Are some breeds easier to sex than others?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by krista74, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are always some breeds that I can't determine pullet from cockerel, even at two months old. I put this down to my lack of experience with the breed, and with chickens in general.

    However, I have now had 3 batches of chicks which were all BO Rooster x RIR Hen, and I swear that from about a week onwards it was really evident to me which ones were male and which ones were female.

    The boys have always stood differently from the girls - even at a week old - they were very upright, whereas the girls were more 'squat' in appearance. The combs were another firm indicator - from about a week of age the males had a very yellow comb (which later progressed to pink) and the females had virtually no comb to speak of, or if they did it was much paler than their counterparts.

    As the birds aged, my 'guesses' were always right. I currently have some 8 week old chicks, and the males have about 4mm of red comb, the females about 2mm of pale yellow.

    I guess my question is: Are these breeds just easier than others to sex? Or is it simply easier for me because I know their parent's behaviour so well and now see it play out in their chicks?

    I have only been in the chicken game for 9 months so I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just curious because so often we read posts about "6 weeks is too early to tell, come back at 2 months..." whereas my chicks have always been glaringly obvious to tell apart much earlier than that. For me at least, lol.

    Any comments welcome [​IMG]

    - Krista
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Some breeds are definitely easier to sex than other breeds. Some breeds like Silkies and Sebrights are very difficult to sex when they are young. In other breeds like Bielefelders, Legbars, and Rhodebars, the gender can be easily determined by color at hatching. This is known as auto-sexing. Some hybrids like Black Sex Links and Red Sex Links can also be auto-sexed.
     
  3. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's so funny, I had to pause to make sure I wasn't reading my own thread...

    I also have RIRxBO chicks, which are now 4 weeks old. But I feel as if I've know the sex since week one or two. The combs definitely are different size and color, the wing/tail feathers are longer on the females, and the males have waddles developing. Of course, the friendliest one of all that always wants held turns out to be a roo.
     
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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  6. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lol, ain't that the truth!

    And since I've had unseasonably hot weather here for Spring (100F being quite common) I've managed to hatch myself 6 cockerels out of 8 chicks. Grrrr! I was hoping to increase my numbers!

    You're the first person I've read about who has the same cross as me. Was your roo the BO or the RIR?

    And what did your chicks end up looking like?

    Mine all have a strong resemblance to their Daddy, the BO. They all have that buff colouring, and none look like a RIR at all. Not a single feature so far!

    - Krista
     
  7. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know why the cross seems so uncommon, because they are the most common breeds here in the US I think.

    I hatched four crosses, half cockerels I'm sure. The dad was the RIR, and the chicks are mostly yellow with some brown on their neck (see avatar) and wings. But one pullet is all yellow, lighter than the others, but not probably as light as a BO. They are all getting a little yellower every day though I think. I'll try and get some updated pics when it warms up and I can uncover their new brooder.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  8. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That would be really cool to see, especially since I have the opposite with the BO being the Daddy.

    I must get hubby to take some snaps of ours for me, then I can post them up for you to see too, and we can compare how they look.

    I have some that are 8 weeks old and some that are about 3 weeks old as well.

    - Krista
     
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    I agree partly. Silkies are one of the hardest breeds to sex. However, I've found that sebrights are fairly easy. I've raised three of them and have always been able to tell their sex quickly.
     
  10. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    "Sweety" - super friendly cockerel
    [​IMG]
    Cockerel, pullet, pullet...these are the three I intend to keep around
    [​IMG]
    3 cockerels are in center
    [​IMG]
    Note how the speckles on the wings of the RIR are exhibited similarly in crosses, as well as dark triangle between shoulders
    [​IMG]
    "Peepers" - my super friendly pullet, and also the lightest colored

    These are 4wk old RIRxBO crosses, along with a plain RIR for comparison. The roosters are easy to identify, having red, raised combs, and waddles. I let them out to play today for about an hour and the chest thumping between the cockerels has begun in earnest as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014

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