I have Jearhons, Hambars, Crele Polish and Gold Cuckoo Marans. All auto sex. All fun, in different ways.
what is the best auto sexing breed? - Page 5
Curious, why not for food? Do these birds not produce a good edible meat or is it tough or you just saying that because of what you have to go through to produce them. I have been doing Hambars and thought that one of the reason for sexing was to know what you had in order to keep or eat?
Lots of great ideas on autosexing breeds already posted. I went with Cream Legbars, myself.
Also note, though not traditionally considered autosexing, I hatched a batch of Welsummers and this particular line was readily autosexing at hatch. Apparently it varies between line so you would have to ask the breeder if their line is. Since you said you were interested in bantams you could check in to Welsummer bantams and see how readily sexable they were at hatch.
In case there are skeptics out there, here are the girls--see the distinct V and dark brown dorsal stripe, and the contrasting chipmunk stripes?
And here are their brother hatch-mates--Notice how they are a little more pale, the V is not very distinct, and that brown stripe sort of fades over the back of the neck?
Edited by dretd - 4/20/15 at 1:39pm
Personally I couldn't care less for auto sexing breeds, they have obvious merits for commercial hatcheries, but for small flock owner I can not name one reason to keep auto sexing breed besides curiosity. Unless you are going to kill males at birth, or amuse yourself at day 1 what difference does it make knowing sex at day one as oppose week three or four?
But I do not kill males at day 1, I rather wait until week 12 or more and then I eat extra ones which are always delicious.
Sometimes it is more cost effective to harvest day olds for reptile food and only raise the pullets of some breeds. Often the best layers have roosters that don't convert feed efficiently. Autosexing could be used as a sign of purity in these days of hatchery birds, homogenized and tweaked for color and then passed off as breeds.
Why this small flock owner has auto-sexing breed: know how many chickens need to be culled to keep hen/roo ratios at an optimal, and also know in advance, how much chicken will be in the freezer - if productivity is low or predation was high, for example, may incubate more eggs for next season. One would know months in advance how many layers and roasters they'd have.
If we didn't have auto-sexing, and we don't want to try to sex day-old chicks, we may not know for 4-6mths how many layers/roasters we'll have only to be possibly disappointed, for example, if we only had 1 layer out of 7 hatches.
Edited by Eggscoozme - 12/28/15 at 1:42pm
Maybe it is just that I name them on day 1 but
For this small flock I would like it ... Liking auto sexing depends on a few ifs.
If no one felt broody and
If weather permits it and
If you have a largish area where chicks can range safely in little tractors and
If you use short periods of time when food is provided (20 minutes several times a day in order to avoid feeding field rats), and
If you eat males,
Then you can raise them separately and feed males and females differently. Because heavy males are sometimes hard on the girls you can pick a few males to run with the girls so they end up as lighter and more agile breeders. The rest of the boys can get more food.
All of this assumes that they do eat the food you put out rather than preferring the bugs and greens. Some of them will probably not read the manual.