Question on feathering out....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by (sub)UrbanCoop, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. (sub)UrbanCoop

    (sub)UrbanCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When a baby chick's wings start to feather out (in the first week)... do they primary wings start coming in quicker on a roo or is it the same for a rooster and a hen?

    I have a couple of chicks whose primary feather have really come in within the first 3 days and wondered if it is a sign of a roo.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There is a specific gene that determines if a chicken is fast-feathering or slow-feathering. That's probably what you are seeing at three days.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Feathering can be influenced by gender but only with certain strains / breeds of poultry. In all that I familiar with, males, when feathering rate differs by sex are the ones that feather out more slowly.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I think so. As I understand it, at least one locus slowing feather developement is on the Z-chromosome which can be used to distinguish heterozygous males from females that lack the allele. One of the "American Dominique" strains I got from a commercial hatchery did have the sex-linked variety possibly comes from crossing with Barred Plymouth Rocks. Another locus not on Z-chromosome has an allele that makes for the shorter feathers on wings and tails of some of the larger production breeds. That allele I am selecting against in my Dominiques by introducing the wildtype alternative producing faster feather growth from American Games.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Slow feathering is dominant over fast feathering so if the female has the slow feathering and the male is pure for fast feathering, you can feather sex the offspring.

    That fast feathering gene is what makes the difference in the appearance of the Dominique and Barred Rock. Barred Rock should have the slow feathering gene, That slows the rate of feather growth so the barring is really crisp. The Dominique has the fast feathering gene so it looks more jumbled and "Cuckoo".
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Dominique has another slow feathering locus that the barred rock also has. Fast feathering at both loci produces feather growth like in wild-type fowl which faster than even American Dominiques. Birds with extended black base coloration and barring gene have smoky look to feathers while the autosomal slow barring produces the somewhat crisper yet jumbled cuckoo look of the American Dominique. It requires the additional male sex-linked slow feathering to get the crisper and ringed looked to the bars and Barred Plymouth Rocks. I would not doubt the existance of a third locus that slows feathering.
     
  8. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Does anyone know what breed(s) feather out the slowest? I have a six week, almost seven week old with not much but wing feathers. Finally after weeks of thinking I was going to have a bald chicken it is getting some feathering coming in on its shanks and knee area but no tail nor shoulder area feathering at all.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Post a picture showing bird in question.
     
  10. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    BunBun today, going on seven weeks. Might be an Ameraucan X Australorp
     

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