Can I always trust the distinction in wing feathers to sex baby chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Flock Leader, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Flock Leader

    Flock Leader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2012
    Israel
    Hi all! I have a question. I have some mix-breed chicks who hatched in the 'bator a couple of days ago (all from one pair of parents). From day one, I was able to perceive a very decided difference in their wing feathers; about one half had just two identical short rows of wing feathers, and another half had one short row and one longer row; from what I know, the latter are supposed to be females. The question is, can I trust this method enough to give the supposedly-males away at this early stage? My goal is to place the males elsewhere as soon as possible, without having to feed them and clean up after them for many weeks, perhaps months, until I know who is who. Any thoughts?
     
  2. A good project would be to separate them immediately when you (think) can distinguish the markings as baby chicks. Raise them in two separate broods, then determine the validity of those markings for sexing at an older age, say 8 weeks or whatever.

    With you particular parents maybe there is a possibility. However I think it is FAR more difficult than we usually think. But you may be on to something.

    Wish ya the best.
     
  3. Island Chick

    Island Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2013
    Puget Sound
    I thought the same thing, one of the chicks who should have totally been a pullet ended up being a rooster so I wouldn't risk it. I marked my chicks with different colored mini zip ties so I knew exactly who was who from day one.
     
  4. Flock Leader

    Flock Leader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2012
    Israel
    Same thing happened to me on the previous batch (different parents though). I thought all I had left were pullets, but I also got one roo. But does it also work the other way around?.. Say, I thought it was a roo and it's a pullet? I guess it does... oh well... don't want to risk giving away the pullets! They aren't pure-breeds but I know they are going to be gorgeous because the Dad "throws" some really lovely lacing.
     

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