Help me ID a flock of "rainbow layers"?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by wobit, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. wobit

    wobit Chirping

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    May 12, 2014
    Western Massachusetts
    Hi everyone, longtime lurker first time poster. BYC has been an invaluable resource for this first time chicken owner, and the short version is that I'm totally smitten with my new feathered friends. Things seem to be going very well so far, but I still don't know what breeds or sexes I have! They arrived with 6 yellow, 4 stripey brown, 5 black (some with yellow tummies) and one grey. Now they are 8 weeks old and I've a few suspicions but so little experience than I'm unsure.

    It has been so fun to see everyone in the other threads helping out with identifying chickens - I would be very grateful for any and all comments, from wild guesses to certain proclamations.

    I bought these 16 as day old "rainbow layers" from McMurrays, described as
    Quote: They are sold as sexed, with 90% certainty. I do have enough acreage that anyone who turns out to be a roo will have his fair chance to prove a sweet temperament and thus get a long life, but anyone aggressive with my two kids will end up in a stew pot. I'm not planning to breed or show, these are to provide eggs for my table and companionship for my kids (my 6 year old is totally in love with the whole flock and spends much of her free time in there cuddling them), but I'm not opposed to letting a broody expand my flock a little someday.

    So I will put up some pics, I will try to not overload by using small images, click if you want to see them bigger. If there are tips to get better or more helpful pictures, let me know, they always seem to be in motion and I guess I should use the "sports" mode on my phone camera. I'm going to post this half done to figure out how to do the pic upload thing, and then edit it to add more.

    ***One grey chick - [edited - this chick now ID'd as light Brahma] I think this is a blue cochin? We call her Zsa Zsa and she's the gentlest, not the one that will come over immediately to beg but the one that doesn't mind being passed around.
    On arrival:
    [​IMG]

    and approx 6 weeks old. She's definitely the "heaviest" built of the flock. How will I know her sex?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    ***Five little black chicks, I believe that one is a Barred Rock Pullet and the rest Black Sex-Links. As babies, two of them were all black with black feet, and 3 had yellow feet and yellow vent/tummy areas, one with a yellow splotch on her head. I haven't been able to reliably keep track of which chick is growing into which pullet aside from the feet coloring.
    As babies:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    At approx 4 weeks, this is Sue, whom I hope is a Barred Rock Pullet
    [​IMG]
    Sue at 8 weeks. She is friendly and curious, doesn't so much love to be cuddled but always comes over to see what I have going on (which to her means what I have brought out to the compost heap).
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And the others, both black and yellow feet, have grown to be medium sized, very calm dark birds with splashes of chestnut on the breast. I think they're Black Sex Links? The one with the biggest chestnut splash is the cuddliest gal in the flock. The others I can't reliably tell apart.
    As 4 week olds, the one to the left - all black! The white bird in front is a mystery called Daisy, I'll post more about him/her at the bottom.
    [​IMG]
    And now at 8 weeks:
    [​IMG]
    Chestnut splash with Sue (and Daisy and Linda, whom I'll talk about below)
    [​IMG]
    Not-Chestnut. Are all Black Sex Links going to be girls? How will I know?
    [​IMG]
    For conformation and relative size, with my maybe Welsummer cockerel in the back looking handsome:
    [​IMG]


    *** Four little stripey chicks.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [edit - these may be brown leghorns as they definitely have white ears]
    3 of them I think might be Welsummers, and two I suspect are cockerels. They have significantly bigger and redder comb and wattles than the third, and they argue with each other a bit. They are quite handsome birds regardless, and though less cuddly with my daughter don't seem to be bullying anyone. I do not see "pointed" feathers around the neck and saddle though. What features look masculine or feminine about them? The third has similar feathering but a much smaller comb and wattle, so I'm guessing pullet.


