slow feathering gene

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Syerf, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Syerf

    Syerf Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2012
    I am curious as to how much time and effort would be required to establish the slow feathering trait in a flock for the purpose of crossing to produce feather sexable chicks.

    Also, how common are such flocks?

    I'll likely never be able to do it but I'm curious nonetheless.
     
  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    If you are working with non-hatchery stock then it can be done within one generation. (most hatchery stock are bred for feather sexing)

    What breed/s are you going to be working with?

    Chris
     
  3. Syerf

    Syerf Out Of The Brooder

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    This is purely theoretical but lets say Rhode Island Red.
     
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Ok, The Rhode Island Red is a Slow Feathering breed so you would have to cross to a Fast Feathering breed like a Leghorn.
    Take a Leghorn Male and cross him over Rhode Island Red Females, all first generation offspring will be sexable at birth by feather growth.

    [​IMG]
    Picture from http://animalsciences.missouri.edu/reprod/ReproTech/Feathersex/sld006.htm

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
    WitchesFullMoon likes this.
  5. catdaddyfro

    catdaddyfro Overrun With Chickens

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    Good post Chris as always, you give good information and understanding details.

    I have a little tale about this feathering gene(feather sexing). This sex ID method only works if you have bred for it and the feathering of the parent stock is known.

    I was on my way thru a little town over in east LA that's (Louisiana, not L.A.) and just happened to stop in a little local feed store there around Easter time to check on feed prices and such. They had an auction there twice monthly and I wanted to see when the next one was to try to unload some chickens there from out of my feed barrel, of course. Well lo and behold they had a big ol' coop full of brand new Barred Rock chicks and many other breeds as well right there handy, and I got to thinking you know I'm getting rid of some chickens and will need some to replace them of course, (light bulbs flashing in my head/dim ones for sure)LOL you know "out with the old in with the new"-(lowering my fed bill right), right!

    I inquired about the BRs and she quoted me a price and it wasn't bad and I didn't have to order a washtub full to get some right. So I told her I wanted 10 pullets, she said ok and opened up that coop and went to grabbing up chicks and spreading wings and tossing and grabbing, tossing one here and the other there. This went on for a minute or so and I asked what in the world she was doing a she said: "I'm sexing them" and with an all outta sorts look I'm sure, I asked her: "Ya'll don't have them marked in some way from the hatchery?" she said; "no we order them straight run of the mill and then we divvy them up here per order"(Making $$ 101 should have been another light bulb moment, a little brighter one right there folks) I should have just stopped right there but I gave her the benefit of the doubt (dummy me)and proceeded to loosen up the ol keister for royal go around. Anyway, I took them, paid her the decided price and placed them in the coop and sure enough in a few weeks (3ish or so) those little dudes started putting on the "most prettiest" pink little 5 pointed combs you ever saw and started feathering in really light grey and bluish hue to their barred little feathers. I ended up with one pullet out of 10 and it was rose combed on top of that (a little factory slip up there huh?) I kept her and one of those boys for a breeder to my other production cuckoos(still have him he makes good egg-layers too) and ate the rest. I didn't ever go back to the place, just couldn't go there cause I'd surely showed my derriere(that's your @$$ in French for those who don't speak it, common around these parts well with a little southern slang added in there too) I still to this day wonder how many folks fell victim to that little scheme and how much those folks profited over that cage of 500+ little roosters selling them as pullets. "Easter specials" I'm sure, huh? we all know what that one entails usually, well I do now, right around one of our most religious HOLIDAYS in the world. Kinda reminds me of some "CHRISTMAS SPECIALS" too huh?


    I never went back and I'm sure they probly lost some business over that ordeal, I, for one would think. Anyway to sum this run-on story up, and I've seen it more than once, actually too many times, folks will say: 'you can feather sex them just by looking at the wing' and most of the time they will follow up with: 'the pullets feathers grow the fastest so they will be the ones with the longer wing feathers or tail feathers'. This is simply not true in ALL of the cases, maybe a few. but not ALL (only if they are bred for this trait usually now there are a few breeds this comes into play with, but not the average everyday what-evers)and I'd venture to say you'll be right more than likely half the time (50/50) as they either are a male or a female generally. [​IMG]

    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  6. Syerf

    Syerf Out Of The Brooder

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    Alright, but say I wanted to make a feather sexable pure RIR, would making a fast feathering line be the trickier part?



    Catdaddyfro, I knew of one hatchery that used to have a feather sexable BR. I think they had to stop using them because the breeder they were buying from cut corners and mixed in some other breed(s) to the point that they were getting too many throwbacks.
     

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