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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Thomas Stretch to W. B. Tegetmeier   25 February 1868


25th Feby 1868

Dear Sir,

In response to your letter requesting information respecting the relative numbers of males & females, I beg to give you my mite of information with respect to Poultry—1

In eight years the number of chickens reared by me is as follows, viz

Cocks (Males) 487
Pullets (Females) 514 (514)
1,001 2

Yours truly | Th. Stretch

W B Tegetemier Esq

CD annotations

Verso of letter:
514 : 487 = 100 : y = 94.7473


At CD’s request, Tegetmeier had placed a notice in the Field requesting information on the proportion of the sexes in domestic animals (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 11 February [1868] and n. 2). Tegetmeier probably gave Stretch’s letter to CD, together with a related memorandum, which reads: ‘Mr Stretch’s fowls are cochins of a very superior quality and always selling for a very high prices   I should think it most likely that the record would be accurately kept’ (DAR 86: C13).
CD reported this information in Descent 1: 306.
The annotation is in CD’s hand with the exception of the proportional figure ‘94.747’, which is supplied in pencil. CD gave the proportion as 94.7 to 100 in Descent 1: 306.


Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.


Eight-year record of sexes of chickens.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Stretch
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Source of text
DAR 86: C13
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5934,” accessed on 25 November 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16