Experts examined the behaviour of an ancestor of the domestic chicken and found that mating with different males helped females produce offspring that are more resistant to disease. Now they claim their findings could be applied to other animals and humans as well.

"Our research has shown that females don’t need to choose between males to produce the healthiest offspring. Rather by mating with multiple males, they allow their internal choice mechanism to favour the most genetically different sperm," said David S Richardson from the University of East Anglia.

During their study, researchers studied red jungle fowl using both natural mating and artificial insemination in a project with the University of Oxford, Stockholm University and Linkoping University.


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