Questions About Feather Sexing

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Featherland, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Featherland

    Featherland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know you have to feather sex right away when they are 1-3 days old. I know the pullets have uneven rows of feathers on their wings and the cockerels are even. My question is: What about when you see an even row of feathers but if you really look also really tiny row of feathers just starting to come in? Is this a cockerel? or a slow feathering pullet? Some chicks are obvious but then with others the two rows of feathers are closer together but not even. Would these be pullets or cockerels or not able to determine? What about when they have no feathers yet?
     
  2. tdgill

    tdgill Chillin' With My Peeps

    I only know that time will tell. :) and if you accidentally end up with roosters, maybe you can love them as much as I do! oxoxo. I kinda told my neighbors I didn't PLAN on having roosters, I thought I was buying sexlinked HENS. but was sold the wrong breeds and oops! now I have a rooster! But I REALLY REALLY like him. If he gets too annoying let me know I will try keeping him in the coop till later in the morning. :) etc.
     
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    What breed are you trying to sex? Feather sexing only works in certain breeds where the pullets feather in more quickly than the boys - scroll down a little to find the Feather Sexing comments on this thread

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/261208/sex-linked-information
    Edited to correct the feathering speed - d'oh typedi t backwards :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  4. Featherland

    Featherland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have Wyandottes that I am feather sexing.
     
  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    I found this on a Canadian forum. Note that some individual birds, even if listed as a slow feathering breed, may not be slow feathering - this is true of many hatchery birds (a big problem in barred rocks where they must be slow feathering to be marked properly).


    Feathering speed is governed by a sex-linked gene, K=slow, and k+ (wildtype) = fast. (two other, even slower, variants exist. I won't go into them right now).

    Breeds that have the K allele (and since we're talking breeds, not hybrids, they ONLY have the K allele) will feather slowly, in general. Because it's sex-linked, males have two copies (K/K) and females only one (K/-). Because of the dosage effect, males (with two doses) will feather slower than females.

    Breeds that have the K allele, so should be feather sexable, are:

    Brahma Cochin Langshan Dorking Cornish Sussex Orpington Australorp RIR New Hampshire Barred Rock Wyandotte Delaware Jersey Giant

    Breeds that have the k+ allele, so won't be feather sexable:

    Leghorn Minorca Andalusian Ancona Buff Catalana Brabanter Campine

    It gets even more interesting with hybrids. If you cross a female from the slow-feathering list (K allele) with a male from the fast feathering list (k+ allele), all the cockerels, being K/k+) will feather slowly, and the pullets (k+/-) will feather REALLY fast.
     

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