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Determining the Gender of Teenage Silkies

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Lynzi777, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Lynzi777

    Lynzi777 Overrun With Chickens

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    When raising silkie chicks, I understand that it very difficult to sex them until they either start crowing or one lays an egg. However, I've been able to distinguish who was starting to look like a cockerel early on in the past with my first batch of silkies and was wondering if anyone else has ever witnessed this as well. I hatched 5 silkie chicks this summer, 3 of which I kept. they were two splash silkies and a blue. The two splash hatched June 14th so they will be 13wks this coming Friday and the blue hatched July 6th. I've been waiting for these splash silkies to grow out because if I have at least one pullet I intend to keep it for breeding purposes. In the last two weeks they have been developing nice looking crest feathers, tail feathers, etc. However, when I took them out of the coop one day to get a closer look to see if there was any comb development, I noticed one had some teeny tiny red wattles. I took the other one and I saw nothing. Earlier this week I took them out again, one still have the red looking wattles and the other didn't quite have wattles, but had a reddish color where the wattles (if any were to come in) would be. Is this an indicator that these two are in fact cockerels? I've looked at my other silkie hens and they have no wattles whatsoever. So I'm assuming that if a silkie chick were to be a pullet, then there would be no sign of wattles at all. Thoughts??
     
  2. Lynzi777

    Lynzi777 Overrun With Chickens

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    Ok since no replies have come in, I'll post a picture to show what is it I'm talking about. This is one of my splash silkie chicks that hatched June 15. It won't be 20wks until November 2nd. A couple of weeks ago I noticed it began to develop teeny tiny maroon wattles. I took a recent pic because they are much more clear to the eye now that they hang down a tiny bit.

    [​IMG]

    This chick is 16wks old and is looking more and more like a cockerel to me as each week passes, but weeks ago I was unsure. It did not have this type of feathered crest yet, all I saw was reddish/maroon spots under the sides of it's beak. Which is why I thought for sure it was a cockerel.
     
  3. mamaj323

    mamaj323 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't really help with your question, but you might consider posting this in the Breed and Gender forum. They will probably give you some more answers. And your chick is super cute!
     
  4. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    I raise silkies myself and id say cockeral could be wrong but looks like he's already getting his "streamers" on his head. This is a male trait. Silkies can be sneakey though but id almost bet money its a male
     
  5. Lynzi777

    Lynzi777 Overrun With Chickens

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    That's what I'm thinking too, however I gave my silkie hen a bath today and when I had her wrapped up in the towel with her head sticking out I noticed the same little tiny wattles on her as well. So I guess hens do have them as well. I just couldn't see them (nor did I ever really look for them on her that well) under her beard. LOL Guess I just proved my theory wrong as far as the wattles go. But I do think this one is a cockerel because of the streamers like you say.
     
  6. Lynzi777

    Lynzi777 Overrun With Chickens

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    I posted this question here because its just a thought I had while raising silkies as chicks and was curious as to whether or not anyone ever came across the same assumption. I'm not asking about this chick specifically, but more in general with all Silkie chicks. Is this something that can be used as an identifier for young cockerels?
     
  7. mamaj323

    mamaj323 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup! :) there seem to be a lot of people there with a lot of experience that can tell from a photo based on feathering, combs, stance, etc. Just thought I'd suggest it if no one replied here and give your post a bump at the same time. ;)
     
  8. Lynzi777

    Lynzi777 Overrun With Chickens

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    LOL thanks! I've posted things in the "Silkie" thread or others like but they just get ignored half the time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  9. Three Silkies

    Three Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi. I had three 4 week old silkie "hens". One of them turned into a roo at two months and then another turned at about six months. They ALL had wattles. I kept the rooster long enough to fertilise some eggs so now I have the mama hen and her six 6-week-old chicks. I think the streamers are a pretty good way of telling a cockerel. Having said that I've got absolutely no idea what my chicks are (though I have a terrifying suspicion I might have five roos)! My neighbours will shoot me!
     
  10. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Hi to answer your question id say don't go by the waddles go by the shape of the crest. My girls all have tiny waddles. Even the bearded .but the crest is a dead give away. Male crests look more swooped back while female crests are more rounded like a pom pom. Look from the side view and as young as 8 weeks you can see this difference. Although
    males can have a rounded appearance from the front or back view when looking from a side view you can usually see a swooped back crest. We call it the "Elvis" look. Where as compared to the females side view she will look very round in the crest very early in age. This method has worked very well for me. However they must be at least 8 weeks old to determine this trait. At around 8 weeks you can pretty much tell by using this method. Male crests ALWAYS, swoop toward the back looking at the side view. The higher quality silkie male can have a very rounded apperarence from back and front view but even in higher quality birds the side view of the male crest will swoop back and not be exactly round from the side view. As I said at about two months old this trait will be obvious from the side. By using this method ive been pretty dead on with my sexing at around 8 weeks. Hope this helps. This is the method I use. Its been pretty accurate. Best wishes. This method of course only works on silkies.
     

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