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Sexing baby chicks and turkeys

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Spires6, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Spires6

    Spires6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Ohio
    My kids are showing chickens and turkeys this year for 4H. I had to order larger quantities than I intend to keep and would like to sell the extras. How can I determine sex in chicks and in turkey poults? I've heard you can tell by wings and by vents but can't find specific information.
     
  2. the_great_snag

    the_great_snag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2007
    Staples, Minnesota
    Ok...

    Some birds can be color-sexed, some feather-sexed, and some require vent sexing....

    That's all I know... lol

    I think some of the hatcheries sell sexing books, but from what I understand it is not a casual undertaking to learn how to do it accurately, especially vent sexing.

    I would try doing a google search. Somebody somewhere has got to have made a web page on this subject...
     
  3. Spires6

    Spires6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
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    Thanks. I've been searching and there is alot on chicken sexing but not on turkey sexing. I am still looking.
     
  4. Harley's girl

    Harley's girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Depends on your breed. I have some that are sex linked. When they hatch I know if they are a pullet or cockerel. The feather sexing I am not sure how to do that. I know it has to be with a fast feathering and a slow feathering breeds, but not sure which ones. Other than that. You can post pics let us know the age and breed and we can try to help. [​IMG] A general rule of thumb is. If you have chicks that are fully feathered and some that are seriously lacking feathers, then the ones with lots of feathers are pullets, roos take much longer to feather in. (Not true in all cases) If the chick has very bright red or pink comb and wattles usually a roo. If you put your hand in the pen and some run away and some run to you, usually the ones that run away are the pullets, the ones that run at you are the roos. (Usually!) There are so many things that will cause this to vary. Just hang in there, you will eventually be able to sex them. (I can't vent sex) but I can look at them and make a darn good guess. Good luck to you! [​IMG]

    As for turkeys........I have no clue.
     
  5. bethandjoeync

    bethandjoeync Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Iron Station, NC
    Harley's girl :

    Depends on your breed. I have some that are sex linked. When they hatch I know if they are a pullet or cockerel. The feather sexing I am not sure how to do that. I know it has to be with a fast feathering and a slow feathering breeds, but not sure which ones. Other than that. You can post pics let us know the age and breed and we can try to help. [​IMG] A general rule of thumb is. If you have chicks that are fully feathered and some that are seriously lacking feathers, then the ones with lots of feathers are pullets, roos take much longer to feather in. (Not true in all cases) If the chick has very bright red or pink comb and wattles usually a roo. If you put your hand in the pen and some run away and some run to you, usually the ones that run away are the pullets, the ones that run at you are the roos. (Usually!) There are so many things that will cause this to vary. Just hang in there, you will eventually be able to sex them. (I can't vent sex) but I can look at them and make a darn good guess. Good luck to you! [​IMG]

    As for turkeys........I have no clue.

    this was very helpful for me, and I think I might have ended up with more pullets than i thought!! because Ihave some major feathers for first weeker chicks. thanks for the info!​
     
  6. briana1975

    briana1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    Carleton Mi.
    We just got our first turkey poults and I was messing around with my husband jake turkey call. Well one poult didn't care and the other one ran and layed down. Now I have been told that it is a mating position that a female will do. When I got the hen call out the oppisite happened and the other poult started to strut. They are only 3 wks old right now so they still looks the same. I am gonna watch and see what happens though.
     
  7. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2008
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    Short form... without knowing your breed well, or not having a color-sexed breed and since you can't know the lines you have (fast or slow feathering if it's there) and You DON'T know with hatchery birds ever then you flat don't know.

    You get to wait. Depending on the breed you will get clues at about four to six weeks, unless you picked a particularly difficult to sex breed like silkies.

    Before that, with hatchery birds. It's all just a guess. In experienced hands someone who's seen 2 or 3 hundred or more chicks might have a better idea. New chicken people get to wait and see. I took pics of my first 75 chicks at one week through two months every week. The first time through I was clueless. By the second group I had a better idea and by the third group in the same breed, I had a pretty good idea by the second week.

    Then I got two different breeds. Nope can't tell at all. Totally different development patterns.

    And turkeys different again.

    Mostly keep track of your feed costs and wait and when you get to four to six weeks out you'll have a much better idea and can sell them off. Feed costs let you know what to charge.

    Good luck, what breed/s?
     
  8. Spires6

    Spires6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Ohio
    Thanks for all the helpful advice. It really helps to have a place to go with questions and to have so many people who are into this. I looked at the video links posted by xxmrsbellxx and it was helpful regarding vent sexing. (My daughter thinks I have some weird new obsession.) I also found another video clip on you tube: "Discovery Chick Sexing" that very clearly demo'd feather sexing which can be done on some breeds. I have, however, been unable to find anything very helpful with sexing turkey poults so I will look at both feathers and vents and see what I can guess. I am getting Speckled Sussex Chicks and Bronze turkeys if anyone has experience with sexing them. I am still having trouble with picture posting but will try to post pictures next week.
     
  9. maysouder

    maysouder New Egg

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    Apr 8, 2009
    The people that I have talked to say that when you hold the chick by its legs between your first and second fingers. If the chick try to peck you and wont relax than it is a roo. If it relaxes it is a pullet. Thats what some of the farmers do around us, they say it works about 99% of the time.[​IMG]
     
  10. tiffster011

    tiffster011 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2009
    Harley's girl :

    Depends on your breed. I have some that are sex linked. When they hatch I know if they are a pullet or cockerel. The feather sexing I am not sure how to do that. I know it has to be with a fast feathering and a slow feathering breeds, but not sure which ones. Other than that. You can post pics let us know the age and breed and we can try to help. [​IMG] A general rule of thumb is. If you have chicks that are fully feathered and some that are seriously lacking feathers, then the ones with lots of feathers are pullets, roos take much longer to feather in. (Not true in all cases) If the chick has very bright red or pink comb and wattles usually a roo. If you put your hand in the pen and some run away and some run to you, usually the ones that run away are the pullets, the ones that run at you are the roos. (Usually!) There are so many things that will cause this to vary. Just hang in there, you will eventually be able to sex them. (I can't vent sex) but I can look at them and make a darn good guess. Good luck to you! [​IMG]

    As for turkeys........I have no clue.

    Those are some good tips...thanks!!​
     

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