Sexing your day old chicks

suzettex5

Songster
10 Years
May 26, 2009
1,327
15
163
California
Recently saw a show about how the hatcheries sex, (or tell the difference between the male and female), just hatched chicks. The secret is, apparently, in the pin feathers at the outer edges of the little wings. They claim its an extremely accurate way to tell the difference. So, you gently extend the wing out from the body and look up from the bottom of the wing where you see the earliest of pin feathers along the outside edge of the wing. You will see that the feathers will either all be one length- indicating a male or the feathers will alternate in height, one long one short one long one short, and so on- indicating female.

I have used this on some chicks in the past and on my current chicks of several breeds and sizes, ie: batam and standard size. And I have seen the difference in the sexes by the feathers! I will be trying to take pictures to post tommorow. I have some day old chicks we got today (silkies + frizzles) and some that are about 11 days old. I think the feather trick only works from hatch day to maybe day 3 or four. It may prove interesting to see if the older chicks still exhibit the feather staggering.....

Has anyone else ever heard of this method and has it proven true for you?

Thanks!
 

11langenkamp_w

Songster
11 Years
Aug 23, 2008
143
0
119
sidney, ohio
Yes, it works but the video i watched said it only works on cornish X chicks. but you could alwaays try it out if your planning on keeping your chicks. Just mark the males or females and see if they are or not when they grow.
 

Southernbelle

Gone Broody
12 Years
Mar 17, 2008
5,905
21
274
Virginia
Feather sexing only works on birds that have been selected for fast/slow feather growth. The hatcheries have developed these strains of birds for generations, so feather sexing works for those paticular strains, but it won't work on any other birds but those. Vent sexing is accurate, but takes experience.

As for marking the chicks, use a tiny bit of food dye or a safe marker. Just don't use red because they like to pick at red and may hurt that one.
 

tamelroy

Songster
11 Years
Jan 19, 2009
458
0
152
Mass
I heard the same as you. The said vent sexing is old school, there is not many alive today that can do it. (it was even on tv, I forgot where I saw it) And it only can be don within the first 3-4 days when they are starting to grow their feathers.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
316
661
SW Arkansas
Quote:
thumbsup.gif


Feather sexing only works on breeds developed to be feather sexed.
 

suzettex5

Songster
10 Years
May 26, 2009
1,327
15
163
California
Hmmmm, all interesting bits of info... Perhaps I could put a small colored band on the ones i think are girls or boys, (color coded) And see how many I get right. From what I saw and heard on that show, the feather sexing was for any chick, but as I always tell my children- "Not everything you see on TV is real"!! I will keep updating on this experiment. I have silikes, frizzles, RIR's, JBG's, Sexlinks, Silver and Gold Wyndottes (sp?) Lets see what happens!!!

Thanks for all your feedback everyone and BTW, I dont think I'll even be trying vent sexing..... kinda ewwww for me, LOL!!
 

PunkinPeep

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
3,642
68
229
SouthEast Texas
I want to see your results too.

I have heard so many different "facts" about feather sexing, that now i don't know what to believe.

My friend has tested the feather sexing on a very small scale - simply looking at the feathers to see if they match what the hatchery says the gender is (on a couple different breeds), and so far, it has agreed.

When my chicks start hatching, i will also see if this works for the breeds i have.
 
Valley Hatchery

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