Five chicks of odd colouration?!

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by JudithKerlin, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. JudithKerlin

    JudithKerlin Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2013
    Both parent chickens were bought as "Ameracauna" from a local farm supply store, although I understand they could be Easter Eggers, and the coloration of the rooster looks like many other breed pictures I've seen. He has a nice trim "crown".

    One of the pretty auburn hens went broody and we ended up with five chicks. The youngest is the only one who resembles the parent hen at all-- same auburn-brown mixture of colors-- but he is definitely a rooster, having started to crow already. He hatched in my hands and imprinted on me, the mama hen wouldn't take him, so he grew up a little apart from the others. I swiped another chick to keep him company, which is glossy iridescent black with a collar of reddish-brown feathers.

    The other three are iridescent black with perhaps one white feather on each wing tip. I'm very puzzled about their sex-- only one clearly seems to be a hen, and one is clearly a rooster (crows). The other three have comb development in-between the major growth of the definite boy and the almost-nothing of the girl. Does anyone know more about the parents' breeds, or can anything be told from the way the youngsters are colored?
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    parents

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    Smallest brown rooster and ?

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    and three black youngsters! At least one of these, the biggest, is crowing.
     
  2. CCCCCCCCHICKENS

    CCCCCCCCHICKENS Overrun With Chickens

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    the parents are infact easter eggers. Do you have other hens that could be the mothers, because only two appear to be from the pair you have pictures. And we need some better picture to tell gender. From what i can see the reddish brown is a cockerel and the black and brown is a pullet. But like I said better picture would help.
     
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Dad looks to me to be a Black Copper Marans or mix with that (someone may correct me on that), and mom is definitely an Easter Egger which means a mixed breed...one side of hers would have been Ameraucana (the beard and muffs) and the other any other kind of breed to make the Easter Egger.

    Therefore what you have is 2nd generation "mutts" which makes for delightful colors and a wonderful guessing game for gender as in my experience the mutts develop faster and not in "standard" form as to color or comb development.

    At this point, look for overall size, but especially depth of red in the combs...the girls may get slightly larger combs but they will stay yellow or at most be a pale yellow-pink. The boys will have larger combs than the girls and get a distinct red to them.

    Feather coloring will be very different for each bird since they are mutts (with a lot of competing color genes), but girls tend to be more even colored and patterned while the boys will be more patchy colored. Often EE males will develop red-brown patches on the shoulders, but that does not hold true with 2nd generation mutts as well as it does with 1st generation EE's. I often have to wait for the secondary male feathers to come in to be sure with some of the "in betweens" so watch for pointy saddle feathers and hackles and curled sickle feathers...but those may not show up until at least 12 weeks. I take a flashlight out at night and look at the chicks...usually the boys will have a lot of shiny spiky looking feathers that "sparkle" especially on the back by around 9 to 10 weeks which are the tell tale signs of those developing male feathers.

    Also, males tend to have a taller more lanky stance; females a squattier more tear drop stance (broader hips for egg laying).

    And of course the give away is the crowing...which I find my mutts tend to crow early too.

    At this point, from your photos, I would guess the top photo is a small roo, the middle...can't tell but more even brown patterned one is likely a girl, bottom 3...the one with the largest comb is likely your roo.

    Lady of McCamley
     
  4. CCCCCCCCHICKENS

    CCCCCCCCHICKENS Overrun With Chickens

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    I actually forgot to look at the rooster and put that they were both EEs, I meant the hen is an EE, but the rooster isnt.I don't think he is a marans though. HE looks to have a modified pea comb, not a strait comb. But I cant tell for sure. But all the chickens are mutts. I need better pictures for better guesses on gender though
     
  5. JudithKerlin

    JudithKerlin Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for the information-- I will get better pictures of my mystery mutts! The two Easter Egger hens are the only candidates for mom and the rooster pictured for dad-- we had three, now have eight. The poor small hen in the hatched clutch goes about looking slightly panicked all the time!

    So we have two definite boys and one definite girl; other two still to be determined. If there is a dominant male in some group, do the others also crow, or is loudness generally connected with being Top Bird? I ask because we separated the five-clutch into two areas, since the youngest hatched in my palms and imprinted on me and mama-bird didn't seem willing to accept him; I swiped one other bittie to keep him company so he wouldn't be alone when I couldn't have him on my lap where he so definitely preferred to be. Anyway, the biggest black one in the three-group crows, and the littlest-red-roo in the other group crows-- the two of them plus Daddy Bird get up quite the chorus in the mornings!

    Lately I've been putting the five younguns in the largeish chicken run together during the day hoping they will settle matters and get along-- maintaining three secure sleeping areas is kind of demanding-- letting the grownup birds out to free-range the backyard while the young are in the pen. I'm devoutly hoping there is enough space-- roughly a third of an acre-- so that they may all eventually freerange without any of the males killing each other. I kept Daddy Bird separate from the bitties from hatching because I wasn't sure how he would handle fatherhood...
     
  6. JudithKerlin

    JudithKerlin Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm not sure I understand the situation, by the way, about asking whether there might be other mothers? All five of these younguns definitely are the offspring of these Easter Egger hens and this Mystery Daddy (Rocket the Rooster)-- does something about the coloration of the offspring suggest that they could *not* be the chicks of one of these hens?

    The three mostly-black ones have developed various golden-brown bits similar to the gorgeous copper-brown "collar" on Probable Pullet in the picture with Little Brown Roo. I hope she's a pullet. When I let them out of their usual hutch to run around the big pen, they immediately fluff up their neck ruffs and bounce chests, but they don't mean it so much that they don't stop and look sheepish when I yell at them for fighting. Little Brown Roo treats me like Home Base in a game of tag, and runs over to jump up on my head to get out of range of any of the others' beaks.
    [​IMG]Little Brown Roo sitting on the offspring
     
  7. CCCCCCCCHICKENS

    CCCCCCCCHICKENS Overrun With Chickens

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    This was before I payed attention to what the rooster was, he isnt an easter egger so it now makes, just forget about it.
     

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