BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › Do hen chicks really get their wing and tail feathers first?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do hen chicks really get their wing and tail feathers first?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I am a proud new chicken owner (12 RIR!) and I bought them as straight run chickens a week ago hoping and praying that I would end up with at least 6 hens, more would be even better!  I read up on all of the old wives tales about how to sex your chicks.  So, I tried lifting them with two fingers by their necks and when they drew up their legs, we decided on hen.  I have also read that the hens get their wing and tail feather first.  Is this true?  I am anxious to know, because two of my chicks are still waiting for tail feathers and their wing feathers are short and shaped differently.  10 of the chicks wings are broad shaped and they have their tail feathers.  I am just curious to know!fl  Thanks!

Addicted to Orpingtons! smile.png
Blue, Black, Splash and Lavender
~Now offering hatching eggs!~
Reply
Addicted to Orpingtons! smile.png
Blue, Black, Splash and Lavender
~Now offering hatching eggs!~
Reply
post #2 of 25

There are lots of suggestions about how chickens may be sexed this way.

It varies from breed to breed, and is, at best, unreliable.

With most you can start to get a decent idea from 6 to 8 weeks onwards.

post #3 of 25

with the rir's I think you're just going to have to wait...it's terrible, I KNOW!

Eat dessert first, after all life is uncertain!
2 rir's, 1 silver & 1 gold wyandotte, 2 buff & 1 black bantam cochins, 1 buff orp, 2 easter eggers, 1 bantam silkie mix, 1 maine coon cat, 2 DSs, a VERY patient DH and the newest addition is a munchkin Boston Terrier!!!
Reply
Eat dessert first, after all life is uncertain!
2 rir's, 1 silver & 1 gold wyandotte, 2 buff & 1 black bantam cochins, 1 buff orp, 2 easter eggers, 1 bantam silkie mix, 1 maine coon cat, 2 DSs, a VERY patient DH and the newest addition is a munchkin Boston Terrier!!!
Reply
post #4 of 25

For what it's worth, my accidental Buff Orp roo was way behind on wing/tail feather growth compared to his "sister" chicks.  His comb also turned pink early on.  The girls' combs were still flesh colored for many weeks after his had already turned pink.

post #5 of 25

You probably won't be able to tell a for sure sex for a few more weeks. Just enjoy having all the little fuzzy-butts around for a while. I was very lucky last year and bought 9 chicks and only 1 was a roo.

Banty Lover!!!!!
Reply
Banty Lover!!!!!
Reply
post #6 of 25

Could someone tell me what this means?  hu   "I bought them as straight run chickens".  I have my new RIR's born on Easter and I have heard this before but I have no idea what it means. hu  hu  Thanks for letting me know.

PA Certified and Licensed Poultry Technician
http://www.amway.com/onestepatatime    Billie is my daughter.  Thanks for looking 
http://www.facebook.com/groups/170486856348596/?view=permalink&id=193500054047276#!/groups/170486856348596/
Reply
PA Certified and Licensed Poultry Technician
http://www.amway.com/onestepatatime    Billie is my daughter.  Thanks for looking 
http://www.facebook.com/groups/170486856348596/?view=permalink&id=193500054047276#!/groups/170486856348596/
Reply
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginbart 

Could someone tell me what this means?  hu   "I bought them as straight run chickens".  I have my new RIR's born on Easter and I have heard this before but I have no idea what it means. hu  hu  Thanks for letting me know.


Straight run means they aren't sexed. You're going to have roos and pullets.


 

Reply


 

Reply
post #8 of 25

I have 6 black australorps and 5 of them have well developed wings & tails and are rapidly becoming well feathered at almost 5 weeks.  The 6th is noisy and still mostly covered with down, we just noticed yesterday that he has started to sprout tail feathers, so now has wing and tail feathers, but that's about it.  I'm figuring this must be a roo; taking personality into consideration also. As for the comb, at this juncture his is pretty much the same as the other 5 girls.
One of the girls
http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii90/PortiaHank/IMGP3375.jpg
The roo (at least that's my guess, but I'm new at this)
http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii90/PortiaHank/IMGP3313.jpg

Just my observations.  Of the other 4 breeds I have they are have all feathered out similarly

One very tolerant husband, a whole mess of free range hens of all sizes and colors, 4 roosters and 1 eastern wild turkey tom AND one greyhound, one beagle/Shepard & two little foster beagles
Reply
One very tolerant husband, a whole mess of free range hens of all sizes and colors, 4 roosters and 1 eastern wild turkey tom AND one greyhound, one beagle/Shepard & two little foster beagles
Reply
post #9 of 25

That means that they were not sexed as chicks so you have a 50/50 chance of girls and boys. "sexed" chicks will have a 90% girl and 10% boy ratio unless they are sexlinked by feather colors.


As for feather sexing, some males are slow to feather and some females are fast to feather, they use slow males over fast females to make the chicks sexable. However, this trait has to be bred for, and the general trend of faster feathering females may still linger in many production breed chicks.

Need egg candling reference pics? Click HERE!
2011 Coop build! Click Here!

 

I'm no expert, there is always something to learn, and my birds are livestock, so... yes, I may be quite blunt. wink.png

Reply

Need egg candling reference pics? Click HERE!
2011 Coop build! Click Here!

 

I'm no expert, there is always something to learn, and my birds are livestock, so... yes, I may be quite blunt. wink.png

Reply
post #10 of 25

I gave in and bought 3 chicks today at Coastal Farm. The guy told me some thing about how the wing feathers overlap in the chicks. He said mine were all pullets, though he just does it for fun. I'm not sure I trust his technique, but it'll be interesting to see!

:: chelsea :: trillium creek mini rex :: backyard poultry enthusiast :: RIP Chickens ::
Reply
:: chelsea :: trillium creek mini rex :: backyard poultry enthusiast :: RIP Chickens ::
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Raising Baby Chicks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › Do hen chicks really get their wing and tail feathers first?