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Sexing the Brahma breed, (standard size, Light Brahma)

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by CynthiaM, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. CynthiaM

    CynthiaM Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2008
    Webster's Corners, B.C.
    So, been doing alot of incubating of Light Brahma and Cochins, standard sized. Certain differences definitely between the feathers. But, here is the quandry. At the age of 21 days and younger, I have noticed a huge difference in the tail feathers of the Brahmas. Some have quite clearly defined, rather longer looking tails and some have kind of a short, fluffy looking tail. Does anyone know which gender has each particular type of tail to determine gender? I can't just figure it out.

    I tried some wing feather sexing with two of them when they were younger than 72 hours old. Clearly one had the sawtoothed wing feathers, the other same length, but not sure if this is even accurate. The two that were wing sexed, are now 2 months old and I still can't really tell who is who, they look slightly different, the combs are pretty much looking the same. Anyone raise Brahmas, not sure if the colour of Brahma would make a difference, but would surely like to hear some responses from those that raise Brahmas.
     
  2. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    Alaska
    Tails are different. so is the shape of the feathers.
    Males are longer & more pointed.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. CynthiaM

    CynthiaM Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2008
    Webster's Corners, B.C.
    Thank you for the reply. I do know that roosters have more pointed tailfeathers, but these are yet young. The two chicks in question are now 8 weeks old. I thought I had best post some pictures to see if I can get a good reply. There is a clear difference in the tailfeathers, but I don't know which gender is which. May sound rather strange, but it is a strange situation.

    This is a picture of the two standing side by side. One chick has rather shorter fluffier tailfeathers, the other has more straight and less, very hard feathers. The one that has the shorter tailfeathers has a bit of a higher looking comb.

    the one on the left has the more straight, longer, stronger feathers, the right side chick is almost like a puffball.

    [​IMG]

    Another shot

    [​IMG]

    This is a shot of the one with the straighter, longer tailfeathers

    [​IMG]

    This is of the more puffball type tailfeathers

    [​IMG]

    A comb shot of both of them laying on the grass beside me

    [​IMG]

    These following pictures are of the Brahma chicks that are now one month old, same quandry, some have very puffball tailfeathers, other much more clearly defined. The "puffball" look I am talking about is seen very clearly at this age, and is not as pronounced as they get a little bit older, as in the two month old ones in the above pictures.

    Look at the grey and white one in the centre, that is the Light Brahma

    [​IMG]

    The same age chick, but with the bigger tailfeathers

    [​IMG]

    Again, same age chick, but just a different one with long, bigger tailfeathers

    [​IMG]

    I sure would like to know which is which. I know in another month or so, the older ones may totally be showing their colours, or should I say their gender feathers, but I would love to know now, just someone that loves to know things....I am sure that there must be others that raise the Light Brahmas and have had their experience with determining the gender, have a wonderful day
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Beckyhsinglsc

    Beckyhsinglsc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 21, 2009
    Gilbert, AZ
    My Coop
    I don't breed Brahmas but I did raise a pair.
    I think at 6 weeks it was pretty obvious who was who.
    The roo's comb was obviously redder, wider, and larger. He also had shorter tail feathers and feathered a lot slower, but I think it was the comb that really gave him away.

    Here is a picture of the set...roo on the left.

    [​IMG]

    More pictures at 6 weeks (disregard the EEs [​IMG])

    [​IMG]

    Here they are at 12 weeks (along with the others)

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  5. usschicago1

    usschicago1 Suburban Cochins

    Aug 11, 2009
    Taunton, MA
    Nice diagrams. My coop is painted blue & white two just like that. studs blue and wall white.

    sorry i know thats off topic but i think becky has got it right [​IMG]
     
  6. CynthiaM

    CynthiaM Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2008
    Webster's Corners, B.C.
    Becky, I think you may have it. I am going to get a better picture of the two brahmas in question. They are 8 weeks old now, two weeks past where you said that you could clearly see a difference.

