Old Wives' Tales???? Temp for girl versus boy...?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Buugette, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    I heard a lady talking about hatching eggs... she was telling someone that she maintained a certain temperature to encourage the hatching of pullets versus little roos.

    Is this so? I tried to talk to her and she was like... well how do you think the hatcheries control the sexes... and walked away from me. I did hear her say that the difference in temp is minor but significant.

    Any input is greatly appreciate it.

  2. abanjaf

    abanjaf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    Cocoa, Florida
    Everything I've read suggests that is indeed an old wives' tale. That just like mammals, gender is decided at fertilization. And if hatcheries could control the sexes, why is it that their freebies, packing peanuts, free mystery chicks, etc. almost all wind up being roos?
  3. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    This comes up frequently and usually the main point made is that if we could control sexes like that hatcheries would do it. They don't. You only get pullets delivered to you because the roo chicks are killed off or you get them as packing peanuts for free. They still hatch 50/50. One gender just doesn't get to live.

    The only truth this could have is that pullets are more sensitive to temp than roos. If you run the incubator too hot the pullets will die first. You still have half pullets and half roos but those eggs that didn't hatch mostly make up your pullets so you end up with more roos. The same probably holds true for too low of temp but it takes a lot more to get too low since eggs will continue to incubate down to 96F. From that we end up with the myth that high temps hatch more roos and low temps hatch more pullets. Various hatches will also lean more towards one gender so if someone doesn't do enough hatches to get a good representation they can start making claims that don't hold up when we start comparing large numbers of chicks hatched.
  4. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Quote:Thank you so much... wonderful answer and one that I actually understand.

    In turn, I will dance around my incubator chanting, shaking a few chicken feet, sacrifice a few worms and bugs and pray to the chicken god for a hatch with more pullets than roos.

    That should work... or at least scare away any preditors! [​IMG]
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    The sex is determined by the time the egg is laid. By the fifth day of incubation, the sex organs are forming. No chance for a change due to temp. That only applies to reptiles. As Akane said, more males may survive temp spikes, etc.
  6. Sweetfolly

    Sweetfolly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2009
    Kildare, Wisconsin
  7. BloominOrchid

    BloominOrchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    Worcester Township
    [​IMG][​IMG] Doing a Pullet dance too [​IMG]:[​IMG]:
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  8. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    Somebody recently posted a link to a news article about a chicken that was born half male and half female. The article was intriguing, and I learned things I never knew, and one thing that stuck with me is that from the moment the egg forms, it is either male or female. Before the sperm even enters it, so I'm guessing they mean that while it is still in it's unformed state inside the hen, it is already either male or female. I found that idea interesting. And apparently the half and half chickens are much more common than I would have thought. I think the article said like 1 in 10,000 are born like that. I'm sure there are tons of old wives tales out there. I've heard of a few of them, and so far, almost all that I've heard have been dismissed as false. So I wouldn't take too much credence in this particular one. Shake your chicken bones, and don't forget to offer the chicken Gods some scratch and greens too! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    Quote:they may have been thinking of quail ( coturnix) I think I read they only use one ovary and sometimes when that one quits working ( the left one ) they switch over to the right one in the switch they can develops some male coloring rusty chest/breast
  10. merry hens

    merry hens Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 18, 2009
    Quote:they may have been thinking of quail ( coturnix) I think I read they only use one ovary and sometimes when that one quits working ( the left one ) they switch over to the right one in the switch they can develops some male coloring rusty chest/breast

    Hi, I read that article about half-female half-male chickens too...here's the link if anyone is interested: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/03/chicken-sex/
    actually a chicken that has female cells on one side and male cells on the other side of it's body. Its very interesting.

    In regards to whether there is an optimal temperatrure for female chicks, I sure wish there was. I do recall reading an article a few years back about a study that found that female chicks are more susceptible to incubator conditions such as temperature fluctuations than males, but I havent been able to find it since and it may not be substantiated. I would find it interesting to know why chicks seem to have a higher ratio of males than females. Anyone know?

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