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Dr. Drew
Dr. Drew, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 16844
Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
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I have raised doves for many years but have always wondered

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I have raised doves for many years but have always wondered about their reproductive system. I don't see the normal male genetalia and only see him fluttering his wings on top of the female. How is the female inseminated and as with most living things, does this determine the gender of the offspring?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 7 years ago.
Hi, thanks for your question. In birds and reptiles, the male genitalia is actually hidden inside the "cloaca" which is the single opening for the exit of wastes and also the opening for the reproductive tract. There's a structure similar to a penis that comes out of the Cloaca during mating, and that deposits the sperm in the female cloaca.

The genetics of gender in birds is similar to other animals, but a little different - in mammals, XX is Female, XY is Male. In birds, ZZ is male, ZW is Female. Meaning, it's reversed -- the gender with 2 of the same chromosome is male, whereas in mammals that would result in a female.
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