The weird world of turkey sex

weird science experiment

Male turkeys have pretty low standards when it comes to who they choose to have sex with – they will literally shag a stick.


The Freaky likes its science weird and this is very weird. In the 1960s, two scientists at the University of Pennsylvania wondered what would be the minimal stimulus required to get a turkey excited. Martin Schein and Edgar Hale conducted  a bizarre series of experiments, to see what was the least amount of female turkey a male turkey needed to see, to get them randy.

First, Schein and Hale gave males a lifelike model of a female turkey and discovered that they randy males would try to mate with it as eagerly as they would with the real thing.??

But the pair didn’t stop there – they started to remove parts of the turkey model one by one to see if that dampened their ardor. They removed the female turkey model’s tail, its feet, and its wings but still the male turkeys would get sexually excited.
They kept dismantling the model until all they were left with was a turkey head on a stick. And still the male turkeys got aroused. Schein and Hales experimented more and discovered that the male turkesy preferred a head on a stick to a headless turkey body. They also learnt that freshly severed female turkey heads on a stick were preferable but they wouldn’t say no to a balsa wood head.

The weird world of turkey sex

The researchers believe the males’ head fixation may stem from the way turkeys have sex. When a male turkey mounts a female, because he is so much larger than her that he covers her completely, except for her head. Therefore, they suggested, it is her head that serves as his focus of erotic attention.

Schein and Hale published their results in an article with the intriguing title, “Effects of morphological variations of chicken models on sexual responses of cocks.”

More: strange sex lives of animals.

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