Can you feather-sex silkies? Anyone tried?

Jilara

Songster
11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
163
3
119
Bay Area, CA
I've got three silkie chicks that I'm trying to feather-sex. I checked them at two and three days, and I swear I have two boys and a girl. At least the wing primaries look longer on one than on the other two. Has anyone even thought of trying feather-sexing? If you have, did they turn out the way you expected?

I'll report back when I have a more definitive idea, like when they're old enough to crow.
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But it's an interesting experiment, and I was wondering if silkies follow the pattern seen in some of the other chickens.
 

Smartie_Pants

Songster
11 Years
Oct 5, 2008
1,081
6
171
Madisonville, KY
I think, if I am remembering correctly, that for wing feather sexing to work, the lines have to be bred for feather sexing. So if the silkies weren't crossed a certain way to promote it, I don't think it will work.
 

RWeb

Hatching
10 Years
Oct 7, 2009
1
0
6
Silkies are hard to feather sex, I use to go by the development of the comb and wattles. Look for a more developed comb and larger wattles on the males. Its easier to feather sex them at about week two. For next time take note of which chicks start growing a tail first, these are normally the females, works for most breeds of poultry. The silkie boys will also have larger and brighter blue lobes than the girls. You could always post some pictures of your birds on this forum. http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/index.p… I find it always helps to get a few opinions from others who specialize in the breed.
 

mlm1965

In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 14, 2009
72
0
39
Maryville, TN
Mine started crowing at 17 weeks, It was funny at first. Now I cannot get him to hush. He crows when he is happy, and he crows when he is mad!
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walkswithdog

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 17, 2008
4,639
50
276
DC Region
No you can't feather sex silkies.

Like they said, sometimes the comb will help, and wattles and earlobes. But... lol not always.

Silkies are one breed - it either lays an egg or crows and then you're sure. I have five mystery chicks now at three months - for sure (lol probably) two girls, two boys and one .... REALLY unsure.

Did get a SPLENDID black male though - yay. One of the Blues is also better than the other three. Can't wait for them to finish growing out.

They're my next improvers for my Sizzle line, so I would have preferred fewer males but that's the breaks.
 

Jilara

Songster
11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
163
3
119
Bay Area, CA
They're still less than a week old, so it's wait and see time. They were hatched from eggs, and it's an adventure. Even playing "guess the color" is an adventure. I got four showgirls and three silkies, and a couple look like they're going to be gorgeous.
I think maybe a couple of the showgirls will be maybe lavenders. A couple of the silkies have a faint brownish cast. It's going to be interesting to see what we get!
 

RoyalPayne

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 27, 2012
52
10
31
I know you Ostend your question about feather sexing your silkies in 2008, and it's now 2016. I was wondering is your experiment panned out. We're the early tailed chicks female? Or did or matter? If you can, I'd appreciate any thing you can remember.
 

Butterflygirl50

Chirping
Jun 10, 2017
145
38
81
Abington, MA 02351
They're still less than a week old, so it's wait and see time. They were hatched from eggs, and it's an adventure. Even playing "guess the color" is an adventure. I got four showgirls and three silkies, and a couple look like they're going to be gorgeous.
I think maybe a couple of the showgirls will be maybe lavenders. A couple of the silkies have a faint brownish cast. It's going to be interesting to see what we get!
I love my Silkies.
 

Athena5

Hatching
May 2, 2021
1
0
1
I love my Silkies.
Mature adult Silkies are quite easy to sex. The rooster is much larger and heavier and has obviously big Comb and of course it crows every morning. The silikie hen is much smaller and lighter almost like only 1/3 the size and weight of a rooster and you can hardly see any comb and of course they lay eggs and become broody quite easily and never crow
 

MANNA-PRO

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