Sexing Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sarah Bella, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. Sarah Bella

    Sarah Bella In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2007
    Hi all, newb here. Im so newb that i don't even have chickens yet.

    Before i get my chicks in a few weeks i am trying to learn as much as possible so i can be well prepared.

    I will be keeping them in an urban setting so its CRITICAL that i don't raise roosters. I know chicks can come pre sexed at as young as day olds and i would like to know how the experts do it, what do they look for? is there a site i can go to that explains this?

    i know for humans sex is determined long before conception, i know with leopard geckos incubation temps manipulate the gender ratio. (this is useful as females make less aggressive pets)

    When is sex determined in chickens, and can it be manipulated??
  2. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    I am by far no expert, but from what I know of breeding birds is that it can not be manipulated to produce one or the other. Birds may lay eggs, but they are not reptiles, and their reproduction does not work like a retiles. They will hatch chicks of both sexes no matter what, unless for some odd reason, all of the chicks of one sex didnt hatch, which would be quite rare. I bred small and medium parrots for 10 years, so I'm working off what I know from my own personal experiences.

    When you order from a feed store or hatchery you will want PULLETS if you dont want a roo, but be warned that even the most expert sexing in not 100% and you may end up with one or two in your lot. If they are unwanted, they can be sold, rehomed, given away......or make a tasty dinner! [​IMG] When the experts sex the day olds, i consists of them squeezing them to make them poo and then observing wether or not they have a little 'bump' inside their vent. Bump=male, no bump=female....but this is not always acurate. Some male chicks will seem to have no bump or a bump so small it can hardly be seen. Some females may seem to have a small bump, and be mistaken for a male. Its not an easy thing to learn, and is really best left to the professionals. The only sure way (other than DNA testing) to possitively sex a chick is to either watch it grow up and then see what it is, or buy one of the many sex link breeds (Red Sex Link, Black Sex Link, etc) that are easily told apart by their color at hatching.

    Good luck in your chicken adventure! You will love them!
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2007
  3. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    Sex in chickens is determined at the time of egg production, similar in timing to humans but a little different. The hen has two types of eggs (the opposite of humans, which have two types of sperm) and if the egg is a "W", it is a hen, if a "Z" it is a rooster.

    If I were you, I'd opt for sex link chicks. These are chicks that have special color genes on the Z's and W's, such that a ZZ (rooster chick) comes out a different color than a WZ (hen chick) right at hatching. It is a clever breeding trick and one that would guarantee you all girls.

    Good luck


    (I editted this because I made a serious mistake in explaining it!)
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2007
  4. Sarah Bella

    Sarah Bella In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2007
    thanx guys [​IMG]

    all the information you have given me, along with some research on sex-linked chicks has helped me decide that sex linked chicks are not the way i wanna go. i'm not big on hybrid anything, just a personal preference. I must say tho, that it is a very VERY cool way to do things.
    Wish they were doing it with bantam silikies [​IMG]

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