    I did notice that the chick with the more poofy-type tale appeared to have a bit more of a ridge on the comb, perhaps only slightly a little more red, meaning the one with the shorter tail. There is not really much of a difference that I could see between the combs though, only slight, if any. I will get a better picture, like the one that you showed, to compare the two combs intricately. This is driving me to distraction and I really need to fully understand how to tell the difference. I don't think the wing feather sexing was accurate at all -- unless I got the instructions on the length of the primary and covert feathers on the wings mixed up. (Maybe I read those instructions wrongly, smiling). Oh, by the way, you have some very beautiful birds, lovelies to see. Have that great day.
     
  7. Beckyhsinglsc

    Beckyhsinglsc Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,152
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    Oct 21, 2009
    Gilbert, AZ
    My Coop
    OK,
    So I know it's just a sample size of one, but here are more pictures that might help.

    Notice how little and scrawny the rooster (poopy) looks compared to the pullet(Eva). His feathers came in much slower. He also had pasty butt a few times when he was less than a week so I thought that might be why he was growing slower. That's how he got his name, btw.
    Also, you can tell his comb very early. See how it looks like 3 ridges and already turning pink?

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps!
     
    3 people like this.
  8. CynthiaM

    CynthiaM Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2008
    Webster's Corners, B.C.
    Becky, I seriously think that you got it right. Those pictures of yours are great and the comparisons between pullet and cockeral are wonderful. I have, as mentioned, noticed quite a difference in the tail feathers of the chicks. I have three groups right now to compare, (3 different incubator hatches). December 19, 29 and January 10 hatches. There are some that have those short puffy tailfeathers and ones with the longer more developed, tail feathers, in each age group. I am guessing from the look of your pictures of your boy and girl that it really is clear about the pullets tail feathers growing much more quickly than the cockerals. I have another hatch coming around the 29th, then I am stopping hatching for a while. Using a wonderful, old, old Sportsman, rotational tray type, was used for ducks and geese, but I alter the trays a little to accommodate chicken eggs. The eggs lay on their sides and it seems like such a natural way for the eggs to incubate.

    BTW, that pasty butt thing. I am not so sure that that may have caused a slower growth, could be wrong, but I don't think so. Heard always that cockerals mature more slowly than pullets, especially with feathering out (this now really does corroborate that in my mind with the tail feathers).

    I have found that no matter how warm the brood pen is kept with the chicks (I have a cabin in which they are brooded, which has heat), there are some that get that little bit of pasty butt and must be cleaned every day for about the time period of about 4 days, then it disappears and no more. This has happened with every hatch I have ever had. I believe it has something to do with the first few days of pooping that come from the absorption of the yolk during hatching. When the chicks system really gets going with good solid food and water (and this can take a couple of days, as I always leave them in the incubator for a day or so after hatch), then this pasty butt thingy is gone. I check every chick ever morning and take each one individually and remove any little poopies that may be hanging around. A little bit of work, but a necessary thing. I can see that the cloaca could get covered over and stuck with poo, hence death I would imagine. I have not ever lost one chick, always healthy as the healthy chick could be.

    I feel satisfied about the gender identification of the Light Brahma chicks by the growth of the tail feathers. Now all I gotta do is make a mark on the cockerals, very curious about how many I have in the three groups, smiling. My job tomorrow, baby gendering. Thanks for the help, have that wonderful day.
     
  9. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Glendale, AZ
    I also have raised 2 light brahmas - boy & girl (not a pair because I didn't have them both at the same time). The biggest difference I noticed between the sexes was the redness & size of their combs & wattles.

    Cockerel - 7 weeks:
    [​IMG]

    Pullet - 7 weeks
    [​IMG]

    Cockerel - 9 weeks:
    [​IMG]

    Pullet - 10 weeks
    [​IMG]
     
  10. CynthiaM

    CynthiaM Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2008
    Webster's Corners, B.C.
    Arizona, some nice birds you got going on there and thank you for the pictures and the reply. I really need to get out today and get some close ups of the combs. I have three actually, the same age all 8 weeks old. I just haven't really seen a big difference in their combs (maybe they are all pullets, smiling, that is wishful thinking though). Maybe some strains in the breed show comb earlier than other strains. My adult roosters and pullets have some pretty nice combs on them, particularly the rooster, who is 15 months old, the pullets are 11 months old. Those brahmas really are egg laying machines, they shock me....have that wonderful day.

    eta, by the way, I love the frizzly bird, so sweeeeet!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010

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