Help sex 4.5 week-old Black Copper Marans chicks

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by lizgarf, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. lizgarf

    lizgarf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,
    I have 2 broody-hatched BCM chicks (shipped eggs from breeder) that are 4.5 weeks old in this photos, 5 weeks old tomorrow. I tried to wing-feather test them at about 2 days old and #2 (Daisy) tested female and #1 (Ida or Idaho) was undetermined. Ida is #1 because she hatched one day earlier, but has been smaller than Daisy since about day 3. They both started getting tails at 1 week and have been very fast-feathering, with good feather development on their backs and wings. They are identical in their oblong, pullet-like shape, if not size, and have looked completely pullet to me except that their combs have always been noticeable, and Daisy's comb became undeniably pink at 4 weeks and she started to form tiny wattles then too. Ida's comb is still yellow, and she has no noticeable wattles. Ida's comb was actually more noticeable at first - but always yellow, whereas Daisy's was darker and a little smaller until about the last week. I don't see behavioral signs that they could be roosters, but it's also hard to tell much without a comparison - I've only had pullets/hens until now, but I've been good at playing spot-the-cockerel on BYC threads.

    Any thoughts?
    Broody co-mom Frida, Ida, Daisy on the roost (and Broody co-mom Rousseau below)
    [​IMG]

    Daisy with her co-moms - you can see the wattles if you enlarge it.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    This is about as close to a rooster stance as they get (Daisy on the left):
    [​IMG]

    Fast-feathered:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    I definitely see one cockerel (Daisy), but the other one is difficult to see from those pictures. Is there any way you would get a better close up of his/her head?
     
  3. lizgarf

    lizgarf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you saying that because of the comb or does the shape seem cockerel to you as well? I ask because whenever I see other pictures of young BCMs, the cockerel shape is really different than these ones.
    Here's a picture with both heads, Ida is in front:
    [​IMG]

    I can try to get more pics today.
     
  4. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    From that picture, they both look like cockerels to me. When I look at birds, I look at a combination of things, but body shape has not always been the most useful for me. For their age, they definitely have fairly prominent combs. Also, their color is suggestive of cockerels and their leg are thick and their stance is reminiscent of the way young cockerels generally stand.

    If you can get more pictures, that would definitely be helpful though!
     
  5. LeviS

    LeviS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you have two little cockerels
     
  6. lizgarf

    lizgarf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aw man, this is so depressing!
    Context: Two months ago, my red star was killed by a dog and then, when Frida went broody, I ordered 8 fertile eggs. Rousseau joined her on the nest, and they've been awesome co-moms, but only these 2 hatched. There were a few times along the way I considered getting sexed chicks or laying pullets, but decided to stick with this broody process. My two other hens started their 18-month molts, and with these 2 broodies (also due for their molts), I haven't gotten any eggs in over a month! I can't keep a rooster in my city, and ideal flock size for my situation is 5-8 hens. I love them like pets, so I'm not likely to get rid of bad layers, and I'm not looking forward to re-homing roosters!
    I had assumed Daisy was female after the positive wing-feather-test, and then they both grew such great tail and wing feathers from one-week onward, dull wing bow feathers at two weeks, etc. Everything pointed to pullet, until Daisy's comb turned pink this last week. It's hard to accept I may have been fooling myself this whole time, but it wouldn't be surprising, either!

    Here's a few earlier shots to show what I was going with:
    About 11 days old:
    [​IMG]

    2.5 weeks old:
    [​IMG]


    3 weeks old:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But, maybe this failed broody hatch was worth it, if nothing else, for this amazing family portrait:
    [​IMG]

    I was also relying on looking at other BCM chick-sexing threads, and this list I found:
    According to UC Davis Veterinary Care Program.
    2. Physical Characteristics (4-6 weeks of age)
    a. Comb The cockerels comb is medium size and pinkish, the pullets is small and yellowish.
    b. Legs The cockerels legs are sturdy and long, the pullets are finer and shorter.
    c. Tail The cockerels tail is stumpy and curved, the pullets is longer and straight.
    d. Back The cockerel has a thin line of stub feathers down the center of his back, the pullet has more advanced feathering along the center of her back.
    e. Side of neck, flank and crop The feathering in the cockerel in these areas is poorly advanced, the pullets feathering in these areas is well advanced.
    f. Wing bows In the cockerel the wing bows are bare, in pullets the wing bows are covered with small feathers.

    Thanks for your feedback - I'll continue to hold out hope until a crow happens!
     
  7. lizgarf

    lizgarf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, at 7.5 weeks, it's looking pretty convincing that I have one male and one female. It's ironic, because it's turning out to be the exact opposite of the results from the wing-feather-test I did at 2 days old. I guess my BCM are living up to their hard-to-sex reputation! They were pretty much identical, other than a slight size difference, until 4 weeks old, when Desi started getting a pink comb and wattles. It took another 3 weeks for Desi's male traits to show up enough to convince me. I'm really relieved to have at least one female from this hatch! Y'all had me scared there, a few weeks back!

    Desi (formerly Daisy - notice copper bits just starting to come in):
    [​IMG]

    Ida:
    [​IMG]

    Both chicks with their broody mom (not bio mom) Frida:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I thought wing feather sexing was only possible on specific crosses--a slow feathering breed crossed with a fast-feathering breed. I don't think most purebreds are feather sexable.
     
  9. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    X2
     
  10. lizgarf

    lizgarf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And, my two are proof that it doesn't work on BCMs! :)
     

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