopted from the French but which originated in Latin….

It is most likely it acquired this “indelicate anatomical significance” due to the extreme randy behavior of the rooster---- research demonstrates the male chicken [rooster] prefers new partners to its familiar ones…..Scientist call this salacious behavior...the "Coolidge effect"……after the 30th US President Calvin Coolidge…………

During separate visits to a chicken farm in 1920 Mrs. Coolidge remarked on a rooster busy mating and she was told by the farmer that this behavior took place dozens of time daily……..”Tell that to the President when he comes by” she said coolly……when the message was relayed to the President he asked if the rooster mated with the same hen. He was told no, that the male preferred a variety of partners……”Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge” he responded….   

Now isn't that interesting?     


  1. Wilson KulasuriyaApril 26, 2017 at 6:14 AM

    Interesting ? It is.��

  2. Hmmmm! very interesting. I think the terms "don't talk cock" and " cock and bull story"were results of no cock in cock.

  3. Enjoyed the read Uditha. Thank you. Cock is short for cockerel. Apparently it becomes a rooster only when it is ready to mate.

    1. Cockerel is correct in the case of the domestic fowl.... still it lacks the anatomical organ that is referred to by that the avian science the male of a bird is referred to as the cock bird.....;-)