Accuracy of sexing chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by copiahdad, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. copiahdad

    copiahdad New Egg

    Apr 2, 2011
    Ok, new to raising chickens. We live in the city limits and city regulations say we can't have roosters. We bought 9 pullets from two different local feed stores and after 6 months months of raising them, we've had to find homes for 3 of the 9 pullets because 3 of the pullets mysteriously morphed into roosters. : ) Is a 30% accuracy normal in sexing chicks? After raising these chickens for 6 months, we hated to have to give them now we are down to 6 hens. How do you know when you buy a pullet that you in fact get a hen?
  2. greenegglover

    greenegglover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2009
    If you bought from a feed store someone picked up some from a straight run and placed in the pullet bin...or they unpacked them that way...the wrong way!

    My neighbor and I ordered 150 pullet 2yrs ago and received 150 pullets [​IMG]

    Ive heard it 90-95 accurate... direct from hatchery

    Feed store: ?? I think you get what u get.

    PS: I did buy 6 from a feed store ... got all pullets....but got a leghorn instead of a white rock...oops [​IMG]
  3. navasima

    navasima Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    New Mexico
    First: [​IMG]

    I'm a newbie myself and this site has been invaluable!!

    Unfortunately - most feed stores get their chicks from hatcheries - most of which claim 90-95% accuracy. How do you know for sure pullet or cockeral? Alot depends on the breed - some are more difficult than others to sex at a young age. You'll hear quite often that you'll know for sure when they crow or lay an egg. [​IMG]

    What breeds were you told you got?
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    There is a lot of potential for mix-ups in a feed store, so getting them from one often seems to be the equivalent of ordering straight run from a hatchery. Most hatcheries boast 90% sexing accuracy.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] Glad you joined us! [​IMG]

    There are several different ways to sex chicks. The basic ones based on genetics are the red sex links, black sex links, and feather sexing. These will work real well if the parents are set up right and the person sexing the chicks know what they are doing. Some breeds, like the Barred Rock, can sort of be sexed based on differences in the chicks when they hatch. This is less certain, but you can get some real good clues if they are purebred barred rocks, for example.

    Then you have the vent sexing. This is where someone very well trained looks inside the vent and determines sex. This method is not totally foolproof and depends a lot on how good the person that does the sexing is. This is the one they guarantee 90% accuracy, which to me means they are probably a little better than 90%. This method is only used on full sized breeds. They won't even try it on bantams. It is not that easy.

    Your best bet to get pullets is to buy the sex links if you buy baby chicks. From a feed store it gets a little more difficult because of all the possibilities for mix-ups others have mentioned. It is usually not the hatchery that has the problems. They do chickens as a main business. Many feed stores do not have people that well trained in chickens. As in many other things, if you don't know what you are doing, you can make a mistake.

    Another method is to get POL (Point Of Lay) pullets. These are chickens about 16 week sold. By then, you should be able to tell which are pullets and which are roosters. The possible downside to this is that it is easier to bring a disease into your flock. The hatchery chicks are real safe relative to disease, but older chickens are a little more likely to carry diseases. People add older chickens to their flocks all the time and usually don't have a problem. But there are times that flocks are wiped out. If you go this route, check out how to quarantine.

    Hope this helps a bit. Good luck and once again, [​IMG]
  6. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    I agree with the others on this thread that have said there can be a lot more mix ups in a feed store than from a hatchery. If you are looking to get more pullets, I would order sexed chicks from a hatchery. [​IMG]
  7. copiahdad

    copiahdad New Egg

    Apr 2, 2011
    Ok. That makes sense. As many people that I saw in there picking up chicks, I can understand the mix-ups. Didn't think about that. This is what we thought we were getting and what we actually got:

    4 Buff Orpington hens - all ended up being Buff Orpington but 1 was actually a rooster
    2 Rhode Island Reds hen - both ended up being Rhode Island Reds but 1 was actually a rooster
    1 Brahma hen - ended up being a Brahma but is a a Bantam instead of full size
    1 Silver Laced Wyandotte hen - ended up being a Barnevelder rooster
    1 Ameraucana hen - seems to be a Ameraucana hen but not sure until I see her eggs I guess

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