sexing chicks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by the simple life, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is the way a chick feathers out any indication of sex? I have chicks that are the same breed, hatched on the same day. Some have their wings filling in rapidly whilel the others have just a tiny bit of feathering on the tips of their wings. I noticed some are also getting their tail feathers first as well. These are all a week old.
    Thanks for any help, just curious. It will be interesting to keep tabs on them and see how it plays out.
  2. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    There is one guaranteed way to tell if you have a hen or a roo. Feed, water and love them for six months. Those that lay eggs are hens, those that crow are roos. Actually there is no way to tell until they are a few weeks old. Some say they can tell by the wing features, but even this is not garanteed. This is why you can only buy straight run silkies, they can't tell.
  3. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    They say that with many breeds the females feather more quickly than the males. I would bet that if yours are all the same breed and from the same batch that many of your quick feathering chicks could indeed be the pullets. Mark them and let us know how it turns out!
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    In some breeds the males are the fast featherers too...[​IMG]

    See if this makes it clear as mud.

    Feather Sexing

    Text by "an anonymous friend"

    Feather sexing requires maintaining 2 breeder flocks for the parents and one breeder flock for the chicks. (Two flocks would work, but this is easiest way to explain it.)

    The breeder flock for the female line must be slow feathering only, and the breeder flock for the male line must be fast feathering only. To breed for the chicks you would then cross the slow feathering females with the fast feathering males. The resulting offspring would be the opposite of their parents. Females fast feathering and the males slow feathering.

    Some hatcheries just switch the males on the mother and father lines. The resulting offspring of one flock would be feather sexable and the offspring from the other flock would be sold as straight run. (Remember that the mother must be slow feathering and father fast feathering for feather sexing to work).

    Most hatcheries just buy the slow feathering females and fast feathering males or simply ship in hatching eggs from someone already set up.

    Most of your common white and brown egg layers and a few rare breeds are feather sexable. Probably all chickens have the genes for for fast and slow feathering, so it would be just a matter of culling for this trait until you have two lines that breed true--one for each trait.

    Because the males' feather grow slower, they will be shorter and of equal length (see Figure 1). Females' feathers will be not only longer but some feathers will be much longer than the others (sort of a row of long and a row of short feathers--see Figure 2).

    Figure 1.
    ----------- male

    Figure 2.
    ------------- female

    Darn, found another link...
    Feather sexing became possible in 1969 after several years of genetic research by the Tegels Poultry Breeding Company. This method used to determine the sex of newly hatched chicks is only possible if a female from a slow-feathering breed is crossed with a male from a fast-feathering breed. The sex of the chicks produced from this cross can be determined during the first 48 hours after hatching by looking at the primary and secondary feathers located on the chick's wings. The primary feathers will be noticeably longer than the secondary feathers on a female chick. On a male, the primary and secondary feathers are the same length.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
  5. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Right, but this applies to the wings and the flight I am speaking of the overall body feathering. I have 4 EEs that are far more feathered than the others and they also have hardly any growth in their combs, as where the others are lacking a lot of feathers around the neck, wing, underwing and back areas. Their combs are much plumper and have very definite rows on their combs. Only time will tell for sure.

    But, I certainly think it's worth marking them to see if this applies.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
  6. WrenAli

    WrenAli Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    Lebanon, OR
  7. Nichole77

    Nichole77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2007
    I found that the best way to sex is to let me do it. i can look at all the chicks and try to pick the pullets and every one of them will be male.
  8. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think it will be interesting to see the results. I will mark each, and catergorize the breeds. I have a few different breeds and at least a couple of each is noticeably different from the other chicks in the same breed.There is definite differences in the feathering.
    I love all my chickies but I am IN LOVE with one little cutie, and am praying that it turns out to be a pullet.
    Its an auracana that is a lemon yellow with silver and black striping."she" is the sweetest thing ever, she wants you to hold her all the time. When you go to put her back in the brooder she refuses to get off your hand, she loves to nap in your hand or you lap.
    This one NEEDS to be a girl. But you all know how that goes.
    I will keep you all posted on how it goes.
  9. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Jerry always just acted like a boy so I sorta knew when I took him home...
    They're always looking around and just sorta act rooish.
    I hope your little mugger's a girl...[​IMG]
  10. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Quote:[​IMG] You poor thing!

    I hope your little chickie is a pullet! Do you have pics??? The colors sound so pretty!

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