    [​IMG][​IMG]
    I apologize for the focus, but it was hard to get the suspected cockerel and suspected pullet in the same shot for comparison
    [​IMG]
    The fourth striped chick has been noticeably smaller than everyone else in the flock, so that at first I feared she was sickly or runty. However she ate and drank well the whole time and now I wonder if she's some sort of Bantam? She doesn't look much like anyone else and I have no idea. My son named her Spot. The first photo is probably 6 weeks old, the second around eight. The second picture of Spot with the suspected cockerel is for scale.
    [​IMG][​IMG]



    *** And lastly, there were six yellow chicks. Five of them I think are White Leghorns, they are white and built leanly, better fliers than the others and they are a little more skittish. At eight weeks they are developing tiny tiny combs with the faintest blush of pink, so I hope they will all be pullets. I'll be happy to have these curious, productive gals in the flock. Since I feel totally hopeless about telling 5 identical skittish birds apart I have named them all Linda. If they become distinguishable they can become Linda-Beth, Linda-Jo, Linda-Marie, etc.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    One is clearly something else, though. We call her Daisy and as an early fuzzy chick she was outgoing funny and curious, which makes me wonder if she's a cockerel. She was always in front, exploring and being goofy, the first to eat worms out of my hand, etc.
    [​IMG]
    She developed a scattering of grey spots and her legs have turned blue. Here she is showing off her legs after a yogurt snack.
    [​IMG]
    At 8 weeks she is only now starting to get a tiny comb, and she's not much heavier built than the Leghorns. With the Blue legs, is she some kind of Easter Egger or Araucana? Without a peer to compare to, how will I know her sex?


    Alright, that's my whole flock. Thank you for anyone who took the time to read the whole thing! I will dearly appreciate any thoughts about identifying any of them!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  2. Your first is a light Brahma, not cochin. Your Barred Rock pullet is a Barred Rock Pullet! I'm not familiar with Black Sex Links, someone else would have to help.

    Your cockerel has white earlobes and is more likely a Leghorn (?) not a Welsummer. Welsummers will start getting their respective coloring. Pullets will remain plain like your first picture (that's a big comb! But pullet coloring-- not sure what to think.) The greens and reds should start coming in soon on the males, if it hasn't already.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  3. wobit

    wobit Chirping

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    May 12, 2014
    Western Massachusetts
    You are totally right about Zsa Zsa. I will start editing the lead post to reflect the accumulated wisdom. Thanks!
     
  4. wobit

    wobit Chirping

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    May 12, 2014
    Western Massachusetts
    Any thoughts on my white, blue legged sweetie?
     
  5. jonsccm

    jonsccm Songster

    Close up pics would be helpful but if she has gray flakes she looks a bit like my splash Andalusia. What color ear lobes does she have?
     
  6. jonsccm

    jonsccm Songster

    I just checked and they do sell blue Andalusia's in a mix of blue splash and black
     
  7. WyandotteIndeed

    WyandotteIndeed Chirping

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    Oct 18, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    I would watch the comb on the blue-legged splash girl. Andalusians will develop a large floppy comb and white ears (even hens) by four-five months or so. Should also have very dark eyes.

    With regards to the black sex-link. She is the product of a red (usually Rhode Island or New Hampshire) and a Barred Plymouth Rock. The female offspring will all be black with varying degrees of red around their face and neck while all of the males will be barred (some will have a bit of red over the barring). Even at hatch the feathers are distinctly different, hence the name "sex-link." This is a hybrid situation and is only true for the first generation of chicks, unlike "auto sexing" breeds which maintain their male/female distinction at hatch for every generation and continue to breed true (ie legbars, rhodebars, jaerhons, etc).

    Hope this is useful, you have some lovely chickens.
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    [​IMG]

    What a pretty mixed flock! I love MMM hatchery [​IMG]

    Light Brahma. Not screaming rooster at this point, the first thing you'll notice is a larger, redder, plumper comb if it's a cockerel.
    On your black chicks--the one with the creamy head spot is your barred Rock pullet.
    The solid black chicks should be your black sex links, and the black chicks with yellow undersides should be Australorps. The black sex links have the brown/gold on the chest, the Aussies will be solid black. Everyone I see there looks female.
    [​IMG]
    This picture perfectly illustrates the difference between cockerels and pullets of this breed. Yes, there's the big comb, but since the pullets can get combs early, the best thing to go by is the color. The cockerel on the left has a black breast, the pullet on the right has a salmon breast. Makes it easy to tell them apart once they feather in [​IMG]. I do think they're brown Leghorns, with those those white earlobes.
    Don't hold me to it, but I think Spot is a silver Leghorn cockerel.
    Daisy is a splash Andalusian pullet.

    You have brown and white egg layers, but no blue/green? Or are we not seeing someone?
     

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