Feather sexing new chicks

Apr 9, 2020
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Austin, Texas, USA
I have four 12 day old chicks I inch aches from backyard mix flock. Three are from my Easter Egger and one is from my California Leghorn. The rooster was a bantam barred Cochin. Is it possible to take a gander at sexing them by looking at feather development? All seem to have two layers on feathers in the lower portion of the wings and tail feather development. Just not sure if it’s a fool’s errand to guess sex this way?
 

azygous

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Dec 11, 2009
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It's too late. Feather sexing has to be done in the first couple days after hatch. And it's only effective in breeds with early feathering. Can't tell you which those are, though. By now, both sexes should be pretty much similar in wing feather growth, so they would all look too similar to be able to see any difference that would be meaningful.

Watch the comb color and development. By age four to five weeks, boys will start showing yellow pigment in their combs compared to the girls' pale pink. Boys will also should faster wattle development and comb size, and by six weeks, the boys should have larger, obviously redder combs and wattles. Just a couple more weeks and you should see if you are going to have any cockerels. By law of averages, half of your hatch will be boys.
 

The Moonshiner

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Feather sexing only works within the first few days and only works when you breed a fast feathering male over a slow feathering female.
Feather growth rate is sex linked. A fast feathering male will have two genes for it and pass one to all offspring.
The slow feathering female will only have one gene and will pass it to her sons only.
Slow is dominate so the males with feather in slower then the females.

I don't agree with the comb answer above. At a few weeks the females should still be yellow and the males will start to pink up. A few weeks later the males will get a nice red color and the females may get a little pinkish but it's still more common for them to stay yellow.
 

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