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What is the difference between male and female feathers?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Does anyone have pictures or know of a website that has pictures of the differences between male and female feathers?  Someone told me that she picks out chicks to buy according to their feathers?  Is that possible and what would that look like?  Thanks!

post #2 of 7

This may be what she is talking about:

http://animalsciences.missouri.edu/reprod/ReproTech/Feathersex/index.htm

I don't think feather sexing is possible in most breeds.


Edited by Uppity Peon - 6/4/09 at 2:18pm
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8 Production Reds, 7 EEs (1 roo), 4 GLWs, 3 SLWs (1 roo), 1 Silky cross roo.
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Eat local! Backyard food if possible!
8 Production Reds, 7 EEs (1 roo), 4 GLWs, 3 SLWs (1 roo), 1 Silky cross roo.
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post #3 of 7

Wow!! This is so cool!! This just saved me a lot of waiting time and a lot of cockerels too!! Thanks so much for posting this!!!
Crystalchik

post #4 of 7

This isn't about feathers, but when picking out chicks all of the same breed, I look at their combs.  Baby cockerals tend to have more comb than the little pullets..  Not exact science, but a fun way to try to see if you're right.

Incidentally, I also look at personality.  But one year I had a little chick that I just KNEW was going to be a rooster.  From day one, she'd leap at me when I put my hand in her brooder with her buddies.  She was very bold - not aggressive, but determined that her way was THE way and my hand needed to follow her rules.

I was very surprised when she turned out to be all girl.  /egg on face

big_smile

Good luck with your babies!  Enjoy every  minute of it!

Nathalie Ross  threehorses@horsemail.com
(http://hoovesandfeathers.homestead.com/index.html in progress)
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Nathalie Ross  threehorses@horsemail.com
(http://hoovesandfeathers.homestead.com/index.html in progress)
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post #5 of 7

You can tell the sex because when the tail feathers grow males tail feathers
grow curved and females grow straight

post #6 of 7

(I think he meant coloration in chicks, not adults)

Nathalie Ross  threehorses@horsemail.com
(http://hoovesandfeathers.homestead.com/index.html in progress)
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Nathalie Ross  threehorses@horsemail.com
(http://hoovesandfeathers.homestead.com/index.html in progress)
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post #7 of 7

It looks to me like there are a number of diferent understanding (all different) of what question was being asked.

As stated I do see how it is confusing. 

1) There are certain parts of a roosters body where the feathers grow differently and are shaped differently than on hens. 

2) And depending on whether the chicken is male or female, the colour patterns, both on different parts of the body and on individual feathers can be different.

3) And on young chicks you can tell from the wing feathers as to gender--IFF they have the correct slow/fast growth genes.  So it doesn't work for all breeds.

Breeder & Exhibitor of fine silkies in recognized and project varieties.
adult and started pairs occasionally available;
   No eggs or chicks. 
Support your local poultry clubs, breed clubs, ABA & APA!

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Breeder & Exhibitor of fine silkies in recognized and project varieties.
adult and started pairs occasionally available;
   No eggs or chicks. 
Support your local poultry clubs, breed clubs, ABA & APA!

Reply
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