OK, so as I think I've shared before, on an impulse, I got 5 Speckled Sussex chicks at the feed store 4 weeks ago. Shouldn't have, but I did, and they're my responsibility to manage now... My intention is to NOT name them, have the pullets as layers for a little while, and then play it from ear from there - if they turn out big enough, I may cross into the NN line. If not, either cull or turn loose and see how well they do as a more free ranging low management group. Cockerels will be eaten.
I have NO idea of their sex. The Cream Legbars I have are auto sexing, and the Naked Necks, while not auto sexing, were pretty easy to sex very early (2-3 weeks) for the vast majority of them (and once Kev shared some coloring tips regarding male vs. female, it was even easier). The New Hampshires have lagged, but I am certain about the sex of them now at 9 weeks (which to me seems late, as I am comparing to the NNs and Cream Legbars).
I just looked up the Specked Sussex "What sex is my chick" threads - I had no idea what sort of drama was involved in waiting to see the gender of these (or some of the other common breeds) for SOOOOOO long - including just waiting to get an an egg!!! I guess I'm just spoiled.
Sooooo, that brings me to my point - that the ability to sex chicks early (either at hatch or early in life) is a production-related characteristic, depending on your management style. I have rather stridently made this point over on the Cream Legbar thread, because the breed was actually developed primarily as an auto sexing breed, yet some breeders/lines are now selecting for subtle pretty feather characteristics to the detriment of auto sexing (and not taking care of the whole package, coloring AND auto sexing, when making their breeding decisions). This is alarming in a new-ish breed where a characteristic like good auto sexing can be lost so quickly. I may have made myself a little bit irritating about it...
What are everyone's thoughts about this?
- Ant Farm
edit to add: I don't think Cream Legbars will win any productivity awards any time soon, I just mean the general concept...
Edited by Fire Ant Farm - 11/11/15 at 8:29pm