difference in feathering out between different breeds

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fiddlebanshee, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 5 different breeds. They are all 2 weeks old tomorrow. I was struck at how differently they are feathering out. I just wanted to throw this observation out here, as I hadn't expected it.

    Here's a group shot that clearly illustrates this, taken this afternoon:
    [​IMG]

    The one at the right bottom is a welsumer and has the most pronounced feathering and the longest tail. The one next to it is a light brahma, with almost no wingfeathers to speak of and no tail that I can see.

    Here are some more close ups (I photoshopped these to compensate for the red brooder lamp, so the colors are off).
    Welsumer
    [​IMG]

    Light Brahma
    [​IMG]

    Australorp
    [​IMG]

    Dominique
    [​IMG]

    Golden Laced Wyandotte
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  2. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Was that a straight run?
     
  3. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, it is all pullets (as per the 90% sexing rate of the hatchery). It'd be highly unlikely that all three Light Brahmas would be male that'd be a 100% sexing error on that breed. Possible but not very likely.
     
  4. MadameDork

    MadameDork Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First post from me and a very new chicken owner. [​IMG]

    I have two Australorps, two Americanas and one Rhode Island Red. One of my Australorps seems to be feathering very similar to yours, which is making me feel better. Here is my blog with some pictures. I was concerned about the one because she hasn't been developing the same as the others. My other Australorp is about the same size as the others with a similar feather development. Little Gretta was worrying me. At almost two weeks, she still doesn't have noticeable tail feathers and she looks like she hasn't grown very much. She actually looks a little less developed than yours, but she's a little bit younger. I plan on updating the blog this Wednesday and I will try to include a picture of all of them together. She's so little.
     
  5. JellyBeanCee

    JellyBeanCee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm jumping in on this conversation as I have a Black Australorp who is 9 days old today. She is smaller than the other two (An Ameraucana and a New Hampshire Red). Her tail feathers are much slower coming in it seems. Though she is just as active and is the most friendly of the 3. Hoping against hope she's not a rooster. We can't have them in our neighborhood and we're so attached already. So I'll be watching your thread to see how yours progresses. Fingers crossed. [​IMG]
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I know this is an old thread, but since it has been reopened, I'll chime in.

    There are a few different things at work here. Pullets and cockerels do feather out differently, but that is not usually noticeable for a couple of weeks or more. Some breeds do tend to feather out faster than others.

    What you are seeing, especially at a very young age, is the fast feathering gene. There is a gene that determines if the feathers come in fast or slow. This is the gene that is used to feather sex chicks at hatch. It is also the gene that makes barred rock barring crisp while cuckoo marans are more jumbled.

    Unless the chicks are feather sexed, you probably cannot tell sex at a very young age by how fast they feather out. But once they reach a certain age, whatever age that happens to be for those chicks, how they feather out can be a good indicator. But I freely admit, I have often been surprised by sex based on how they feather out. Some just don't read the book and follow directions.
     
  7. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for posting these pics- I am seeing the same in my 5 chicks hatched on Spet 26th- my red Stars ( sex linked female) look just like your brahma- just a little feathering on the wing and thats it meanwhile Dominique, and BO have lots of wing and tail feathers, and Australorp seems to be a several days behind them as far as tail feathering goes.
     
  8. JellyBeanCee

    JellyBeanCee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys. I guess I just started worrying since we have grown so fond of "Aretha". She's the smallest and has the fewest feathers of the other two, but I guess I'm just borrowing trouble a bit too soon. Thanks for the added info Ridgerunner.
     
  9. TheIvoryKitty

    TheIvoryKitty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's funny, our Dominique was always behind everyone else with feathering - all the way up until about 5 weeks. Wonder if thats the "sex-feathering" thing Ridgerunner talked about. Who knows - but she's all happy and feathered now! Lol.
     
  10. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone for sharing their experiences. I gather it is breed specific plus individually determined. My Brahmas are now kind of catching up. They have developed a bit of a tail and their wing feathers have really grown this week. I will make more pics and post them later this weekend.

    CHeers,
    Jo
     

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