Sexing Birds: Crests

By skullgrrrl · Nov 14, 2018 ·
  1. skullgrrrl
    Here’s a follow up to my article “Pullet or Cockerel? Understanding Sexual Dimorphism Will Help You To Figure It Out”.

    Sexual dimorphism is the differences in appearance between males and females of the same species (i.e. combs, size, colour, etc). Knowing what those differences are will help you sex your birds.

    After I posted that piece someone asked if this works for crests as well. And the answer is: yes.

    I have had many crested birds, mostly crosses derived from Polish, Appenzeller Spitzhauben, Houdan, Silkie, Cream Legbar and Icelandic. Each breed has different crests.

    In this piece I want to show you how to sex Polish birds by looking at their crests. Hens will have symmetrical, rounded crests while roosters are a bit more wild, with streamers (thin wispy feathers). Think of a bowl haircut vs a Rod Stewart do.

    Here is Corazon: she is mostly Appenzeller Spitzhauben, which have vertical crests, but she’s clearly inherited her crest from her Polish ancestors.
    45801275_358337681398665_6941247000985731072_n.jpg 45809660_358337728065327_3083342049542406144_n.jpg 45931651_358337744731992_7429581814718529536_n.jpg

    Her great-great granddad. El Jefe, is a purebred Silver Laced Polish and the foundation of my Polish birds. Her dad, Simon, is ¾ Appenzeller Spitzhauben and ¼ SL Polish. Notice their uneven feathers and streamers?

    46091583_358337774731989_5679220957554671616_n.jpg 45800530_358337781398655_3157259695131983872_n.jpg 45734212_358337904731976_9109795243074519040_n.jpg
    So next time you’re looking at a Polish bird study their crest for clues as to whether they are a pullet or cockerel.

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    About Author

    I live on a small Gulf Island in the Pacific Northwest off the the coast of British Columbia.

    I've kept chickens for the last 9 years and although I have some purebreds I love to breed crosses that look interesting (i.e. crests, muffs, beards, frizzles, patterned, spangled, etc) and also lay coloured eggs.
    chickengr likes this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. ronott1
    "Good Article"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jan 14, 2019
    Helpful for figuring out gender but not super accurate
  2. Anonymous
    "Interesting read."
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Dec 1, 2018
    Enjoyed the read on crests. Whilst yes they can sometimes be an indication it’s not a 100% accurate way to sex the birds.


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