Looking for Sexing tips - "Hoover Hatchery Rainbows"


Jun 7, 2020
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
My Hoovery Hatchery "Rainbows" bought as straight run at TSC are coming up on 29 weeks of age. While they are more of a landrace (if I understand that term correctly) than a true breed, in that they are a barnyard mixing that's been isolated and left to its own genetic devices, and there isn't a lot of good info available on them, by my best guestimates, all of them should be laying now. And that's a problem.

I have 7 of them. 3 Comets. 5 Dark Brahma, 2 CornishX all of laying age - 17 female birds, but average less than 6 eggs daily from the bunch. My Comets are obviously female. Likewise the Cornish, and the Dark Brahma, contrary to hopes, also all hens - their markings at 24 weeks don't allow any other possibility. My CornishX Roo is too big to do the deed, and doesn't seem much interested anyways. SO the only hope I have of getting a new generation not from the store lies with my "Rainbows". As a straight run, the chances of getting all hens should be something like 1 in 128. Just my luck, right???

So, last week, we gathered up eggs from our layers as they deposited them and moved them to the incubator. Checked them last night, age 6 days. The five Duck eggs I gathered are all progressing nicely, 100% good (so far). Not a single one of the 7 chicken eggs in the incubator was fertile. Not one.

Before I gather up another 7 eggs to start incubation and wait a week for evidence of development, or burn my cell phone minutes trying to post pictures of birds, is there anyone experienced with this particular hatchery "breed" who can help me narrow potential candidates? Contra Hoover's website, these birds are no all unique and different - mine all look like mostly Buff Orp crossed with RIR/NHRs or mostly NHRs with some Buff Orp in their background. Unlike the Comets and their deliberate sex-linking, or the Dark Brahma with their distinct adult plummage, I just don't know what to look for as clear signs in the Rainbow of sexing. I'm ready to start marking them with a paint marker as I catch them in the nesting boxes until process of elimination provides some answer.

Thanks in advance, and I'll post a few representative pictures later. The 7 birds each look like 1 of 2 possibilities - beyond that I have to look at their leg bands to tell them apart.

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