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Feather growth rate

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Soylent Chick, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Soylent Chick

    Soylent Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicks are about 1.5 weeks old. Some of them have grown out wing feathers and tail feathers much faster than others. I found blogs saying that this is the results of gender differences while other sites say that chicks can't be sexed until weeks older.

    What's your experience with the different feather growth rate? Is it really tied to gender? If so, why?
     
  2. backyardjack

    backyardjack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are your chicks all them same breed because in my (very limited) experience different breeds feather at different rates?! :)
     
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    What breed(s) are your chicks? Any chance you can get a few photos of them to post?
    *Generally speaking* female birds do tend to feather out more quickly than males and early feathering/early tail growth is one indication that can be used to make some initial sexing guesses (which is ironic given that early tail growth leads to lots of new chicken keepers having a panic thinking that those tails must be roos in the making) --- but --- it is not a definitive indication and *I* never make any sort of decisions (such as culling suspected birds of an unwanted gender) at such an early stage. Definitive gender determination is better done at 6+ weeks of age, but you can use these early clues to help start making some guesses.
     
  4. Soylent Chick

    Soylent Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know what breeds are in the group since they were surplus hatchery eggs that were being distributed as food and were not labeled/sorted by breed.

    I managed to get these pics. Let me know if more pics are needed. I think the angle exaggerated the size differences a bit.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome! They are very cute, anyway. Just wait and see. Mary
     
  6. backyardjack

    backyardjack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very cute but I agree you will just have to wait and see what gender they are! :)
     
  7. Soylent Chick

    Soylent Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks to all for the input.

    I banded the tailless ones last night just to see what happens when they're older. I'll post an update then in a few weeks.
     
  8. fasschicks

    fasschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Soylent Chick - how did your results turn out? Which were boys and which were girls?
     
  9. Soylent Chick

    Soylent Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The feathers didn't seem to be all that accurate. Even though the chicks hatched within 24 hours of each other and lived together, there were still some surprising differences in overall growth/development rate. Some tailless ones caught up to the more feathered ones, some feathered ones seemed to slow down. I couldn't rely on the feathers anymore and just waited for comb/wattle development.
     
  10. nursesusanb

    nursesusanb Out Of The Brooder

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    So were they all pullets?
     

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