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Do both sexes have oil glands???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Spoiltchickens, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Spoiltchickens

    Spoiltchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    I was wondering if all chickens have the oil secreting gland on their backs near the base of the tail or if it's just the males.
    I have previously only raised two chicks that turned out to both be Roos, they both had these glands. I am now raising two new chicks and have noticed that they also have these glands too. I'm not sure if they are male or female yet( I'm hoping this time I have girls). Is the gland my early indicator??? Could anybody help a newby chicken raiser please? Hahaha
     
  2. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I could be wrong on some odd expecption but all birds have them reguardless of sex, the oil is used for feather care or waterproofing.
     
  3. Time-Out

    Time-Out Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Females need to have waterproof feathers too!
     
  4. Spoiltchickens

    Spoiltchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh good. Feel a bit silly now. Haha
    I'm very new to all this. Your comments have helped very much, thank you.
    Is there any way to be able to tell the gender of my chicks at 4 weeks of age?
     
  5. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Telling gender can be difficult. In some of the sex link hybrids males will often be white featered while the hens dark. With barred chickens often the male chicks have a white head spot for the first week or two.

    With many others it won't be until 8-12 weeks or so that you can pick out tell tale differences like pointy neck feathers, longer tail feathers, comb differences, crowing and rooster attitude. Male chicks as they age tend to be a little taller in stature and show more tenancy to play fighting. Still there are late bloomers that can fool even the best. I though I had taken all my access roos to swap but then see a young easter egger male sneeking off with the hens when the alpha roo is not looking, I was sure he was a hen but in just the last week he sprouted tail and neck feathers and started crowing when out of sight of alpha.
     
  6. woodsedge

    woodsedge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes both have them, all birds have them as its how they waterproof their feathers
     
  7. Time-Out

    Time-Out Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breed are they? Some are easy to tell from an early age, others you'll be waiting for the crowing.
     
  8. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    all birds have them as its how they waterproof their feathers

    I did check, and there are some exceptions, I was 99% sure all birds had them, but in the back of my mind I kind of thought I had seen an exception before on National Geographic or something.

    Anhinga or snakebird is at least one exception.

    http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/621/_/Anhinga.aspx
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  9. Spoiltchickens

    Spoiltchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    I have two 4 week old Barnevelda chicks. They are starting to shed their down and get their new feathers.
    One is lighter in colour than the other and they both have different wing structures. The darker one (Lacey) is slightly larger and has a much quieter personality than (Angel) it's sibling.
    Angel will instigate a play fight when I let them out to roam in the yard. I havepreviously raised two chicks that did this and both turned out to be roosters, much to my disappointment because they were so sweet and friendly. I had to give them away sadly.
    Are there any early signs for telling the gender in Barnevelda's?
     
  10. Time-Out

    Time-Out Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm afraid I'll have to let someone else answer that as the only experience I have with barnevelders in the one egg in the incubator at the moment! I'd be keen to hear the answer, though.
     

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