Does incubation temperature determine gender of chicks?

ZaneyMama

Songster
9 Years
Feb 2, 2010
236
0
109
Boulder, Colorado
Someone told me this at a party recently and I couldn't believe it! She said her pre-school class was incubating eggs and a kid turned it up so now they're all roo's.

Is this really true?
 

SarahIrl

Songster
9 Years
May 4, 2010
877
10
131
West Cork, Ireland
No. It happens with snakes, amphibians (eg turtles) and some frogs/toads that sex is determined by temperature, but not chickens. Mammal DNA is sexed at conception/fertilisation, I don't know of a single mammal that isn't.
 

muddstopper

Songster
11 Years
Aug 23, 2008
680
8
141
Murphy NC
I have read of only 2 studies that claim you can influence the hen to roo ratios of your hatching eggs. And then only marginally.
The first method shown to effect the more hens to roos had to do with the age of the breeding roo. The study suggested that young breeding males tend to produce more pullets than roos. I dont know that I believe it though since all of my roos are one year or less of age and I seem to be covered up in roo chicks.

The other method involves feed. The study suggests that free feeding sorghum grain, (I assume they are refering to Milo), in addition to the regular laying feed, to laying hens will effect the gender of the chicks. Results generally dont show up for a month or two after starting to feed the sorghum, but hen to roo ratios tended to raise to about 60/40 pullets to roos. I havent tested this and the study wasnt a longterm study, so take it as just something that might or might not work.

Now for the wives tales. I havent tried this either, but my cousion and my uncle swear that you can select the gender of the eggs you are incubating by suspending a needle on a string above the egg. If the needle swings back and forth, the egg will produce a roo, if the needle swings in a circle or arch, then the egg will produce a pullet. My uncle also swears he can guess the age of any woman by suspending a ring on a string above her head. He claims it will rotate one turn for every year of age. My wife wont stand still long enough for me to test this theory on her.
 

SweetMotherOfMars

Songster
10 Years
Aug 24, 2009
191
5
136
The Palouse
Psst, turtles are reptiles.
I wouldn't have caught that, Sarah, but the first time I read your post, I thought you were saying birds were mammals. Had to re-read it.
It's been a long day.

In at least one bird, this turkey, sex is determined by temperature. However according to: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/275/1652/2703.full (if I read it right) more females were produced at high temps and more males at low temps... because high temps killed the males and low temps prevented the females from developing.
 

Cowgirl71

Songster
9 Years
Feb 5, 2010
3,176
73
221
Missouri Ozarks
Quote:I've heard of this too. I hatched a few batches of sex-link chicks this year (BO roo on BR hens), and found it to be true (though please realize that I had a relatively small sample set). When I had my still-air bator @ 100F, I got 50/50 pullets to roos. When I had it @ 102F, I got 90/10 pullets to roos. I didn't have the heart to break open all of the eggs that hadn't hatched to see if they were pullets or roos. I'm really wishin' I had checked them now!
 

SweetMotherOfMars

Songster
10 Years
Aug 24, 2009
191
5
136
The Palouse
Cowgirl, we need a full scale study!
Quick, let's all buy/set more eggs. Set the thermostats to 102° & get to hatching!


Hmm ...think we can get investors?





(I admit it, I just want an excuse to hatch on a large scale. But wouldn't it be nice?)
 

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