3 week old chicks, studying back feather growth in BO and EE

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by redapple, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. redapple

    redapple Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 29, 2016
    Yikes, been wondering for a week or so on my 4 chicks.
    Now it's becoming more obvious that 2 are different. I have 2 BO and 2 EE. One of each type has nice developed lower back strip of feathers (2 on right) and the other 2 do not (2 on left). Also different in upper middle back feathers, shoulders, and front lapel. maybe one looks more rumpled than the others as the feather growth patterns differ (BO on the blue towel). What does this make them- male or female?

    all had long feathers that covered their body length by d3-5 and tail feathers. (they do seem to hold their tail feathers differently- more folded and less folded). Legs similar, EE definitely have tear drop shape, BO a little harder to tell. One of each is def bigger than the other with slightly different comb development (week 1 for a BO). head shape- maybe size difference or more fluff.

    I think I will go with sex linked next time, this first timer is so nervous about getting a roo.[​IMG][​IMG]
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Feather sexing is completely innacurate unless you can absolutely certain the chick is offspring from a cross of fast feathering cock over slow feathering hen. I've seen a group of ten pullets exhibit ten different patterns of feather growth; it's almost never relevant to gender. At this age there's really no way to tell.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon

    Comb size and color is a much better indicator.

    I must say, that your EE's both are exhibiting early signs of the "female" pattern....gold hackles with brown partridge back...so that looks promising.

    Buff Orps can be more problematic...some pullets get spiky looking hackles, and the males often don't show secondary male feathers until later. The comb size should help.

    Right now, it is too early, but nobody is screaming roo at this point.

    And yes, sexlinks are the only way to know for certain that you've only got pullets.

  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    or you could buy laying hens or point of lay pullets - they cost more but, will be the sex you want
  5. redapple

    redapple Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 29, 2016
    Thanks. Backyard chickens.com is really a lot of fun to read and so many thoughts and ideas. Hours of fun, learning, then wondering if it's all going to go as planned. I'm 3 weeks in and many more hours and $$$.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by