How to sex a chicken

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Templechicks, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Templechicks

    Templechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2014
    Temple GA
    I saw this link on Youtube when I was going to buy my chicks. I wanted to see how to tell the difference between a male and a female. Maybe it will help someone else too. Also it lets you see how a big hatchery works. Kinda cool...anyway here it is.., Just copy and paste the link if you want to watch it.
     
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  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    It is an interesting video. What they don’t tell you in there though is that the parents of those commercial chicks have to be set up a special way genetically for feather sexing to work. The hen has to have the dominant slow feathering gene and the rooster has to have the recessive fast feathering gene for feather sexing to work. There are a few videos like that going around. Some people that see them think that feather sexing always works, but it doesn’t. The parent shave to be set up correctly genetically for it to work.

    That was for commercial hatcheries for hybrid egg layers or meat birds, not the hatcheries we buy from. You might enjoy this video of Mike Rowe visiting a hatchery many of us use to see how they do it with vent sexing when the parents are not set up right genetically.



    There are a couple of other very common ways used to sex chicks called red sex links or black sex links. With these the parents also have to be set up right genetically for it ti work.

    If the feather sexing always worked, why would they develop and use these other methods? Why would most hatcheries refuse to sex bantams? It is a nice video but don’t take away that feather sexing always works.
     
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  3. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] So true. Feather sexing only works when breeders are setup to produce feather sexing chicks.
     
  4. Templechicks

    Templechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2014
    Temple GA
    Thanks for the information. I didn't realize that. I still have a lot to learn about this but I am very excited about my chickens and going full bore with my little coop. I will check that link out, thanks. Anymore information is welcome.
     
  5. Templechicks

    Templechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2014
    Temple GA
    Very cool video. Mike Rowe for President!
     
  6. trevchar

    trevchar Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2014
    Watched all the videos...and more...devastated to see how the little fluffies are handled at the hatcheries :( but having said that - our mortality rate on day old chicks is less than 5% so it cant be tooooo bad for them...
    The comments about parents having been bred for feather sexing mentioned above do make sense, as do the sex-link colors mentioned in some breeds (our Koekoeks do the colour at birth thing like the Barred Rocks - works most of the time but always there are a few surprises!) We have recently hatched a mixed batch of Potch Koekoeks and Boschvelders (both indigenous South African breeds) and did not sex them at birth (big mistake). when we started to sell them at 3-4 and 5-6 weeks we did a version of feather sexing on the Boschvelders (assuming the hens feathered faster as we were told) and in most cases it seems to have worked - we have NO IDEA if the parent stock had been bred for feather sexing... BUT our sex-linked Koekoeks were the biggest surprise of the lot; ALL the little chicks had yellow/white dots on their heads, so if I had done them at birth I would have assumed they were all roosters, we actually ahve quite a few pullets in the mix :)

    SO it is not an exact science and the hatcherys do a great job in getting it pretty much right most of the time...

    We will feather sex at birth on our next hatch and separate the chicks then, just to see if it is more accurate than what we did this time round:)

    Happy breeding, love my chooks!!

    xxx
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The feather sexing only works at hatch. Pullets and cockerels feather out differently. The change is gradual, but after a few weeks you can get a reasonable guess as to sex based on how hey are feathering out. I've seen a description of those changes from a California University article, but off the top of my head I can't remember which university or what those specific differences are.

    I was wondering if anyone was going to comment on those conveyor belts. I've seen a broody hen get her chicks out of a 10' high hay loft. She says jump and they do, then bounce up and run to her. Those chicks are a lot tougher than many people expect. Those hatcheries make their living by selling live chicks. They are not going to do anything that harms the chicks and cuts into profit.
     
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