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how do you tell if a baby chick is a boy or girl?

post #1 of 16
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how do you tell if a baby chick is a boy or girl?

last week we went and bought 5 buff orphingtons i asked for 1 male=cockerel and 4 female=pullets, the man said ok, no ploblem and he grabbed them, put them in a paper sack and asked us if we knew witch was male or female. we said no and he pointed out that one has tail feathers and the other has a smooth butt. so i'm quessing and hoping that the girls have tail feathers and the boys don't because we have 4 with tail feathers and 1 with a smooth butt. if i can include pics i will and also i will write again when they grow up to verify for sure

4 horses: Arabian (Polish), Arabian, BLM, Paint thbrd 1/4, 2 dogs: 1 terrior mix, 1 blue nose bull with gotti line, 1 cat: caleco, 7 koi fish, chickens: 11 bramma's, 10 rhode island reds, 4 white leghorns, 5 buff orpington's, 1 black Minorca, 1 duckwing, 1 brown leghorn, 1 (possibly) polish, 1 grey bantom. guinea's: 6 white, 5 pearl grey, 5 lavender. turkeys: 4 blue slate, 4 royal palm.

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4 horses: Arabian (Polish), Arabian, BLM, Paint thbrd 1/4, 2 dogs: 1 terrior mix, 1 blue nose bull with gotti line, 1 cat: caleco, 7 koi fish, chickens: 11 bramma's, 10 rhode island reds, 4 white leghorns, 5 buff orpington's, 1 black Minorca, 1 duckwing, 1 brown leghorn, 1 (possibly) polish, 1 grey bantom. guinea's: 6 white, 5 pearl grey, 5 lavender. turkeys: 4 blue slate, 4 royal palm.

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post #2 of 16
Paper sack...really?
It's true for many breeds that the pullets feather out faster than the cockerals. But you really don't know for sure until they are about 12 weeks old, faster with some other breeds. St. Run means 50/50, going by the tail feathering is around 60/40 I have found.
I hope he guessed right though.
Father to 2 French Black Copper Marans, 2 Lavender Orpingtons, 1 Lemon Cuckoo Orpington, 1 Red Sussex, 1 Coronation Sussex, 1 Silver Sussex, 1 Double Laced Barnevelder, and 5 Silkies including Featherbottom, the BEST CHICKEN EVAR!!!!
Featherbottom conquers all!
...I only had 6 chickens last year...what happened?
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Father to 2 French Black Copper Marans, 2 Lavender Orpingtons, 1 Lemon Cuckoo Orpington, 1 Red Sussex, 1 Coronation Sussex, 1 Silver Sussex, 1 Double Laced Barnevelder, and 5 Silkies including Featherbottom, the BEST CHICKEN EVAR!!!!
Featherbottom conquers all!
...I only had 6 chickens last year...what happened?
Reply
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

thanks for the info

4 horses: Arabian (Polish), Arabian, BLM, Paint thbrd 1/4, 2 dogs: 1 terrior mix, 1 blue nose bull with gotti line, 1 cat: caleco, 7 koi fish, chickens: 11 bramma's, 10 rhode island reds, 4 white leghorns, 5 buff orpington's, 1 black Minorca, 1 duckwing, 1 brown leghorn, 1 (possibly) polish, 1 grey bantom. guinea's: 6 white, 5 pearl grey, 5 lavender. turkeys: 4 blue slate, 4 royal palm.

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4 horses: Arabian (Polish), Arabian, BLM, Paint thbrd 1/4, 2 dogs: 1 terrior mix, 1 blue nose bull with gotti line, 1 cat: caleco, 7 koi fish, chickens: 11 bramma's, 10 rhode island reds, 4 white leghorns, 5 buff orpington's, 1 black Minorca, 1 duckwing, 1 brown leghorn, 1 (possibly) polish, 1 grey bantom. guinea's: 6 white, 5 pearl grey, 5 lavender. turkeys: 4 blue slate, 4 royal palm.

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post #4 of 16

Wow a paper sack?   May I ask where you bought the chicks?  I hope he was correct.  In the top image the chick looks bigger as in older than the bottom image which would be why you see the tail feathers growing. It's very hard to sex some pure breeds. An orpington is one which is harder to sex. 

 

 

Another route to go is with sex linked chickens which are crosses between certain breeds.  I have four red sex links and they have already started laying 14 weeks of age. Normally a sex link chicken will start laying sooner than pure breeds too!

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- New for 2013 - Breeding Icelandic Chickens -

 

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post #5 of 16

I hope you lucked out and this guy has slow-feathering males!  But when you say he put them in a paper sack, well, let's just say that it's not a promising sign of expertise.
 

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

yes, an ordinary paper sack, like you get at most any grocery store.

700

i purchased them at a place called " farmers feed " it's on the outskirts of gilroy, California.they are the same age/size i may have zommed in more on one. here's a pic of all 5 of them

700

i have bought from them several times and i am very happy with there service. the purchase i made last feb was for rhode island reds in witch i requested one cockeral and five pullets and thats what they grew up to be so i believe the guy knows what he's talking about, here's a pic.

