Can someone help me understand hackle feathers and saddle feathers??

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by PunkinPeep, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,642
    19
    229
    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I'm posting in this section because this is where it always comes up - telling girls from boys. Please forgive me if i should've posted elsewhere.

    I simply can't figure out where exactly the hackle feathers and saddle feathers are, and i can't find any pointy feathers on my cockerels.

    My rir cockerels are 13 weeks old. Is it because they won't have pointy ones yet?

    When do they get pointy feathers?

    Any help, pictures, details explanations, diagrams, lectures, anything, please, would be very helpful for my understanding.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    [​IMG]

    Hackle feathers are the pointy neck feathers, Saddle feathers are the feathers towards the rear that turn downwards toward their bumm.
     
  3. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,642
    19
    229
    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    What makes them pointy? I couldn't find any pointy ones.
     
  4. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Hackles are right around the neck if you see roosters going to fight they puff them up. Saddle feathers are the weird dangling feathers by the tail.
     
  5. Laney

    Laney Chillin' With My Peeps

    787
    1
    141
    Mar 25, 2009
    Spring Hope, NC
    They aren't extremely pointy. However, when compared to a hen, you can see the difference between the rounded bottom of a Hen's hackle (lower neck/shoulder) and a Roosters. A Hen's will be rounded like the end of a Spoon. In a hen with a multi-colored feather you won't always notice it as rounded until you lift one feather off another and look at it with your finger under it for background. (Such as in a laced breed)

    The Rooster will have a pointed feather, it will be thinner than a hens and come to a slight point at the end instead of a rounded end like a spoon. So if you lift the feather up and see a point instead of a completely rounded feather, you have a rooster. Sometimes you can't tell if there is a pattern on the feathers, or with them laying against each other.

    Laney
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,642
    19
    229
    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    O.k. i think i'm understanding.

    My rir cockerels are 13 weeks, and the pullets are 10 weeks. Do you think i should be able to tell the difference from their hackle feathers by now? Or am i jumping the gun?
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It's a bit young, give them a few more weeks and the first ones on the roo's will start emerging.
     
  8. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here is a pretty decent diagram in the BYC Learning Center. Keep in mind, different breeds can easily be pretty different than this. It's just a general diagram. Got into a wrangle with someone who swore that a EE we saw couldn't be a roo because he had tiny little wattles and a small comb, even though he clearly had rooster sickles and hackle feathers. LOL There's some breeds I just stare at because I can't quite figure out all the oddities, still this is a good diagram.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/LC-anatomy.html
     
    2 people like this.
  9. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    11,005
    443
    328
    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    I found this on the net. and it might help...
    [​IMG]

    I believe that the 'pointy' feathers of the hackle and saddle is produced by a male hormone. Some times in breeds like the Campines, Hamburghs, Sebrights, and Henny Game the roosters can have a Hf
    (Henny Feathering) gene but RIR's shouldn't have it..
    Sometimes it takes a little longer to tell.. I know my RIR's are close to 3 1/2 months old till I can tell for shore. ( The line of RIR's I have mature real slow)...

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
    3 people like this.
  10. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,642
    19
    229
    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I think that helps. My rir boys matured REALLY fast, and i know they're male. But i want to use them to help me familiarize myself so i can be more knowledgeable in recognizing traits in breeds that aren't so obvious.

    Thanks for all your help and diagram and explanations! I really really appreciate you lending me your knowledge!
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by