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Hi, Might anyone have a chance to look at Sadie and help me confirm her gender? THANK YOU!

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by RareAvis, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. RareAvis

    RareAvis Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 18, 2016
    Update: I've been answered by an expert Queen Misha.

    THANK you all.

    Please DO have a look at my gorgeous boy!



    I'm new here; I just figured out how to post photos and did so in the Frizzle Hybrid thread.

    Should I repost photos here, as well?

    Thank you!

    The Vet tells me she's a girl; but she is hencrowing.

    She's a rescue, too; so? Not a lot of reliable information to make this ID easy.

    I'd never even met a live chicken until a few weeks ago.

    Now I'm in love.

    I'm very grateful to anyone who might have a guess...

    Thank you SO much,



    {https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/175972/lets-see-your-frizzle-mutts/30#post_17694980: the photos & a bit of backstory....}
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Sadie is a cockerel. Aside from showing male-specific double barring, he has comb development you wouldn't see in a pullet until laying age.
    1 person likes this.
  3. RareAvis

    RareAvis Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 18, 2016
    Well you just blew my world wide open; THANK YOU!!!!!


    I must say? I never imagined that a male chicken could be so sweet. He is, BY FAR, the cuddliest and most devoted animal that has come through my door in years.

    I've loved them all; some are special; he is one of these: a really terrific animal... of any species.

    I was arrogant... I had no idea how wonderful and intelligent chickens were. I think? I'm an animal advocate; I know many, many species, in my heart and in my mind, are sapient; not just sentient. But birds? I'd honestly never met one. I DO follow research on corvid cognition and bird cognition; raptors, too impressed me: controlling fire? Yup. Sapient. But chickens? I genuinely had not put them in the same class.

    Sadie has opened my eyes, and made me reevaluate my presumptions. See? A chicken helped me grow. This is not a mistake I shall ever make again: assuming I know; prejudging. Sadie has changed me in this fundamental way; moreso; but? All gifts.


    "Male-specific double barring" : a genetic indicator.

    That is the most solid evidence I could ask for... I cannot tell you how absolutely grateful I am.

    May I enquire? Does this refer to his other-than-frizzle parentage? Do you believe he's a barred Rock or Plymouth Rock hybrid? Is this trait specific to breed, or simply to chickens? Uh. WHAT a relief! {Update... I LOVE genetics, as a layperson. I just learned all about Chicken Feathers and Patterns; I get it, now. SO Simple! I hadn't even known 'Barred' was a pattern. Gosh. I really am disappointed that this family and my vet were not aware of this. But I do know now; and as I said, I've been trying to learn a ton; enough to fill a black hole: in a very short time. Thank you for turning me on to this information... deeply.}

    Also? This may mean I CAN get him a buddy. Would a male rooster get bullied by a female? I might put feelers out for a rescue girl: if you think that might work? I HATE the idea of him going through life as a solitary chicken, but I was afraid she'd be pecked to death by other chickens and the rooster if she limped...

    Is that, do you think, a possibility?

    Younger than him?

    Gosh, what do you think I should call him, now?

    What a gorgeous boy!

    Proud Mama. :)

    Here, please have a Cohiba!

    I have a baby boy! Wow!

    This will be very, very helpful, too, in my research. I am trying to get to the bottom of his claw/health issue....

    Thank you.

    I cannot tell you how grateful I am.

    I wonder why the Vet and Tech insisted he was a girl, even when I mentioned the crowing?

    Huh. No worries, I love my Vet; and his team; they've truly gone above and beyond trying to help me and [insert post-Sadie moniker of choice].

    BIG relief.



    Funny aside?

    My first 'awkward' chicken moment?

    I didn't understand 'Layer' pellets. I thought? The name referenced a feeding technique or some such. 'Layer cake' flashed through my brain, too.

    Then? The penny dropped: "D'oh!"

    LAYER: A chicken who lays eggs.

    Hello. Yes, really, I did that.


    I know nothing.

