How do I sex chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by GammaPoppyLilyFlutter, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. GammaPoppyLilyFlutter

    GammaPoppyLilyFlutter Love Comes with Feathers

    Jun 26, 2010
    California
    I have heard of a few ways to sex day-old chicks that aren't sexlinks, but people say they aren't very accurate. I know of holding the chick by the scruff of its neck and watching to see if it tries to scratch the hand that's holding it and I know the feather-test. The one where you check their wing-tips. Is there any perfect way to determine their sex? In the incubator I have Delawares, Leghorns, RIR's, BO's, and BR's.
     
  2. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Give it a couple of weeks and you will have a better chance. Barred Rocks are actually sex links though. The girls are darker than the boys and have more of a dot on their head. The boys have a smudge of white. Once they start feathering in it is really obvious. The girls have more black in their barring and the boys have more white. It is noticeable pretty early on.

    With my Buff orps the comb started changing at a few weeks old. The boys got bigger faster and started growing bigger combs.

    I don't know about the other breeds. From what I have gathered on here the only really reliable form of chick sexing is vent sexing and it is really hard to do. I think most of the other forms are old wives tales. There is a trick to the wing feather sexing, but I don't know what it is. Have you tried searching for feather sexing?
     
  3. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    You want the grossest way that tends to have 99% correct sexings? You flip em' up, spread the but feathers and lookie there. [​IMG]

    Oh, and the neck sexing way seems to be crap.
     
  4. GammaPoppyLilyFlutter

    GammaPoppyLilyFlutter Love Comes with Feathers

    Jun 26, 2010
    California
    Quote:Thanks for your help. I found a YouTube video that explains feather sexing, but I still think I'm going to research it more before trying it. I didn't know that about BR's- I just thought most of the roosters were whiter because of genetics
     
  5. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Middle TN
    Ummm... I may be using the term sex linked wrong. What I mean is that you can tell by the feathering and down on new barred rock chicks. When you look at a pile of barred rock chicks together the males have a silvery sheen to their black fuzz. The girls are really black. They both have a white mark on their heads. The girls have a more contained spot. The boys have a smudgey mark. Once they start feathering out, the barring on the girls has a wider black band, making them appear darker. The boys have a wider white band, making them appear lighter.

    Perhaps that is what sex linked means? [​IMG]
     
  6. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    i held each chick in my hand with the chick on it's back, it will struggle at first, then it will relax (you have to kinda stabilize it)....if it sticks both legs out after it relaxes it's a rooster. if it draws one or both legs up, it's a hen. i heard about this on a couple sites last year when i was researching it. maybe it's silly or whatever....but it worked with my 4 silkies i hatched. it showed 3 were roos and 1 was a hen.....and it was exactly right. so i'll keep doing it. i don't totally believe it yet, haven't had enough experience with it, but i WILL keep doing it. oh, and i think you have to do this when they're fairly young (a week or less).
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  7. soap&eggs

    soap&eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chixnut...thats interesting way to try & sex..never heard of it..but will try it first chance i get...... by chance..did you retry it several times & get same result? or just the once & get lucky ??
     
  8. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2010
    I try to determine them by the size of combs, the quickest to feather, and the longest legs. Of course, the accuracy is about 70% and lower for me. Other then that, I don't think there's any cop-out way of sexing them accurately without vent sexing [​IMG]
     
  9. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    soap&eggs :

    chixnut...thats interesting way to try & sex..never heard of it..but will try it first chance i get...... by chance..did you retry it several times & get same result? or just the once & get lucky ??

    yes, i retried it several times with all 4 of them....and only once, with one particular chick, did it do the opposite. sounds strange, but regardless of how it sounds...i'll be doing it again with my chicks that are due to hatch next week, and i'll keep records on it....i'll let everyone know how it turns out. these won't take NEARLY as long as the silkies to see sex differences as they age.​
     
  10. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    NEK, VT
    Here's one I heard; Wave a hat or something similar over the brooder. The ones that stand upright are roos and the ones that huddle down are hens.

    Oddly it makes some sense but doubt it's highly accurate.

    Some breeds are easier to feather sex when chicks than others. The longer you've been around a breed the easier it is to tell what sex with incressed accuracy. It's why sex links are so popular, completely different colors by sex due to different breed parents, 100% accuracy.
     

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