Help! Sexing cross silkie chicks by their feet????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickencrazylady, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. chickencrazylady

    chickencrazylady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2011
    Hi!

    I have just hatched out 9 silkie cross chicks, so happy and exciting! Still have 5-6 eggs under my 2 hens.

    My question is this: I have noticed when picking the chicks up to clean there box that some have 2 back claws and some only have the 3 toes in front and 1 in the back. The chicks with 3 toes in front and 1 in the back are females???? and the chicks with 3 toes in front and 2 in back are males?????

    I am going out to the run later to pick up my Silkie rooster and check his feet.

    I could really like to know if this is a way to sex my chicks.

    Thanks
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    Silkies are a 5 toed breed. All pure bred silkies should have 5 toes on each foot (three regular toes on the front like a normal chicken foot, and two in the back- the two back claws). When bred to a breed that doesn't have 5 toes, you'll get some that have extra toes and some that don't. If you go and look at your silkie roos feet, he'll have more toes than a regular chicken. But, if you were to look at a pure silkie hen, you'd see she would have extra toes as well. You're not going to be able to sex your chicks by the number of toes they have. Good luck...
     
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens


    Well said! If only it were that easy ;)
     
  4. chickencrazylady

    chickencrazylady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2011
    Okay call me Edith!!!

    What about the feathers that are coming in???
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    On regular feathered chickens (not the hair-like silkies), cockerals will get pointy saddles (the feathers at the base of the tail) and hackles (feathers on the neck). You can't see these on fuzzy new babies. In my opinion, most breeds can be sexed by feathers or comb and wattles (which will be bigger and redder in boys) by about 6-8 weeks. That isn't necessarily always true though. Sometimes you'll have a late bloomer because of other cockerels or rooster, or one that just is a really slow grower. If your talking feather sexing young chicks by their new wing feathers (the length- I think its something like pullets feathers are wider and an even length, cockerels are slimmer and different lengths), I think that only works on fast maturing breeds. And I'm not convinced its really all that accurate anyhow. Give your babies a few weeks to grow, and compare combs and wattle, that's what I do. And if you still aren't sure, pop on over to the "what breed or gender" section and post some pics. There are lots of folks who just love to help with sexing chicks (myself included ;) ).
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Great way to put it! I could sex my six week old partridge cochin based on the pinkness of his comb [​IMG] Here he is. He was 6 weeks in the picture, and he is 9 weeks old now. Very much a boy :p
     
  7. franstojek

    franstojek Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2011
    We have 6 silkie chicks that are 6 weeks old now and ALL have spiky feathers sticking up on their heads. We are worries that this is a sign that they may be roosters since ALL our other silkies that are hens had vaulted skulls and rounded heads. Does anyone know about this?? Thank you!
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens


    All young silkies will have spikes as their feathers come in. It's after the shafts come off and the streamers appear.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/609085/sexing-your-silkies-pictures-and-tips-updated-12-21-11
    This may help you.
     

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