Comb Development and Secondary Sex Traits in babies?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PeiTheCelt, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. PeiTheCelt

    PeiTheCelt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 3, 2007
    Central NY
    Okay, I know that I'm asking a very broad and kind of vague question, so I'm really not looking for definite answers, just a sense of what other people have experienced.

    We have 16 chickies, 2 weeks old this weekend/next monday.

    About 5-6 of them *seem* to have combs that are already larger than the others, sticking up some beyond their feathers on top of their heads. A few of these also have some pink already starting in their combs (including my favorite for looks, who is a pretty stripey baby [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (actually, though I don't think there is any Phoenix in their blood lines anywhere, he looks exactly like the baby gold phoenix here: http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/CGP/Phoen/GoldPhoenBtyChik2day.JPEG))... Then there is my silly nosey body Vasco (named after Vasco De Gama the portuguese explorer, who was a bit of a monster to the SE Asians, but try to find an explorer that wasn't a monster to those they were "exploring" the lands of!) who has the mega-speedy feathering that is supposed to be more indicative of girls, s/he has a tail already!!! But s/he is another one of those who has a more pronounced comb already (though his personality is REALLY curious and brave, so I'm guessing it's 2:1 that he's a boy)...

    So, my question of the day is, is two weeks too early for secondary sex characteristics to be developing and I've just been reading too many posts over on the what gender/breed is this forum, ooooorr is two weeks about when you would start to see these changes happening between the boys and girls?
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2007
  2. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    LOL! That was me 5 mos ago!

    I think 2wks is usually too young.. at least for me. My group of girls has combs in all different sizes. Depending on the day, I thought that different ones might be boys. One of the ladies, Peggy the RIR, still had me guessing. Her comb is HUGE compared to the rest of my girls (20.5 wks), but she squatted for me yesterday, so clearly she's just a little.. um.. butch. I had 2 chicks who were SO bold, I thought they were boys. I had 2 chicks (different ones) who were quite aggressive, and would eat my hair whenever I held them. I thought THEY were boys.
    I had 2 that were so late feathering (and had no tails) that they looked kinda pathetic.
    I think it can be really hard to tell on the secondary characteristics. I'm sure there are plenty of experienced people who can tell with a glance.. I'm just not one of them. [​IMG]

    Maybe you could post some pics for people to guess at? We love that anyway!

    -Meghan
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2007
  3. PeiTheCelt

    PeiTheCelt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I might throw some pics down into the what breed/sex forum, but figured since I was mostly trying to figure out if I was losing my mind or not I'd stick this here without pics, and just see if it's just TOO EARLY to be seeing these things yet or not..

    *laughs*

    (I'm also trying to not fall in love with the ones who will eventually be soup, ya' know? [​IMG])
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It depends on the breed if 2 weeks is too early. I can usually pick out the boys in my leghorn group at 2 weeks old if not at the end of the first week!! Single comb production varieties are easiest t pick out while other comb types can leave you guessing for a month or two. It also helps to know your stock but since most people buy their chicks, it can be hard to determine. If they are pinking/redding any time under 8 weeks... it's going to be a boy!

    To be safest, make decisions at about 6-8 weeks old on who is who... unless of course you have silkies. [​IMG]
     
  5. PeiTheCelt

    PeiTheCelt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central NY
    Quote:*snort* Yeah, these kids are mutts, made up of Black Orp, New Hampshire Red, Jersey Giants, Speckled Sussex, Easter Egger and lord only knows what else.. So no easy breed based discussions from that! [​IMG] *laughs*
     
  6. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Leesville, SC
    I dunno... man, you lost me with that whole Vasco deGama rant.

    Not to be obtuse, but a few weeks here, a few weeks there - what difference? In due time, you'll know what you know - ya know?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2007
  7. Cheryl

    Cheryl Chillin' With My Peeps

    I too am wigging out on the sex of my 5 "female" chicks at almost 3 weeks.... Of 2 rir's one has a big comb on top of head and a very prounounced tail beginning, of the 3 wyandotte's, two have no comb, just flat and the third has a small comb!!! I definately cannot have roos, my very close neighbors would have a fit! Is it too soon to panic?!!!
     
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Better start sharpening the knife or looking for a home for them, Cheryl. I CAN'T have them, either, and have learned that it's better to start doing what you gotta do sooner, rather than later.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2007
  9. PeiTheCelt

    PeiTheCelt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sheesh, there you go being all logical and stuff.. [​IMG]

    I know, but I figure it's okay if I love the girls, but I need to keep some distance emotionally from the boys to make eating them later a little easier.. (I'm a softie, I admit it... [​IMG]).

    *grin* And I lose people with my rants regularly, it's sort of a thing.. *grin* Wheeee for tangents! [​IMG]
     
  10. PeiTheCelt

    PeiTheCelt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thankfully for me it's a little easier, we can keep roos (we have two already) but the goal is to not keep any from this round of chicks, to bring fresh male blood into the flock from our brahma roo. But I'm just trying to figure out if I can let myself think of them as pets, or if I need to name them things like "Cordon Bleu" and "Cacciatore" [​IMG]
     

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