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How do I know I'll hatch hens, not roosters?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm new at this! I bought my first chicks a year ago and I'm totally in love with my girls.  I want to add to the flock and get some diversity in breeds and eggs.  After asking for help in the forums - thanks everybody for your input - I've

bought an incubator and I'm ready to go!

 

BUT ...I have some more questions

 

How can I guarantee that my chicks will be hens?  When I buy eggs, can I specify hens eggs only, or is it all up to chance?  I am a rural setting - roosters are NOT allowed so I have to know that I'll be getting hens out of any purchases I make.  When I bought day old chicks last year I was told there was a 90% guarantee they'd be hens (and they all were).  How does that happen?

 

 

 

post #2 of 27

From the hatchery they can sex day old chicks.  It is a 50% chance you will get girls!    big_smile.png

                             *Pure English Orpington Breeder *

* Spangle/Mottle Orpingtons* *Partridge Orpingtons* Jubilee Orpingtons *Silver Laced Orpingtons *BBS Orpingtons * English Lavenders* *LF Chocolates* *Chocolate bantam* *Red Orpingtons*

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                             *Pure English Orpington Breeder *

* Spangle/Mottle Orpingtons* *Partridge Orpingtons* Jubilee Orpingtons *Silver Laced Orpingtons *BBS Orpingtons * English Lavenders* *LF Chocolates* *Chocolate bantam* *Red Orpingtons*

* Autumn Farm Orpingtons *

  

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post #3 of 27

No way at all to know which eggs have M or F dna. And like stated above, even from hatcheries it's not 100%. My BO rooster was supposed to be a hen. I figured it out when he started trying to crow... not to mention he was bigger than the other BO chicks. It's luck of the draw. You can always eat or sell the roosters once you find out that they are, in fact, roosters.

Chickens are like potato chips...
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Chickens are like potato chips...
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post #4 of 27

All hatching eggs are 50/50 males and female chick producers. As you may know, there are several breeds that are sex-linked and can be sexed based on color at the time of hatching. There is no way to choose the sex of the chicks you may hatch. Many folks favor old wives' tales regarding the shapes of eggs.....blah, blah, blah. Egg shape or color has nothing at all to do with the sex of the chick inside. Be sure you have a back-up plan for the roosters you will hatch.

I live with my partner and our daughter in the foothills of NC. We LOVE our critters!
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I live with my partner and our daughter in the foothills of NC. We LOVE our critters!
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post #5 of 27

Like said it's just a 50/50 chance thing.

 

 

But if you want to make it easy, best aim at hatching out breeds or even mutts with colors like barred, cuckoo, and crele. These are all colors you can sex upon hatch just by looking at the size of the blotch of yellow/white on their head. That way, you know just who you need to get rid of long before any actual "rooster signs" pop up. smile.png

 

And if you're okay with waiting a little longer, breeds and mutts with colors like Wheaten are also fairly easy to sex once the chick has feathered out at a few weeks old. Females are creamy light tan/brown/white, males are deep reddish and black.

Silver Laced Polish, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos
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Silver Laced Polish, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos
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post #6 of 27

Well..........you can not tell the gender of a chicken by looking at the egg. There is absolutely now way to guarantee a total hen hatch rate. About half of the chicks that you hatch in a batch will be roosters. It's the sad sad truth......th.gif

Therefore saying your chances of hatching hens will be fifty-fifty.

 

Now, buying all female chicks is a different story. Once chicks hatch in the hatchery, they are sent  to the sexers. The sexers are highly trained people that check the gender of the chick. They can tell by the pattern in length of the feather tips if it's a boy or a girl. They also sex them by literally squeezing the **** out of them, once the poop comes out, they quickly check the vent area and determine it's sex before it closes back up again. These methods originated in Japan, and only some of the old time Japanese people know how to do this properly. It takes lots of skill and highly trained eyes to look for the right things. Most of the hatcheries that use the squeezing method hire these Japanese people, since they are pretty much the only ones who know how to do it right. It takes years of experience, and they can still only guarantee 90%accuracy . Heres a great video that kinda helps explain the procces http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tmEO9xRqvo 

If the breed is a sex link, any person could tell by just the color of the chick weather it's male or female.but usually thats not the case. Once the chicks are sexed, they are shipped to feed stores where you can buy them, or you can order directly from the hatchery. Hope this helps

Chickens are very addicting  , everyone here is a chicken addict , people may look at you weird when you tell them, but its way better to be addicted to chickens then all the other stuff out there.............

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Chickens are very addicting  , everyone here is a chicken addict , people may look at you weird when you tell them, but its way better to be addicted to chickens then all the other stuff out there.............

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post #7 of 27

We have a Cuckoo Marans who at one day old had red on top of her head.... now its gone. She is so much bigger than all the other breeds, We're hoping she is a hen not a him / roo . What do you think? 

 

post #8 of 27

no guarantee with eggs. after they hach 2day old rub your finger on the belly near the back if there's a hard lump it a roster no lump it a hen.90% guarantee        

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbilly chick View Post

no guarantee with eggs. after they hach 2day old rub your finger on the belly near the back if there's a hard lump it a roster no lump it a hen.90% guarantee        



Sounds just as useful of a sexing method as dipping their feet in water and seeing who swims. I'm sorry but how is it a male chick, 2 days, is any different especially with a lump, than a hen? At such a young age their internal organs are practically just liquidy mush, besides, the genitalia of a chicken are very minute organs that even once fully mature you can't "feel." Sorry.

Silver Laced Polish, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos
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Silver Laced Polish, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos
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post #10 of 27

If you have heard of people buying "hen eggs", all that means is the eggs are from chickens, not from ducks or Ostriches.  The "hen" eggs are still going to be 50/50 chance on gender.

 

If you can't deal with rooster chicks, it is better not to hatch because you will get roosters when you hatch.

Exhibition quality Blue Swedish Ducks and Gray Saddleback Pomeranian Geese,   Hatching eggs available in late winter and spring. NPIP

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Exhibition quality Blue Swedish Ducks and Gray Saddleback Pomeranian Geese,   Hatching eggs available in late winter and spring. NPIP

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