    Funny, too, because I'm WAY too geeky-nerdy for my own good. I slept with my dictionary starting at age 9, not a doll; and I've been a fact collector ever since; a science nut. Crazy.

    But this? Nope. Nyet. Nunca. Never.

    I've got a LOT to learn...


    looking forward to it, for post-Sadie's sake...
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  4. RareAvis

    RareAvis Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 18, 2016
    Sorry for all of the exclamation points.

    I did go a tad over the top, there; but I am.

    Over. The. Moon.


    Too? I had no idea what I was going to with that many eggs. I HATE eggs... ;p

    What a relief...

    {I would have given them away, other than baking; and will, if I can get him a friend...}

    I, by the way, too had noticed her comb seemed awfully vibrant and stand-uppy for a hen of her assumed lineage. But? They assured me: girl.

    So? I put it down to hybrid vigor.

    I researched it, and learned that there is a spectrum of sizes and shapes: conformation: that is considered normal and that some hens have bigger combs than roosters; that this is not a fool-proof indicator. Also? I wasn't even close to knowing what her breed mix was, with any certainty.

    But a sex-linked trait? THAT I buy. Understand, even. That's speaking my language.

    Totally. First thing that's made sense.

    Researching now...again; you are a life saver.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK

    If you are limited to just getting him one friend, then getting him a male friend would probably be better. Firstly, giving him a female may change his personality and the relationship between you. He may well become protective of her and some then see their human carers as a threat and start becoming aggressive, when they have previously been friendly. Secondly, once his hormones start raging and a hen is brought into the equation, he will want to mate her often. In a flock there will be several hens to share the burden but a single female can become stressed and injured by the frequent mating.
    Male birds will usually live together reasonably peacefully if there are no females to fight over. That said, if you have neighbours who may be disturbed by their crowing, two roosters crowing may be a problem.... they usually compete with each other and crowing duels/duets occur. If you do decide to go for another male bird, getting a younger one might be the best bet, if your boy is disabled. That way, his age advantage should give him enough status not to be picked on.

    My concern would be the lameness at that age. I appreciate that you have identified a claw damage problem but my experience is that chickens are pretty tough and even losing claws completely and bleeding a lot, only causes transient lameness of a few days.
    At the age he is, Marek's disease is a real possibility for causing that lameness. Marek's disease is very widespread and easily contracted and one of the most common symptoms is lameness although there are many others. It is one of the first things to consider when you have a lame juvenile chicken. It sounds like your vet doesn't perhaps know much about chickens, since they cannot even identify gender. I believe a blood sample can be sent off for Marek's but the lab work is expensive. Unfortunately, if it is Marek's there is no recognised treatment and keeping the bird happy and well fed (good nutrition and vitamins are important to support the immune system) and stress free. Marek's is a Herpes type virus that lies dormant in between attacks and then breaks out at times of stress. First attacks can be fatal but if the initial attack is relatively mild, subsequent attacks are usually more severe and tumours often develop.
    Keep an eye on his weight. Marek's is a wasting disease and often birds lose condition even though they are eating well. With chickens being so fluffy, you don't notice they are losing weight until it is very significant. Weekly weigh ins will help monitor his body condition.
    If it is Marek's, some people have found that St John's Wort has been helpful and anything that will support the immune system can only be beneficial. I've tried turmeric but they get sick of eating it and start being picky about food which just makes things worse. Now I just give them supportive care and plenty of access to grass and sunshine and good nutrition and if they are going to survive that is usually what does the trick. Unfortunately here in the UK sunshine at this time of year is a rare commodity!

    Good luck with your boy and I hope that it is something other than Marek's disease causing his lameness.

    Best wishes

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    agree with Queen Misha
  7. RareAvis

    RareAvis Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 18, 2016
    Thank you, Barbara.

    The second thing I asked my vet was, "Marek's, I read about it, can you vaccinate her?"

    "No, we don't do that, here."

