plumage sexing chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aspayne, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. aspayne

    aspayne New Egg

    Feb 19, 2014
    Hello. I am a backyard chicken owner who was content with 6 hens until, one day when, I gave in to my 7 year old daughter while we were at a chick sale. We went home with a brown egg layer pullet ... or so we thought. So my daughter hand-raised this chick which turned out to be a rooster. He's a Golden Buff and, despite being hand-raised, today, he is terribly mean. We can't keep him. My kids will never play outside again or enjoy our hens with him around. Although there is no joy that she gets from him anymore, my daughter still loves him and doesn't want him to go. So... here's my thought. I was thinking about incubating some of our eggs so that she could keep one of his offspring. But I would need to be sure that the "replacement" chick was a pullet. I have no idea how to sex a chick at its vent so is there any way to sex the chicks based on their plumage? I was thinking that Golden Buffs chicks are able to be sexed based on their color. Would my Golden Buff hybrids be able to be sexed this way? My hens are a Golden-Laced Wyandott, a Black Austrolorp, a Buff Orpington, a Plymouth Partridge Rock, a Rhode Island Red and an Americauna. Raising some young sure sounds fun to us, but we certainly don't want to bond with anymore chicks that grow up to be roosters.

    Thanks for your help.

    A. Payne
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    It sounds like your best option is to incubate a bunch of eggs, and then weed out the roos when they declare themselves! Vent sexing is a difficult procedure to learn, but not impossible. There are videos explaining how to do it. I'm guessing that your golden buff roo is a hybrid. I'm not familiar with the term. Perhaps there'll be someone who could take a look at the genetics involved and give you an idea about the possiblilties regarding him over your hens. Why not go ahead, and set a bunch of eggs, and let your daughter pick one of the pullets when it becomes evident that they are pullets. Children are more resilient than you think they are, and they often take their cues from the adults in their lives. If you are matter of fact about re-homing your rooster, and matter of fact about the fact that you can't keep roosters, she'll likely accept your guidelines. My 7 y.o. loves the idea of hatching chicks, and is very involved. She accepts the fact that the roosters end up in the freezer, and even insisted on being around on the day we butchered them. Roosters are a part of the hatching process. If you are not able to deal with them, perhaps you might want to get a few sex linked chicks from your local hardware store. It's best not to try to raise a single chick as it won't thrive and will most likely be socially maladapted and never fit in to the rest of your flock.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Excellent advice!

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