How accurate is sexing chickens by feathering?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by FaithAnn, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. FaithAnn

    FaithAnn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2009
    Mobile, Alabama
    I have been told that you can tell the sex of a chick by how fast they get their feathers. I have 4 buff orpingtons. I thought I had 2 hens and 2 roos because 2 feathered a lot faster - the 2 that I thought were hens had little tail feathers a couple of weeks before the other two. Now, one that I was sure was a hen is the only one that is starting to get a little red comb. SOOO....can you really tell the sex of a chick by how fast they get their feathers? How accurate is that?
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Not always accurate. Usually, pullets get their tails and feather in faster than the cockerels, but not in all breeds.

    RAREROO Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 22, 2009
    Alapaha, Ga
    I agree with Cynthia, it doesn't work accuratly in all breeds. I ordered sexed BOs ans SLWs from a hatchery and I saw that the pullets did feathere faster than the roos, but when they were older, a few of the fast feathering ones ended up being roos, (I've found that the fast feathering roos usually have incorrect type and feather comformation as adults too) But anyway, so when I was hatching me Speckled Sussex, I saw that some would feather faster than the others, so I thought I could sex them that way, WRONG, there were a lot of the fast feathering SS that ended up being roos, same thing with some RIRs, so it really isn't an accurate way to sex.
  4. jqs birds

    jqs birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2009
    Western Colorado
    I know hatcheries only use it on some types, and I believe it is only truly accurate on newly hatched chicks.
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It is pretty accurate on day old chicks by comparing the primary and secondary pin feather shafts on the wings. However, it is only accurate in breeds in which the breeders have chosen slow feathering males and bred them to fast feathering females. In any other case, it's luck, and partially genetics of their parents, which now a days is often is slow feathering male and fast feathering females.

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