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How do I sex my chickens?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by jemmerson, May 29, 2010.

  1. jemmerson

    jemmerson In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2010
    OK, so I'm wondering how I can go about sexing my birds that are about 2 weeks old now. Little did I know that I could sex them within the first few days by looking at their wing feathers. Figures! [​IMG] But then I did read somewhere that in "heirloom/heritage" chickens this method of sexing does not work, it only only works on hybrids?!?! Well, in my case I have many different heritage breeds and some silkies, some buff orpintons and they have all surpassed the time period anyway of being sexed in this manner. I also read that trying to sex them by looking at their vents is almost like rocket science. So then I read on and pretty much learned that I will have to wait until they are all approx. 4 - 6 weeks old until their secondary sex charachteristics become apparent to tell them apart. But I'm still unsure of what all of these secondary characteristics are. [​IMG] Oh, and then there are the wives tales. Sorry, not interested in those. So yes, I'm feeling a little discouraged at this point and wonder if this is all true and if someone could give a newby some advice. I would like to separate the boys from the girls soon. Thanks for any info!
  2. bantyhen'sfriend

    bantyhen'sfriend Songster

    Mar 22, 2009
    Southern Wisconsin
    Wait until they're 4-6 weeks old, or older. The boys' combs and wattles will be larger and redder, often dramatically so! The boys will also have pointed feathers at the base of the tail and on their necks. And after week 4, you may start to hear crowing (although 4 weeks is very early, it has happened around here!). Usually the don't crow until about three months.
  3. Falcon61

    Falcon61 Chirping

    May 5, 2010
    Are you culling?
  4. jemmerson

    jemmerson In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2010
    Thanks for the info. Much appreciated. If anyone else has anything else yet to add I'm all ears too.

    I am really hoping to be able to tell the sexes a little after a month because I have been planning to only really accomodate about 15 hens in my coop, hopefully half or so of what I've got now. I have close neighbors and I'm pretty sure they won't appreciate the roos, unfortunately. I have a friend who will raise the roosters out on a farm.
  5. sydney13

    sydney13 Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    i don't think you could physically tell yet but you might be able to get a good guess of what sex by their behavior. if you gentle pick them up by their beaks the boys will try to get free and the girls will lie limp. if you take them by surprise by dropping a paper of something over their heads the boys will look up and the girls will crouch down.

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