can week old EE chicks be feather sexed?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tabithas, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. tabithas

    tabithas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2012
    Denver, Colorado
    Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but can one week old EE chicks be feather sexed? The reason I ask is, I have three one week old EE chicks and one barred rock chick. One of the EE's is much more bold than the others...it will run up to your hand and start pecking and scratching. It just acts a lot different than the other chicks who are much more flighty. I was looking them over yesterday, and I noticed the bold chicks wing feathers are quite a bit different than the other three chicks. Is there a chance this could be a rooster chick? I got them as sexed pullets, but I know that is not always acurate. Here are some pics for comparison.

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    This is the little chick in question

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    A close up of his/her wing feathers

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    The barred rock's wing feathers

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    the second EE's wing feathers

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    the third EE's wing feathers


    Am I just crazy, or does his/her feathers look totally different than the other three? What does this mean?
     
  2. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure you can feather sex EE. If you can a week is to late. If say after 3 days old it is to late.
     
  3. Stef82

    Stef82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't think EE's can be feather sexed in general. I know you can feather sex a certain meat bird.
     
  4. Panth

    Panth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2012
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    No...you can not feather-sex an EE, they typically do not have the gene for fast feather growth. And the blue EE's can be even harder to sex than regular "wildtype" however in my personal experience the vibrantly marked chicks have been cockerals and the smoother duller chicks have been pullets.
     
  5. tabithas

    tabithas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2012
    Denver, Colorado
    Thanks for the replies! I'm a newbie at this and thought all chicks could be feather sexed! I guess you learn something new every day! I was just thrown off by how much more bold this chick is than the others...guess only time will tell if its a boy or girl. I would be very bummed if it does turn out to be a rooster as we are not allowed to have roosters where we live, and I really like this chick!
     
  6. tabithas

    tabithas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2012
    Denver, Colorado
    Just wanted to post a quick update on the chick...I am almost 100% positive the chick with the short wing feathers and bold personality is a rooster! They are almost 8 weeks old now, and his comb is twice as big as the others and much redder. He continues to be bold and I have heard the most pathetic attempts at crowing coming from the garage on two different mornings. I will post updated pics soon. Not sure that the wing feathers on this guy were an indicator, but just some food for thought. I'm a bit disappointed that this guy has turned out to be a guy. We really like him and he is turning into a very pretty bird, but we are not allowed to have roosters. Unless he proves to be a quiet rooster or we have very forgiving neighbors, chances are this guy will be looking for a new home soon :(
     
  7. RoxyBird

    RoxyBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you post a picture of the bird from the side and from above? Do you see pointy/thin hackle/saddle feathers growing in? Are they rooster red?

    EE's have such a huge variation in genetics that I would not be very surprised or persuaded by a comb appearing to mature faster on one than another. I only have 2/4 with proper pea combs... one is much bigger (still a pullet) and another has a straight comb. 8 weeks is a little early for a *red* comb though...

    I thought I was great at chicken sexing until I had a (for "sure") Australorp "roo" who laid an egg... actually 6 eggs a week now. She doesn't attempt to crow anymore, but she does honk like a goose, and makes other extremely bizarre not-chicken-y noises. lol

    This one in particular looked very rooster-like in comparison to her hatch mates- feathered in like a rooster, grew like a rooster, had an earlier growing comb, etc.

    Anyway, I say don't give up hope until you see some definite saddle feathers!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. tabithas

    tabithas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2012
    Denver, Colorado
    Here are some pics of the chick in question and also of the other chicks we currently have for comparison. These were taken yesterday. They are around 8 weeks old now...I think...I've kind of lost track of time!

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    Top view of chick in question.

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    Side view of chick in question

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    This one is the same age. Pretty sure this one is a girl.

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    Third EE chick. Also pretty sure this one is a girl. She wouldn't cooperate with getting a picture from the front.

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    The lone barred rock chick. Sorry these aren't great pictures...they won't hold still!
     
  9. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I agree, the bird in question looks like a roo to me. Rest look like pullets.
     
  10. RoxyBird

    RoxyBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My guess (if I had to put money on it):

    She's a pullet from Cackle Hatchery, with a mixed comb-type (or just faster maturing than the others).

    Normally you can compare combs between birds of the same hatch and tell which are roos (in general)... but with EE's you have to keep in mind that there is no standard, and other breeds are bred in to increase laying capacity and health and all sorts of other things. So, genes for other comb types can be carried...

    I have 4 birds from Cackle and 3 different comb types- two grew in earlier than others (pea comb, straight comb, and a mixed "noodle" comb... best description). Two of mine had combs that were that pink color at that age (the straight comb and the noodle). Your girls have almost identical feather patterns/colors to mine- they are so pretty :)

    Have you heard more crowing?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013

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