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Help sexing pigeons

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Duck Guy, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Duck Guy

    Duck Guy In the Brooder

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    I need help determining the sex of my pigeons, I think I have all females. I hope that's the case because it be getting a for sure male to go with one of them.
     

  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

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    The best way to determine the sex of a pigeon is to ask another pigeon.
    In a perfect world the pigeon on the right is usually more iridescent and larger than the ♀ pigeon on the left.

    [​IMG]

    That being said no matter which method you choose to sex a pigeon mistakes are sometimes made. I usually can tell the gender of a pigeon just by looking at it (but I have been know to make mistakes too.)

    On that note:
    If you place your pigeon in the company of a know gender pigeon one can usually tell the gender of the pigeon in question by the reaction taken by the know gender.

    (Too many references to gender in tha sentence but I think you can follow).

    Check out the link the pigeon bowing and circling is the bird walking is ♀:

     
  3. paramount

    paramount Songster

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    The more active bird in the video linked is a good example of how to tell a cock from a hen.

    It is a pretty good rule of thumb that if a pigeon "bows and scrapes" or displays other courtship behaviors while pursuing a second bird, it is probably a cock.

    By contrast, there is no hard and fast rule to identify a hen, as hens have no particular behavior patterns to identify them by. (And quite often an unmated hen will respond to a pursuing cock with behavior somewhat similar to his. In the video, I actually suspect that the second bird is not sexually mature as it does not respond to the cock, though it does LOOK like a young hen. Most unmated mature hens would respond to a courting cock, while most mated hens will attempt to fight a little with a cock other than their mate that is pursuing them).

    Mostly, determining the hens is a process of elimination of the birds that are not cocks. It is all about observation. Don't let anyone ever tell you that every clutch of eggs is always a "pair (ie. a cock and a hen) or that they can look at a pen of twenty 5 week old squeakers and pick out which ones are cocks and which are hens. Some long time fanciers are pretty good at sexing mature birds on sight, at least in some breeds, at least.

    Unlike chickens, in pigeons and doves, the male and female look alike (hens often are smaller though, and may have more graceful looking heads and beaks).

    That said, there are no hard and fast rules to sexing pigeons unless you use sex-linked matings. Some hens can act pretty bully, while some cocks act more like hens.

    Even after over 35 years at this, I still get a few that fool me for awhile. As one example, I have a little Red Check Self cock that for well over a year I was convinced was a hen, even after he set up house keeping with a Dark Check Self that I knew for fact was a hen, as the clutch of eggs she laid turned out to be infertile. I was pretty sure it was two hens mated up, which they often will do if no cocks are present. It wasn't until the next round was actually fertile that I realized the Red Check was a cock. It was only after yet another clutch of eggs that the Red Check started displaying the behavior of a cock.
     
  4. loftkeeper

    loftkeeper Songster

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    what breed do have how long have you had them and how old are they
     
  5. av8torcrj

    av8torcrj Songster

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    I've been researching the sex-link pairings and find it very interesting. There actually seem to be quite a few possibilities that will work. I have a lot to learn and the whole " pigeon genetics" seems a bit complicated. There is a guy thats done some you tube videos that I like and simplifies it a bit but some of the terms used are still foreign to me.
     
  6. paramount

    paramount Songster

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    I think it's safe to say that often, the way some people write about pigeon genetics, the subject is over-complicated.

    While knowing all the gobbly-gook about chromosomes, cell division, etc. is just another type of knowledge, it is not really necessary to understand those things to apply genetics in your loft. It's not really necessary to understand the "why" of how genetics works to put the genetics into motion. Simply knowing which basic traits are dominant (or maybe partial dominant) and which are recessive is a relatively simple thing to learn and can be pretty easily applied in your breeding program.

    Putting it another way, it's not essential to understand why sex-linked matings work the way they do to be able to use the system, as one can apply those tools by knowing something as simple that a Blue/Black cock bred to an Ash Red Hen is a sex-linked mating that will always yield Blue/Black daughters and Ash Red sons. If a person had a particular bird whose genetic influence they wanted to multiply in their loft, knowing the sexes of all their offspring in the nest would be a very handy tool to employ. You could plan your matings out well in advance, sometimes even 5 or 6 generations ahead if you knew what was in your birds.

    Too often, most of the pigeon genetics writers come from a scientific background and they are talking Greek to the average pigeon breeder who just sits there scratching his or her head.

    Years and years ago, when I was still a kid, I had this really bright idea for awhile that I wanted to be a geneticist. I corresponded with the late W.F. Hollander, who is pretty much considered one of the fathers of pigeon genetics (mostly because of his contributions to Levi's book "The Pigeon"), about the subject for a long time. It didn't take me long to finally tell him "Look Doc, I just want to breed a bunch of pigeons that look like this, this and this. I don't care what happens when the cell is dividing!"

    Needless to say, I didn't become a geneticist.
     
  7. av8torcrj

    av8torcrj Songster

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    The sex link combination I'm trying to figure out is what if any pairing will produce the male offspring the color of the father and the female offspring the color of the mother. I was aware of the blue bar male over the red ash female and hope to try that some day. I actually saw such a pairing at a loft where I recently purchased some giant homers. I really like these birds. They jump off a perch and it sounds like a cinder block just hit the floor. They are monsters compared to my birmingham rollers. A pair of blue bars have just hatched two squabs and seem to be great parents. A pair of checks failed to hatch a clutch. They broke one egg and contaminated the shell of another but are back at it again. I understand maybe there is a possibility of a red bar hen out of my blues if the male has that trait hidden... I think.
     

  8. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

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  9. paramount

    paramount Songster

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    Good one to point out the obvious. Yes, if it lays an egg, you can be SURE it's a hen. LOL
     
  10. Pigeon Power

    Pigeon Power Chirping

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    It's so true my owls for some reason have very very androgynous....I have found out that all bets are off till they pair off and lay that first egg......I have a a female right now that acts so much like a cock that I'm still surprised when she lays eggs....
     
    1 person likes this.

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