BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › Sexing baby chicks and turkeys
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sexing baby chicks and turkeys

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

My kids are showing chickens and turkeys this year for 4H.  I had to order larger quantities than I intend to keep and would like to sell the extras.  How can I determine sex in chicks and in turkey poults?  I've heard you can tell by wings and by vents but can't find specific information.

2 sons, 2 daughters (oldest of which is serving as a Sergeant in the Army in Kandahar),1 husband(biggest kid), 1 German shepherd dog, 1 bichon dog, 3 cats, 1 fish aquarium,1 cockatiel, 14 hens, 2 roosters(Golden Comet, Ameracauna, BLRW, Speckled Sussex, Black Sumatra) 20 chicks(Speckled Sussex, wellsummer, barred rock, cuckoo marans, partridge rock, black australorp) 1 turkey, 12 mallard ducks.
Reply
2 sons, 2 daughters (oldest of which is serving as a Sergeant in the Army in Kandahar),1 husband(biggest kid), 1 German shepherd dog, 1 bichon dog, 3 cats, 1 fish aquarium,1 cockatiel, 14 hens, 2 roosters(Golden Comet, Ameracauna, BLRW, Speckled Sussex, Black Sumatra) 20 chicks(Speckled Sussex, wellsummer, barred rock, cuckoo marans, partridge rock, black australorp) 1 turkey, 12 mallard ducks.
Reply
post #2 of 11

Ok...

Some birds can be color-sexed, some feather-sexed, and some require vent sexing....

That's all I know... lol

I think some of the hatcheries sell sexing books, but from what I understand it is not a casual undertaking to learn how to do it accurately, especially vent sexing.

I would try doing a google search.  Somebody somewhere has got to have made a web page on this subject...

Lifelong chicken nut planning on starting a new flock this year
Reply
Lifelong chicken nut planning on starting a new flock this year
Reply
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I've been searching and there is alot on chicken sexing but not on turkey sexing.  I am still looking.

2 sons, 2 daughters (oldest of which is serving as a Sergeant in the Army in Kandahar),1 husband(biggest kid), 1 German shepherd dog, 1 bichon dog, 3 cats, 1 fish aquarium,1 cockatiel, 14 hens, 2 roosters(Golden Comet, Ameracauna, BLRW, Speckled Sussex, Black Sumatra) 20 chicks(Speckled Sussex, wellsummer, barred rock, cuckoo marans, partridge rock, black australorp) 1 turkey, 12 mallard ducks.
Reply
2 sons, 2 daughters (oldest of which is serving as a Sergeant in the Army in Kandahar),1 husband(biggest kid), 1 German shepherd dog, 1 bichon dog, 3 cats, 1 fish aquarium,1 cockatiel, 14 hens, 2 roosters(Golden Comet, Ameracauna, BLRW, Speckled Sussex, Black Sumatra) 20 chicks(Speckled Sussex, wellsummer, barred rock, cuckoo marans, partridge rock, black australorp) 1 turkey, 12 mallard ducks.
Reply
post #4 of 11

Depends on your breed. I have some that are sex linked. When they hatch I know if they are a pullet or cockerel. The feather sexing I am not sure how to do that. I know it has to be with a fast feathering and a slow feathering breeds, but not sure which ones. Other than that. You can post pics let us know the age and breed and we can try to help. smile A general rule of thumb is. If you have chicks that are fully feathered and some that are seriously lacking feathers, then the ones with lots of feathers are pullets, roos take much longer to feather in. (Not true in all cases) If the chick has very bright red or pink comb and wattles usually a roo. If you put your hand in the pen and some run away and some run to you, usually the ones that run away are the pullets, the ones that run at you are the roos. (Usually!) There are so many things that will cause this to vary. Just hang in there, you will eventually be able to sex them. (I can't vent sex) but I can look at them and make a darn good guess. Good luck to you! big_smile

As for turkeys........I have no clue.

1 DH, 2 DD, 1 dog, 1 cat, and about 30 chickens.
John 14:6
Reply
1 DH, 2 DD, 1 dog, 1 cat, and about 30 chickens.
John 14:6
Reply
post #5 of 11

Harley's girl :

Depends on your breed. I have some that are sex linked. When they hatch I know if they are a pullet or cockerel. The feather sexing I am not sure how to do that. I know it has to be with a fast feathering and a slow feathering breeds, but not sure which ones. Other than that. You can post pics let us know the age and breed and we can try to help. smile A general rule of thumb is. If you have chicks that are fully feathered and some that are seriously lacking feathers, then the ones with lots of feathers are pullets, roos take much longer to feather in. (Not true in all cases) If the chick has very bright red or pink comb and wattles usually a roo. If you put your hand in the pen and some run away and some run to you, usually the ones that run away are the pullets, the ones that run at you are the roos. (Usually!) There are so many things that will cause this to vary. Just hang in there, you will eventually be able to sex them. (I can't vent sex) but I can look at them and make a darn good guess. Good luck to you! big_smile

As for turkeys........I have no clue.


this was very helpful for me, and I think I might have ended up with more pullets than i thought!! because Ihave some major feathers for first weeker chicks.  thanks for the info!

