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The animals on the cover of SharePoint User’s Guide are a rooster and hens (Gallus domesticus). Roosters (male chickens) and hens (female chickens) are domesticated birds believed to have descended from the wild Asian red junglefowl. They are omnivorous, feeding on small seeds, herbs and leaves, grubs, insects, and even small mammals such as mice. Chickens can fly only short distances but can usually clear a barnyard fence if their feathers are not clipped. Since it is so widespread, the chicken is considered to be the most common bird in the world, with a population count reaching 24 billion (as of 2003).
Humans have benefited enormously from the chicken’s efficient reproductive process. When a rooster is placed among a flock of hens, fertile eggs generally appear within a couple of days. When a rooster dies or is removed from the flock, the hens will continue to produce fertile eggs for up to four weeks thanks to their handy “sperm nest” areas, which collect and store semen for later use. Hens quite clearly prefer dominant males to low-ranking ones, and almost always resist copulation with the latter. They try first to run from the assailant before sending out a cry for help to the dominant rooster. If all else fails, the hen simply ...
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