sexing chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by AlivianAcres, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. AlivianAcres

    AlivianAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2012
    Elizabeth Colorado
    Wondering if everyone does this immediately or do you wait for the boys to 'crow'...I always as summed it took a well trained eye...I'm new to hatching. .I am setting today. Wondering if I need to be studying.
  2. luvmychixandducks

    luvmychixandducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2010
    Danvers, Massachusetts
    If sexed chicks are critical to your chicken plans, and you hatch your own eggs, then limit your choiices of breeds to the sex link varieties.
    If you buy eggs, specify sex link eggs only. If you breed your own, then make sure your choices of rooster and hens will give you a hybrid cross that can be sexed at birth. By this I mean- choose hens and roosters that will produce either Red Stars or Black Stars. The RedStars will hatch and sex is linked to coloration- the yellow chicks are all roosters and the reddish will be pullets.
    If you prefer black hens, the Black Star rooster chicks will all have a yellow spot on their heads- the pullet chicks will have a totally black head.
    Sex link chicks exhibit this link between sex and coloration in the F1 generation only, so you cannot rely on coloration if you save some sex link chicks as replacement breeders- you have to start over with purebred stock to generate the sex link chicks at hatching.
    Both hybrids start with a red rooster- either a New Hampshire Red or Rhode Island Red.
    I you choose a Barred rock hen you get black chicks- If you use hens of the Delaware breed you will produce red Stars.
    The issue of raising your own sex links to avoid roosters is.... you need to start with at least one rooster.
    Or., you can choose a breed that can be feather sexed. Search the Forum for feather sexing- there are several descriptive threads dealing with this . Basically a chick is produced that will either grow feathers fast or slow based on sex. Check the wing feathers, determine the sex at a few days of age.
    Some breeds need to be raised until they are ready to crow before you can tell them apart.
    Silkies are known for keeping their sex a secret for quite a while.
    If roosters are a problem avoid the breeds that leave sex in doubt. Or raise them all and decide in advance to put the roosters in the pot when they crow.

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