Located in Lincoln County, NC.
Find joy in the simple things of life.
Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry!
Reply
Located in Lincoln County, NC.
Find joy in the simple things of life.
Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry!
Reply
post #6 of 11

We just got our first turkey poults and I was messing around with my husband jake turkey call. Well one poult didn't care and the other one ran and layed down. Now I have been told that it is a mating position that a female will do. When I got the hen call out the oppisite happened and the other poult started to strut. They are only 3 wks old right now so they still looks the same. I am gonna watch and see what happens though.

Wife and mom to a great husband and 3 wonderful boys. Lots of pets and have officially gone chicken and turkey crazy. I can't even list everything anymore!!     P.S. I am very bad at spelling so forgive me.
Reply
Wife and mom to a great husband and 3 wonderful boys. Lots of pets and have officially gone chicken and turkey crazy. I can't even list everything anymore!!     P.S. I am very bad at spelling so forgive me.
Reply
post #7 of 11

Short form... without  knowing your breed well, or not having a color-sexed breed and since you can't know the lines you have (fast or slow feathering if it's there) and You DON'T know with hatchery birds ever then you flat don't know.

You get to wait.  Depending on the breed you will get clues at about four to six weeks, unless you picked a particularly difficult to sex breed like silkies.

Before that, with hatchery birds.  It's all just a guess.  In experienced hands someone who's seen 2 or 3 hundred or more chicks might have a better idea.  New chicken people get to wait and see.  I took pics of my first 75 chicks at one week through two months every week.  The first time through I was clueless.  By the second group I had a better idea and by the third group in the same breed, I had a pretty good idea by the second week.

Then I got two different breeds.  Nope can't tell at all.  Totally different development patterns.

And turkeys different again.

Mostly keep track of your feed costs and wait and when you get to four to six weeks out you'll have a much better idea and can sell them off.  Feed costs let you know what to charge.

Good luck, what breed/s?

It's German Shepherd Dog, they HERD, they don't Ard, don't Pard and don't Erd.    

Four or five Dogs, 2 retired horses lots of Chickens - Official Mad Hatcher; Cher

Reply

It's German Shepherd Dog, they HERD, they don't Ard, don't Pard and don't Erd.    

Four or five Dogs, 2 retired horses lots of Chickens - Official Mad Hatcher; Cher

Reply
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the helpful advice.  It really helps to have a place to go with questions and to have so many people who are into this.  I looked at the video links posted by xxmrsbellxx and it was helpful regarding vent sexing. (My daughter thinks I have some weird new obsession.) I also found another video clip on you tube: "Discovery Chick Sexing" that very clearly demo'd feather sexing which can be done on some breeds.   I have, however, been unable to find anything very helpful with sexing turkey poults so I will look at both feathers and vents and see what I can guess.  I am getting Speckled Sussex Chicks and Bronze turkeys if anyone has experience with sexing them.  I am still having trouble with picture posting but will try to post pictures next week.

2 sons, 2 daughters (oldest of which is serving as a Sergeant in the Army in Kandahar),1 husband(biggest kid), 1 German shepherd dog, 1 bichon dog, 3 cats, 1 fish aquarium,1 cockatiel, 14 hens, 2 roosters(Golden Comet, Ameracauna, BLRW, Speckled Sussex, Black Sumatra) 20 chicks(Speckled Sussex, wellsummer, barred rock, cuckoo marans, partridge rock, black australorp) 1 turkey, 12 mallard ducks.
Reply
2 sons, 2 daughters (oldest of which is serving as a Sergeant in the Army in Kandahar),1 husband(biggest kid), 1 German shepherd dog, 1 bichon dog, 3 cats, 1 fish aquarium,1 cockatiel, 14 hens, 2 roosters(Golden Comet, Ameracauna, BLRW, Speckled Sussex, Black Sumatra) 20 chicks(Speckled Sussex, wellsummer, barred rock, cuckoo marans, partridge rock, black australorp) 1 turkey, 12 mallard ducks.
Reply
post #9 of 11

The people that I have talked to say that when you hold the chick by its legs between your first and second fingers. If the chick try to peck you and wont relax than it is a roo. If it relaxes it is a pullet. Thats what some of the farmers do around us, they say it works about 99% of the time.smile

post #10 of 11

Harley's girl :

Depends on your breed. I have some that are sex linked. When they hatch I know if they are a pullet or cockerel. The feather sexing I am not sure how to do that. I know it has to be with a fast feathering and a slow feathering breeds, but not sure which ones. Other than that. You can post pics let us know the age and breed and we can try to help. smile A general rule of thumb is. If you have chicks that are fully feathered and some that are seriously lacking feathers, then the ones with lots of feathers are pullets, roos take much longer to feather in. (Not true in all cases) If the chick has very bright red or pink comb and wattles usually a roo. If you put your hand in the pen and some run away and some run to you, usually the ones that run away are the pullets, the ones that run at you are the roos. (Usually!) There are so many things that will cause this to vary. Just hang in there, you will eventually be able to sex them. (I can't vent sex) but I can look at them and make a darn good guess. Good luck to you! big_smile

As for turkeys........I have no clue.


Those are some good tips...thanks!!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Raising Baby Chicks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › Sexing baby chicks and turkeys