Feeding and sexing

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 4M.chickens, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. 4M.chickens

    4M.chickens New Egg

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    Feb 8, 2009
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    I have a total of 9 chicks (4 Buff Orps, 4Barred Rock Mixes, and 1 Leghorn) that are all 3 weeks old today. Every time I check on them and their food dish is empty I fill it up and they run right over and devour it. Should I be providing them with unlimited food, or can I over feed them?

    Also, I am trying to figure out how many roos I might have in the bunch. The only one whose comb is any more developed than the others is the leghorn. Of course, I only have the one and can't compare it to another of the same breed. So I am wondering, if a leghorn's comb will develop faster than the other breeds, or might I have a roo in the making? The orps, and Barres rocks all seem to be equally developed.

    One more thing...The Barred rock mixes that I have all had/have the dark legs. The lady I got them from told me she had heard that this meant they would all be hens. She recently heard this and wasn't sure if it would hold true or not. Has anyone else heard this and did it hold true to your experiences?


    Thanks in advance for any responses!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Food should be unlimited.

    I'm not so good on sexing. I can tell you that my leghorn hens have huge combs, though. Did you buy pullets or straight run?
     
  3. 4M.chickens

    4M.chickens New Egg

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    Feb 8, 2009
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    I bought them straight run from a local BYC member. She said she would take any roos back. So now I am watching to see who is who. These are my first chicks, and I am surprised at how much food they eat. Can't wait to get them outside free ranging!
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    I thought chest bumping meant roos but others here say no. Comb size can vary so much between individuals in a breed, esp, if the stock is hatchery chicks. I have a theory that thicker legs in the same breed indicates roos, but that might fall apart too....

    If you post some pics, people will take some guesses, but you still won't really be sure for a while. If you do, you might edit your thread title to say "pics."
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Oh. Folks also say roos feather out more slowly, so the more raggedy looking ones might be roos.
     
  6. americana-chick

    americana-chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Food should be unlimited, try putting a bigger feeder in there for them it may last longer that way [​IMG]
    on the sexing... well i am not the best but i am pretty sure that with sexlinks you spread out there wings and if they have uneven feathers on there wing tips its a girl, and if it as almost straight it is a boy. i am not so sure if this is true for all breeds though.
    i have also heard that you can open there vent and something about bumps determine the sex... i am not sure though! good luck!
    ~Bri
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I have feed and water available to my birds 24/7.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. LovinMyPeeps

    LovinMyPeeps Sees Wine Dots

    Mar 22, 2009
    Heuvelton, NY
    4M.chickens :

    Also, I am trying to figure out how many roos I might have in the bunch. The only one whose comb is any more developed than the others is the leghorn. Of course, I only have the one and can't compare it to another of the same breed. So I am wondering, if a leghorn's comb will develop faster than the other breeds, or might I have a roo in the making?

    I also have a little leghorn that is supposed to be a pullet, her comb is a little more pronounced then my other babies and up there with my Rhode Island Roos... so I'm guessing you may still ahve a little girl.​
     

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