700

4 horses: Arabian (Polish), Arabian, BLM, Paint thbrd 1/4, 2 dogs: 1 terrior mix, 1 blue nose bull with gotti line, 1 cat: caleco, 7 koi fish, chickens: 11 bramma's, 10 rhode island reds, 4 white leghorns, 5 buff orpington's, 1 black Minorca, 1 duckwing, 1 brown leghorn, 1 (possibly) polish, 1 grey bantom. guinea's: 6 white, 5 pearl grey, 5 lavender. turkeys: 4 blue slate, 4 royal palm.

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4 horses: Arabian (Polish), Arabian, BLM, Paint thbrd 1/4, 2 dogs: 1 terrior mix, 1 blue nose bull with gotti line, 1 cat: caleco, 7 koi fish, chickens: 11 bramma's, 10 rhode island reds, 4 white leghorns, 5 buff orpington's, 1 black Minorca, 1 duckwing, 1 brown leghorn, 1 (possibly) polish, 1 grey bantom. guinea's: 6 white, 5 pearl grey, 5 lavender. turkeys: 4 blue slate, 4 royal palm.

Reply
post #7 of 16
Yet the caveat to sex-linked hybrids compared to heritage breeds, egg laying problems occur more often, and the don't lay much at 2-3 years old.
Different strokes for different folks.
Father to 2 French Black Copper Marans, 2 Lavender Orpingtons, 1 Lemon Cuckoo Orpington, 1 Red Sussex, 1 Coronation Sussex, 1 Silver Sussex, 1 Double Laced Barnevelder, and 5 Silkies including Featherbottom, the BEST CHICKEN EVAR!!!!
Featherbottom conquers all!
...I only had 6 chickens last year...what happened?
Reply
Father to 2 French Black Copper Marans, 2 Lavender Orpingtons, 1 Lemon Cuckoo Orpington, 1 Red Sussex, 1 Coronation Sussex, 1 Silver Sussex, 1 Double Laced Barnevelder, and 5 Silkies including Featherbottom, the BEST CHICKEN EVAR!!!!
Featherbottom conquers all!
...I only had 6 chickens last year...what happened?
Reply
post #8 of 16

Wow a paper bag, thats different sad.png...... Just echoing the other posts, its gonna be harder to sex at this age. Maybe wait awhile and take new pics to add..

narragansett, black Spanish and Blue slate turkeys. EE's, d'uccle mille fleur ,newhampshire, RIR, buff brahma, golden sebrite,  welsummer,  pheonix, dark brahma, Black Australorp, black langshan, buff rock, silver laced wyandotte,, Black cochin, Polish, lots of OEGB, all colors of silkies. Pearl grey guinea fowl.

Coexist!! Blessed Be friends of the Goddess, earth and life!

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narragansett, black Spanish and Blue slate turkeys. EE's, d'uccle mille fleur ,newhampshire, RIR, buff brahma, golden sebrite,  welsummer,  pheonix, dark brahma, Black Australorp, black langshan, buff rock, silver laced wyandotte,, Black cochin, Polish, lots of OEGB, all colors of silkies. Pearl grey guinea fowl.

Coexist!! Blessed Be friends of the Goddess, earth and life!

Reply
post #9 of 16

Has anyone had success with chicks and the trick where you startle them with a loud noise...like dropping a shoe on the floor or suddenly coughing loudly....supposedly the girls will freeze and hunker down, and the boys will stand straight up and look around?  (I don't know how old they have to be for this to work)

 

I tried it a few time with my chicks when they were about 1-month old and all of them dropped to the ground....and I think they are all pullets...so it worked for me...but I only have a sample size of 4 birds. smile.png


Edited by jewel1 - 8/15/12 at 1:25pm
post #10 of 16

So, really, you're saying that you believe chicks can be sexed from a very young age based on how fast their feathers grow?  Sometimes that's true.  Some folks breed birds with the intent of being able to feather sex by growth pattern.  But the typical breeder/hatchery does not and the trick won't work on chicks that weren't bred for feather sexing.  It's simply not a universal truth that males feather slowly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jewel1 View Post

Has anyone had success with chicks and the trick where you startle them with a loud noise...like dropping a shoe on the floor or suddenly coughing loudly....supposedly the girls will freeze and hunker down, and the boys will stand straight up and look around?  (I don't know how old they have to be for this to work)

 

I tried it a few time with my chicks when they were about 1-month old and all of them dropped to the ground....and I think they are all pullets...so it worked for me...but I only have a sample size of 4 birds. smile.png


I had 10 chicks in the brooder and when the dog would come around, the one cockerel chick would hide under the nearest pullet.  The chick most likely to stick her neck out was the alpha of the group.  So, gender meant nothing behavior-wise until sexual maturity in my small sample group. 

 

Like so many of these supposed gender tests, I think it's approximately 50% accurate.  ;-)

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