How Accurate Is Feather Sexing?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ILikeBirds, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    The reason I ask is because I'm new to the chicken game and I recently bought 7 pullets from a women off of craigslist. She kept three roosters out of the flock that was then 10. She seamed fairly confident that what she was keeping was roosters, but I didn't bother to look at the time. So how likely is it that one of my pullets might be a roo?

    She sexed them at 7 weeks, and now its about 9 weeks, so should I being seeing any differences if they were roos?

    Here's a couple pictures of two of my biggest pullets.

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  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    What "feather sexing" technique is it you are referring to? There is the wing feather sexing using a comparison of the primary and covert feathers - but that has to be done between 1-3 days of age and is only applicable to crosses that are bred to be feather sexed (one fast feathering breed parent and one slow feathering breed parent). Some people will claim success with chicks that are not of this breeding, but the technique is unreliable, at best, when not applied to the right crossed chicks.
    That being said - lots of folks refer to "feather sexing" for a lot of other stuff - so knowing what technique it is that was being referred to would be helpful in judging the accuracy.
     
  3. heddinn

    heddinn New Egg

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    Is there a way to tell sex by spurs on the legs I have 3 buff Orpingtons two with pointy Spurs one with a bump
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Both males and females can grow or lack spurs - so it really isn't a reliable tool for sexing -- how old are your BOs? I would suggest taking photos of each one and posting a thread I the "what breed/gender" forum -- if they are 8+ weeks old it is likely we'll be able to give you a pretty good guess.
     
  5. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh gosh I don't know. I had the impression that the size of the feather crests and other plumage was taken into account. For example roosters would have more plumage and larger crests than pullets. These chickens are half polish that's why I'm mentioning crests to more extent. That being said, because I'm new to this and don't know my terminology very well, I had the impression it was how they were sexed, but as of now I really have no idea how she did it. She wasn't a breeder, I just fund her on craigslist, so I'm thinking I might just have to wait a couple weeks to find out!
     
  6. Hayesfamfarm14

    Hayesfamfarm14 New Egg

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    Hello! My sources (my family members that have been breeding and raising chickens for several years now) say to give the a couple more weeks and that is usually when they start crowing. That is if they are roosters! What breed did she say they were by chance?
     
  7. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay! That sounds reliable. They are Rhode Island Red, Sliver Laced Polish mix. Maybe I can post pics of the rest of them later.
     
  8. Hayesfamfarm14

    Hayesfamfarm14 New Egg

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    That would be awesome to see their pictures then! What an interesting mix! Oh do you know anyone that knows anything about raising Ancona Ducks from hatching them out in an incubator to adult hood?
     
  9. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah I'll post the pics later tonight! And I actually don't, but there are some pretty great forums on here where I'm sure someone could certainly help you out. Maybe try the forum "other backyard poultry," go to "ducks," start a new thread and see if anyone replies!
     
  10. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Telling the sex of maturing chickens by their feathers works. Look at the hackles, neck feathers, a rooster's are more pointed, Saddle feathers, between and behind the wings, are longer, The tails feathers are more arched in a rooster and a hens are folded in an inverted v. Because cockerels mature faster then pullets their combs and wattles develop sooner as well. The pictures you posted don't give me enough of the relevant feathers to see. Since they are crosses the combs at that age don't help me.
     

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