How can you tell if a chick is a rooster or a hen??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chick Pea 123, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Chick Pea 123

    Chick Pea 123 Hatching

    Mar 2, 2013
    How do you tell what gender a chick is?
    i need the answer because tomorrow im getting 4 silkies, but don't know what gender they are, because the lady who is giving them to me has not told me (or can't tell herself)
    so i would like to be able to tell diffrence.


  2. stake

    stake Songster

    Feb 5, 2013
    Malvern, pa
    I am a newbie(I know very little), but I've heard there is something called feather has to do with the wing is not precise...I cannot remember where I read about it...probably on this site....good luck with your chicks
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    The very first post on this thread gives the basis for how sex links work and gives three examples in detail, red sex links, black sex links, and feather-sexing. None of these work unless the parents are genetically set up for it. You have to know the genetic background of the parents for any of these to work. With those Silkies, you don’t have that. So feather-sexing cannot be relied upon.

    Tadkerson’s Sex Link Thread

    One way the hatcheries are able to sex chicks not genetically set up for one of the sex link methods is vent sexing. This is where specially trained people squeeze the poop out of a chick and look inside the vent to determine sex. It’s not all that easy. Most hatcheries will guarantee this 90% of the time, which gives you an idea how hard it is for the experts to get this right. Very few will even attempt this on bantams. A lot of Silkies are bantam, but I don’t know about the ones you are getting. Unless you or the lady have experience on doing this and maybe a magnifying glass, it’s not likely this method will do you much good.

    You can find several things that people say will work, but I personally have never tried any of them so I can’t recommend them. I will mention that commercial hatcheries don’t use any of them.

    Not the answer you wanted, I know. Good luck!

    Editted to add: What age are they? I'm assuming newly hatched chicks in what I said. If they are older, you might have some signs.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  4. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Crowing

    Feb 12, 2013
    Eastern WA
    as far as silkies I don't know if you can feather sex, you cannot do this with all breeds,I have vent sexed chicks before, I don't squeeze poo, and never had to, but if you pull up the butt feathers so that it lifts the top ring of the pung, the boys look like they have a little bead hanging down like baby lips that have that little dolup thing hanging down. check out the diff chicks and compare them. good luck!
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    You cannot feather sex Silkies. If you can't vent sex them (which is exceedingly difficult with bantams) your only options are to DNA sex them- which will cost you some money -or- wait until they're older and show characteristics that point to one gender or the other.
    Silkies are probably the most difficult breed to sex. So the reason the lady has indicated gender is most likely because she doesn't know. Good luck with them, if you do decide to wait them out I've found that getting rid of my Silkie cockerels is white easy since they're so cute.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013

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