Sexing Easter Eggers

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by 44Wolves, May 26, 2013.

  1. 44Wolves

    44Wolves Here is Your New Title

    2,869
    10
    188
    Jun 28, 2009
    I have looked on tons of threads and I see a bunch of people telling whether they think the chicks are male or female- but how do they do it?

    I don't know.


    Some say they can sex the chicks based on the color. Would anyone mind elaborating on this? That would be amazingly helpful, considering I might be getting straight run chicks from a local farm.

    And can you sex chicks that are, say, a week old or less? How?
     
  2. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Songster

    2,236
    125
    208
    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    Vent sexing is the only thing you can do to sex when they're very young. 5 weeks is usually the minimum for sexing pea-combed breeds. Some claim to do it earlier by the width of the peas (3 rows--cockerel, 1 row--pullet), but I find this doesn't work for EEs. Many birds will make you wait until they're 8 weeks to be really clear on sex. Obviously nothing is 100% until they crow or lay, but we can generally get to be 99% sure by 8-12 weeks.

    Easter Eggers tend to have specific color patterns that are different in males and females. Generally, there is what I have taken to calling: partridge and black and white (there are many variations on these, but they are the basics).

    Pullet patterns often flow evenly down the body. Cockerel patterns are broken up with splotches of color, especially dark red patches (like the partridge cockerel in the photo). Pullets tend to have the same color on their heads and necks, whereas cockerels tend to develop a separate head color and neck color.

    The below photo is what I try to use to explain this:

    [​IMG]

    The bird in the very top of the photo is a partridge cockerel.
    Then a partridge pullet.
    Then a black and white cockerel.
    Then a black and white pullet.

    Here are some of the same birds in individual photos:

    Partridge cockerel (notice the red splotches across the shoulders, the orange head with gold hackles):
    [​IMG]

    Partridge pullet (even color pattern, no red splotches, orange head and orange hackles, salmon breast--this one is always a pullet trait):
    [​IMG]

    Black and white cockerels (very splotchy coloring, head is white and hackles are black):
    [​IMG]

    Black and white pullet (head is white and hackles are white, color pattern is the same all over the body):
    [​IMG]

    These are all just guidelines, and there are definitely exceptions. We follow up these guidelines with analysis of comb (red early is a cockerel, as usual) and behavior (friendly and brave is a cockerel, as usual). If everything adds up to one sex or the other, it is fairly likely (80-90%). If only a few things add up, then we may have to wait a few more weeks.

    This kind of sexing tends to work best with hatchery EEs; the home grown variety are better sexed by comb and other typical methods, rather than color.

    Hope that answered some of you questions.

    ETA: Extra photos.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    22,838
    8,836
    647
    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    If you read the very first post in this thread, Tim tells you how to do it by color or maybe by feathers at hatch. The only way this works is if the parents are set up for it genetically. I don’t know if the parent flock is set up for this on the farm, but it is highly unlikely. You can ask.

    Tadkerson’s Sex Link Thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=261208

    This one gives you more general information. Notice it doesn’t talk about week olds, but when they are older.

    How to sex chicks
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=48329

    At one week old it is really hard to be sure unless the parents are set up for it genetically like in that post above. Some people can get it right more often than not but it is pretty much an experience and art thing, not a hard scientific way. No real guarantees, especially at that age.

    When you get your chicks you want healthy chicks. Don’t get any that stand around and look puffed up. They should be scrambling around and active. If you want pullets try to get the ones that have a posture kind of low to the ground. Avoid the ones that stand up high. With a few of them I can be reasonably sure it’s a male but I really can’t tell by looking that one is a female. Breed has something to do with that too.



    Edited to add:

    Easter Eggers are not a breed. They are just chickens that should have a copy of the blue egg gene. They can be mixed with any breed and can be any color or pattern. There just are no standards or rules for EE’s. I think that’s part of why the pea comb thing doesn’t work for Heartmoss. A lot of EE’s are split for the pea comb gene, with one pea comb gene and one not-pea comb gene. That can give you some pretty wonky looking combs. Genetically speaking the pea comb gene is not totally dominant but partially dominant.

    Heartmoss, I’m no arguing with anything you are saying. I agree with you. But the OP is looking at 1 week old chicks. Those are hard.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
  4. 44Wolves

    44Wolves Here is Your New Title

    2,869
    10
    188
    Jun 28, 2009
    Thank you :D

    The picture was actually really helpful in your post, Heartmoss. Vent sexing is a no-no though xD


    More information/methosd welcome!
     
  5. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Songster

    2,236
    125
    208
    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    Oh, and Ridgerunner's method with the low posture birds being pullets is absolutely true! If they are terrified of you and crouch low to the ground and make a big squirming production of being picked up, they are more likely to be pullets.

    I've seen many farms selling anything under 8 weeks as straight run (I bought some "straight run" birds at 5 weeks knowing they were all roosters but interested in them anyway), so that would be a way to go.
     
    BantamAshley likes this.
  6. Rubia Chavez

    Rubia Chavez In the Brooder

    13
    1
    24
    Jul 27, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    Following the above rules these may both be cockerels?[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    31,453
    3,801
    581
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    these birds are pullets.
     
  8. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    20,586
    1,271
    401
    Jul 24, 2013
    Agreed.
     
    MINDANAO DAVE likes this.
  9. Rubia Chavez

    Rubia Chavez In the Brooder

    13
    1
    24
    Jul 27, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    We are hoping for pullets. They are almost 6 weeks old. Very little comb, but going by the head/hackles comments I was worried they could be Roos.
     
  10. K Spot

    K Spot Songster

    2,304
    190
    198
    Apr 14, 2013
    SE Qld, Australia
    Yep agreed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: