I think my hen might have hatched 9 cockerels? Help?

shanadienne

Songster
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
167
38
146
Massachusetts, USA
My beloved Sebright hen Sam laid nine eggs and hatched every one of them. Except... all of them kinda look like boys to me.

They're 7 weeks old today (the pictures are from two days ago) and a number of them have started crowing, I've seen at least two attempt mating behavior, and they all still fight but not violently. (I don't put much stock in crowing tbh because Sam herself started crowing when she was about 4 weeks old and she still does it on rare occasions.) There was one that I picked up once and it was startled enough to go into the submission posture that usually indicates a hen.

Sam, although a Sebright, has had three male offspring *without* hen-feathering but most of these chicks look hen-feathered to me, so I focused mostly on their faces. Which may look weird because a few weeks back they started viciously attacking each other for unknown reasons. They've since calmed down.

I'm uploading a picture of each, even though there are a few that I am already dead certain are male.

001 spectacles 2.JPG

"Spectacles" - only one with Silkie-type dark skin (from father). Also the only one who is definitely growing sickle feathers.

002 alice clone.JPG

Chick #2

003 wynn clone 3.JPG

Chick #3

004 mia (2).JPG

IMG_20170523_174430283.jpg

"Mia"

005 rosecomb black.JPG

Chick #5

006 single comb black.JPG

Chick #6

007 sam clone 2.JPG

Chick #7

008 light sebright chick.JPG

Chick #8

009 frosty 2.JPG

"Frosty" who managed to get a tiny bit of leaf stuck to their beak for their photo op.

In case it helps, these are the parents:
IMG_20170318_191606527.jpg

Wynn on the right there is Sam's son.

This guy is the likely father of chicks 1, 5, 6, and probably 9.
IMG_20170415_122012220.jpg
 

Hybridchucks

Queen Of The Coop
Jul 13, 2016
4,342
16,055
832
Burdsville
My Coop
My Coop
They are BEAUTIFUL! But I think they look all male!!! sorry but I'm just being honest!
The ONLY pullet looking one is this one..
001-spectacles-2-jpg.1022195
but it still looks like a little roo! :( If I were you I would love to keep them, but they don't live in harmony....:(:hugs
 

shanadienne

Songster
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
167
38
146
Massachusetts, USA
1 in 512, those are the odds... (2^9)

Can anyone explain why I have some rosecombs that are kinda smoother/smaller/paler looking (#2 and Frosty) as opposed to super pointy (#5 and #7)? I was assuming those two were pullets and the rest were cockerels.

And is there any possibility that there's been something weird that caused the hypothetical pullets to start to mature really quickly? I know I'm grasping at straws here but if my favorite hen hatched me 9 roosters... out of 9 eggs... geeze.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,917
832
California's Redwood Coast
Well, I know the hen determines the gender of the chicks... So I would pay attention to what she hatches and not keep one that throws all boys, unless I was really hungry! I hatched 7/9 boys and 1 girl was taken by a predator. So I can kinda feel your pain.

My guess as to why some combs are smoother than others is because they are mixed breeds and the genetics won't translate 100% the same to every offspring. :confused:

It's kinda cool to have such a variety. If I had to choose who might be a pullet (which one squated for you) I would go with Spectacles or Frosty. I have also seen cockerels do the eggs song when they get startled though! :p
 

shanadienne

Songster
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
167
38
146
Massachusetts, USA
Yes, she was the only hen with access to her nest. She's from Tractor Supply; she's like twice the size of Sebrights I see at the local poultry show (but still the smallest hen in my flock!). I'm aware hatcheries keep Sebright roosters who are not hen-feathered and aren't homozygous for rosecomb for fertility purposes; Sam is likely a product of that.

She's my favorite hen, and I've hatched 2 females and 3 males from her eggs before, so I'm gonna give her a pass this once. Maybe she'll hatch me 9 pullets next time.

Edit: And as a matter of fact, Spectacles is my most definite male. Sickle feathers coming in and attempted mating behavior. It was either Frosty or #2 that squatted down. My memory is failing me. D:
 

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