Last year on Big Week on the Farm, we got some fascinating insights into the secret lives of sheepdogs, donkeys and bulls. This year, we're getting to know roosters, calves and - most surprisingly - vets! 

On last night's episode, we learned that the humble rooster is among the most ancient of farm animals. All the breeds that are seen (and heard) across the country can be traced back to the wild red jungle fowl of South East Asia - we weren't expecting those genetics!

Ah, would you look

So how did they end up on the farm?
Well, about 9,000 years ago the rooster became domesticated and humans have helped to raise these birds to be bigger than their ancestors.

However, these farmyard staples will always be wild at heart and it's a good thing too because things are pretty tough for the rooster right from the get-go.

rooster shell
After 21 days, a rooster will struggle out of its shell

Just hatched
After 21 days in a shell, roosters have to struggle out of their shell. Once free, they hold onto the nearest moving object - we really hope the mother is nearby at the time!

In the video above, you can see these little hatchlings scurry under their mother to be minded.

At birth, roosters and hens look pretty indistinguishable but the males are generally a little bigger with more pronounced combs.

Once they mature, roosters are easy to spot thanks to their pointy and shiny feathers - an elaborate display to woo the ladies.

Single and ready to mingle

Watch Big Week on the Farm every night this week on RTÉ One at 7pm or catch up on RTÉ Player.