1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Has anyone ever had luck with feather sexing?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by s6bee, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I saw a show once that showed how they sex chicks in a hatchery ( I think it was a meat/poultry farm ), by taking a look at the feathers on the wings. Has anyone has success in doing this method or is venting better and or easier?

    I was given an extra chick from the hatchery and I specifically told them I can't have a roo, so I'm hoping they didn't send me one.

    On another note, if I ordered my chicks to be vaccinated, would they vaccinate the extra.

    Stephanie
     
  2. snaringamerica

    snaringamerica New Egg

    7
    0
    6
    Jul 16, 2007
    Reynoldsville, PA
    a males feathers will look something like this:

    ----------------
    --------
    ----------------
    --------
    ----------------
    --------
    ----------------

    and a females will look like this:

    ---------------
    ---------------
    ---------------
    ---------------
    ---------------
    ---------------
    ---------------
     
  3. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    I called a hatchery about this method and was told it only works with certain bird combinations. I would not count on this method based on what he said, but rather wait til they grow and see what you get.
     
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,875
    138
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    We've found on most breeds when they're a few weeks old it's easy to tell the difference. The male's feathers do look like what was described above, and lots of times he will quickly develop the long feathers on his neck and back, and longer tail feathers.
     
  5. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here is some info on feather sexing:

    Mating an early-feathering male such as an Ancona or Leghorn to hens of a slow-feathering breed like Sussex or Rhode Island Reds will result in male chicks which have very short flight feathers which do not protrude past the downy wing coverts and females which show definite wing flights which show clearly past the wing coverts. This method requires inspection immediately after hatching, before the males feather growth "catches up" to that of some late hatching pullets.

    With heavy breeds it is sometimes easy to determine the pullets by their faster and more even rate of feathering. Males feather more slowly and in a more patchy manner (but this is not always the case with some strains).
     
  6. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Ok, all the birds have the same wing pattern even though none were supposed to be of the same breed, except the added one could be.

    We have a Silver Laced Wayandotte, Barred Rock, Black Austrolorp, and a Delaware.
    They all seem to have a row of feathers that are longer than the rest.
    They look like this,

    --------
    --------
    ------------
    ------------
    ------------
    --------
    --------

    Does that help?? I'm new at EVERYTHING!

    Thanks
    Stephanie
     
  7. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Ok, I'm back again because now I'm worried I have a roo.
    We ordered a Black Austrolorp and a Barred Rock. They are difficult to tell them apart as they look alike. Are these similar at this age? Anyway, one now seems to be showing signs of a comb. Is this normal for one of those above breeds at this age? Oh my kids will be sooo upset if it's roo as we can't keep it.
    I guess also if anyone has instructions as to vent this little guys it would be helpful. Which "outlet" am I venting??? I know that sound so bad.....
    Thanks for the help.
    Stephanie
     
  8. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Knowing what age they are would help [​IMG].

    Sorry, but you cannot vent sex a chick if it is over 1 day old. You could kill it if you tried.

    At about 5 weeks old you can usually tell pretty well who's who. Even if you have all girls you will see little differences in growth that will keep you guessing until they lay. So don't panic if one is developing faster. [​IMG]

    With the breeds you listed if one has a much bigger redder comb and thicker legs it's probably a boy.

    Here is a pic of some chicks at 3 weeks old. The one in the back is a pullet the other a cockerel:
    [​IMG]


    Here is the boy at 6 weeks old:
    [​IMG]

    Here is his sister at 6 weeks old:
    [​IMG]


    Does that help at all?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  9. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Here's two Australorps. The hen is on the left and the Roo is on the right. They are about six to eight weeks old in the picture.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Right now they are only a week old. But a couple of them ( all diff. breeds though ) have the beginning signs of a comb. They have not increased in size though since we first noticed a few days ago.

    I guess we'll just wait and see......hopefully we don't have to re-home any. The kids will be heartbroken.

    Thanks
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by