Do Female Birds Get Periods?
How about Parrots and Chickens?

Females from all around the world go through the reproductive cycle, but what about female birds? Do female birds get periods? Read to learn more.

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Iñigo Navarro

July 11, 2021


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What’s This Post About?

Cramps, mood swings, backache, nausea, and whatnot. You name it, and we have it. Females tend to go through a great deal when it’s that time of the month. But, do all females have to go through it? Do female birds have periods too? Read more to explore.

It’s the female mammal that goes through this reproductive cycle of bleeding for a certain period. In birds, however, the reproductive process is quite different. Birds do not have a uterus, so they do not tend to bleed regularly.

Female birds do not have a uterus, indicating that there isn’t any shedding of uterus lining that would result in bleeding, hence creating a menstrual cycle. However, there are some exceptions. Parrots get periods, while periods in hens are a mystery.

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Periods in Parrots — Do They Bleed?

Parrots are an exception to the statement that ‘no birds get periods’. Yes, parrots do get periods, though it varies to the extent that the bleeding isn’t the usual one. They instead have feather bleeding.

Parrots are the rarest of birds that get their periods. Periods are associated with the uterus, and how can birds have periods when there isn’t any uterus. Parrots are an exception, though they don’t have a uterus as well.

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When parrots attain puberty, they shed their feathers, achieving new ones. These unique feathers have blood vessels, and during their period, these feathers bleed due to the breaking down of the blood vessels in these feathers.

FUN FACT

Most parrots tend to mate for life and are monogamous. However, Electus species of parrots are known for having more than one 'lover' or a mating partner. 

How Do Parrots Reproduce?

Parrots have two ovaries, one of which is not functional. The reproductive system consists of the ovary, yolk, and oviduct. The oviduct further comprises the Infundibulum, Magnum, Isthmus, shell gland, and vagina.

Parrots do not prefer laying many eggs. They only reproduce twice - thrice in a year. Upon attaining puberty, they mate with their partner. Their mating is not abrupt and is instead triggered due to hormonal changes in the body, intense light, and cloacal kissing.

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The reproduction process involves mating, which is triggered by hormonal release in the body, cloacal kissing— whereby a male parrot rubs its cloaca against that of the female when there is intense light and Spring. Parrots tend to mate for life; however, some species like Eclectus are polygamists.

WARNING!

If you see blood in the cage or anywhere on the body of your parrot, immediately examine your bird with soft hands. This blood could be because of an injury and not be period blood. 

Are hens an exception too?

FUN FACT

Hens have 15% more water in their bodies than humans.

People believe that the egg we eat in our meals and mostly as breakfast is the period blood of a chicken. Some people tend to think hens to be another exception to birds that get their periods.

Although it is a controversy that hens’ eggs are their period blood, logically, this does not make any sense. The period is a cycle where unfertilized eggs are thrown out of the body as a waste of blood. However, both fertilized and unfertilized eggs remain in the same duct and are part of the same process.

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Hens get their periods, and eggs are their period blood is a mystery yet to be determined. Though logically, hens do not get periods, and eggs are not their period blood. Unlike parrots, hens are not an exception to the fact that female birds do not get periods.

Controversies Associated with Hen and their Period

People believe that chickens do get periods, and eggs are their period blood. Though this doesn’t have scientific reality, some researchers have tried to prove that chicken gets period via biological shreds of evidence.

Periods or menses are something that only mammalian females tend to get, that too, not all females. Periods are a process of uterine lining shedding. When the lining sheds in the uterus, it results in period blood. Such phenomena are only possible if the organism has a uterus.

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Birds do have ovaries, but they do not have a uterus. No uterus means no periods. Therefore, no period blood. The only exception to this is the parrots. Periods are associated with unfertilized eggs. However, chickens laying eggs are both fertilized and unfertilized eggs. This indicates that chickens don’t get periods.

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FACT & MYTH

Eggs are not period blood since chickens do not get periods.

Keep Reading!

Females need the uterus to get their periods which is the case only with female mammals. Birds are unlikely to get their periods since they don’t have a uterus. However, there is an exception.

Female birds don’t get periods. However, the parrots are the rarest exception to the birds that tend to get their periods. People often believe that hens also get periods, due to which we get to hear a lot of myths and stories.

As a matter of fact, hens are no exception, and they do not get their periods. The eggs of a hen are not their period blood. The parrots are the sole and rarest exception to the birds that get periods but experience feather bleeding instead of the normal bleeding.

Apart from parrots and hens, cardinals tend to have distinct brooding behavior. Here’s an interesting post to read on how many babies do cardinals have - per brood, per year. 

How Many Babies do Cardinals Have? Per Brood and Per Year

Cardinals, just like other species have a separate lifestyle. They are different in many ways and may also raise their babies differently. Read ahead!

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By Iñigo Navarro

Bird Watching USA

My name is Inigo and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Iñigo Navarro Picture

Iñigo Navarro

Bird Watching USA

My name is Inigo and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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