    In truth? They think I'm a little nuts, that I go overboard. But? They sort of... indulge me. I've turned around a few kittens and senior hospice dogs— cases that they'd have written off— around: they thrived. Nutrition and diet? HUGE factors. So? They work with me. Chickens, here? Commodity. Overcoming this attitude is one of my largest obstacles.

    No one in my region of Vermont, apparently, vaccinates against Marek's and I even called the U Vermont USDA extension service and asked them: same reply.

    Here? A non-issue: both on small farms and in backyard flocks, supposedly.

    Barbara, I've written a bit about Sadie's history, symptoms, presentation; my struggle and what I've tried; the vet's best guesses; is there any chance you'd consider reading my other posts, if I linked you?

    I'd LOVE help understanding this; helping her. Him.

    I'm out of my depth.

    I do not believe s/he has gout; other conditions have been ruled out: Not bumblefoot. Not mites. No scales. etcetera etcetera. WAS attacked by a canid. Maybe? 'Curly toe' is playing a role.

    Could be gout; I just don't think so. Baking soda ineffective.

    Right now? I'm exploring nutrient deficiencies; and tho I have a background in nutrition, peripherally {BS Culinary Nutrition J&W}? Chickens lack certain enzymes that make it difficult for me to apply what I know effectively: to help him. Basically? I've been reading textbooks and journals and studies and necropsy reports, trying to suss chicken biology. I've learned a ton; not enough yet.

    Please let me know.

    I'm getting desperate.

    Thank you,

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK

    I will have a look at your other posts when I have a bit more time. Vaccinating for Marek's now would be too late if he is already infected and I am not personally a fan of it anyway. There is recent research to suggest that because it is an "imperfect vaccine" (based on turkey strain of Marek's rather than chicken), it encourages more resistant and virulent forms of the virus to flourish. The vaccine is also only available to buy in bulk (thousands of units) from what I understand, so it would not be viable for your vet to offer such a vaccine to the very occasional chicken owner they see. The vaccine seems to be marketed at big hatcheries that are producing thousands of chicks each year although some private breeders/backyard flock owners are forking out for it.

    I too would very much doubt gout is the issue in a young bird and since Marek's is extremely common, especially in juvenile birds, it has to be the most likely cause along with injury... but injury should heal in a few weeks/months. That said, I have had birds with Marek's that fully recovered from severe paralysis (floundering on their sides unable to get up or stand) completely recover after a few days only to have a second attack months later. Others go lame and don't seem to get any better or worse. I had a little pullet struggled for a few weeks standing on the toes of her paralysed foot and tripping over it and stumbling about until she learned to pull it up out of the way and hopped everywhere after that. She was able to get up onto the highest roosts and she free ranged with the rest of the flock and was remarkably agile, although I doubt she would have managed if she had been a heavier built bird. I've had others that deteriorated after the onset of lameness and died after a week or two despite my best efforts... I lost a two year old hen to it yesterday which is really unusual as I had not seen her suffer an attack when she was younger. The only time I have lost adult birds to it was when they have had an attack as juveniles and I've nursed them through it. This time of year is when I have outbreaks of it. The change in weather and daylight as well as juvenile birds that have hatched in spring and early summer, reaching adolescence now and the stress caused by hormone changes in their bodies are all factors in making late summer/autumn the dreaded season for it.

    Nutrition is most easily covered by giving them a preparatory feed like flock raiser (making sure it is well "in date" so that all vitamins etc have not degraded) and supplementing with higher protein treats on occasion like a little scrambled egg or fish or meat. Additional seeds and grains will dilute the protein content of their feed, so don't be overly generous with those, much as they like them. A vitamin supplement for when they are looking a little under the weather can help. We can get Nutri-Drops here in the UK for poultry but I think there is something called Rooster Booster in the USA. Vitamins B and E and selenium can be beneficial for paralysis I believe although I am no expert. I've only been dealing with Marek's for 2 years so I am still on the big learning curve myself.

    Got to go get some work done now, but hope that gives you some ideas for your guy.



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