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BR chick head spots

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by jossanne, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    I got 14 BR packing peanuts this morning, and I'm thrilled about it. I know packing peanuts are supposed to be males, but it would be okay with me if they made a mistake or two...

    So I have a question about head spots.

    How accurate is it judging gender by size and shape of their head spots? Some of them have huge spots (like stripes across their heads), some have almost none.

    Is it greater than 50/50 chances that head spots tell you the gender?

  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    It's fairly accurate, but isn't the only sexing tool to use. You must take a couple of traits in combination, the down color and the headspot. Read the doc below and it will explain it.

    Historical Document
    Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station


    It had long been recognized that the size of the light head
    spots in Barred Plymouth Rocks varied in the two sexes. The
    males tend to have larger headspots and the females to have
    darker colored legs. However, this method has not been sufficiently
    accurate to be of much commercial value.
    Quinn and Knox (1939) attempted to separate the sexes of
    Barred Plymouth Rocks by means of the intensity of the black
    pigment in the down and legs. In different lots of chicks they
    report 83.5, 86.1 and 91.8 percent accuracy.
    Jerome (1939) describes a method of sex identification in
    Barred Plymouth Rocks based upon the regularity of the outline
    of the head spot rather than the size of the spot. Those chicks
    having headspots irregular in outline and scattered in appearance
    are males while the females tend to have headspots with
    more regular outlines. The author claimed an accuracy of 90
    percent or better when considering only the headspot and 95
    percent if the color of the legs was included in the consideration.
    The Canadian Department of Agriculture (Anonymous 1941)
    issues an excellently illustrated bulletin describing the method.
    It is stated in the bulletin that the method “is widely practiced
    in Barred Rock chicks by commercial chick sexers.” Sex identification
    is based upon outline of head spot, color of legs and
    shade of down color. There are several types of male and female
    head spots some of which are shown in Figure 1.​
  3. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Excellent information, thank you! Examining down, legs and spots now...

    Here's a picture you can kind of see the differences in the babies' spots. There are ten cochin bantams in the box with them.

    *edited to add pic*
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  4. mikarod

    mikarod Songster

    Sep 28, 2008
    Wouldn't it be funny if they gave you all male sex-links...LOL

    Male (black) sex-links all have the white spot on their heads.
  5. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    LOL I didn't even think about that! Hmmmmm after all this wondering and thinking and trying to judge their cute little legs, heads and fluffs.....

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