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Thread Starter 

I've been a hatch-a-holic for the last 2 years and am learning more about deciphering the mystery of gender in chicks.  I'd like to share my observations and people can add their own to the mix :)  
These are just my experiences and observations.  I've found that I can now pick out 20 chicks and end up with 17-19 girls.  Not gonna boast a 100% accuracy, sometimes there's just that one freak of nature :P  I've been hearing more from customers and friends about 'new' ways of sexing chicks- people are connecting more and sharing more on the topic.

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Female non-autosexing chicken chicks:

[80-90% reliable after 5 days old] secondary coverts grow in with the primaries
[70-80% reliable after 5 days old] primary pinions are longer than secondaries.

[60-70% reliable after 3 weeks old] quick feathering of body; tail feathers grow in early, wings fill out faster, may appear larger than males because of this

[30-40% reliable after 1 week old] behavior more relaxed, trusting, stays lower to the ground, less jumpy, less quarrelsome

[20-30% reliable after 5 days old] 'feminine face', I haven't studied anatomically what the difference is yet

 

Male non-autosexingchicken chicks:
[80-90% reliable after 5 days old] secondary coverts don't grow in for several weeks
[70-80% reliable after 5 days old] primary pinions are the same length as secondaries

[60-70% reliable after 3 weeks old] slow feathering, tails don't grow in for quite some time, may appear smaller because of this

[30-40% reliable after 1 week old] behavior more high-strung, 'alert' chirping, stands high on feet to keep watch, like to quarrel with others or 'try to breed' after a few weeks

[20-30% reliable after 5 days old] 'boy-ish face', I haven't studied anatomically what the difference is yet


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Female heritage turkey poults:

[80-90% reliable at 1 day old, better after 5 days] 5 primary flight feathers
[70-80% reliable at 1 day old, better after 5 days] primary pinions are same length as secondary.

[70-80% reliable at 1 day old] 'feminine face', head is smooth, rounded, snood is often a little longer/bigger

[60-70% reliable at 3 weeks old] wings slightly smaller than the males, relatively equal feathering though

[40-50% reliable at 3 weeks old] physically smaller than the males

[10-20% reliable at 3 weeks old] behavior more calm and watchful, less excitable, more alarm chirps, less 'screaming'

Not reliable: Strutting.  I've had female poults strut at 3 weeks old.

 

Male heritage turkey poults:

[80-90% reliable at 1 day old, better after 5 days] 7 primary flight feathers
[70-80% reliable at 1 day old, better after 5 days] primary pinions are longer than secondary.

[70-80% reliable at 1 day old] 'masculine face', head squared, lumpy skull; bulbous behind the eyes and plateaued in the middle, smaller snood, bigger, thicker head

[60-70% reliable at 3 weeks old] wings slightly longer than the females, larger in appearance, relatively equal feathering though

[40-50% reliable at 3 weeks old] physically larger than the females

[10-20% reliable at 3 weeks old] behavior more excitable, especially around food, more prone to calling/screaming when they need something, less trusting, jumpier

Not reliable: Strutting.  I've had males that didn't strut until 7 months!
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I'm new to hatching muscovy ducks and curious if anyone has input on sexing hatchlings!  I'll be studying them closely.  My new tactic for raising breeding stock is to let the broodies raise the boys and to hand-raise the girls, I want to apply this to my ducks, too.


Edited by Jrose - 4/27/16 at 11:11am