Strange Newbie Question -- DNA sexing

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by VelvetDragon, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. VelvetDragon

    VelvetDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the parrot world, birds are often "mystery gender" until sexed by DNA, because they are not sexually dimorphic. I call my 13 year old African grey a "she" but it's just an educated guess, no one really knows. It can be done with samples of blood, feathers, or egg shell. It costs around 20-25 dollars.

    Has anyone ever done this with chickens? I know for most people this would just be ridiculous, because they have many chickens, and in time the chicken will be identifiable as roo or hen (through looks, or in rare cases through egg or crow).

    My issue is I want a silkie pullet as a pet. I absolutely can't have a roo here, and silkies take so long to mature to the point they're identifiable, and seem to be among the trickiest to sex. I'd love to get a younger chick, rather than a started bird. If I asked a breeder to have this done at my expense, would they think I was nuts? XD

    Yeah, I'm pretty embarrassed just asking. Ha!
     
  2. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2009
    Why not? If you know where to send the feather go for it. Good luck to you and your new pullet!

    I just re-read your post. Are you saying that you can send a bit of the eggshell the chick hatched OUT OF to determine the sex of the chick inside that shell? That would be amazing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2010
  3. VelvetDragon

    VelvetDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes you can; the egg shell has been found to contain a lot of vascular material, plenty to determine sex. As long as you know which chick hatched out of which shell, of course!

    This is one of the big labs, and they list chickens as a species they sex. Here's how you use the eggshell to send in for sexing: http://www.avianbiotech.com/Eggshell.htm

    They also do blood and feather. They say it takes about one to two business days to have the results after receiving the sample, so if you sent it on a Monday, you might have results within the week.
     
  4. AZKat

    AZKat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you don't mind getting them from a hatchery, My Pet Chicken offers sexed silkies.
     
  5. aubreynoramarie

    aubreynoramarie designated lawn flamingo

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    i think this sounds really cool! i also cannot have roos and have chosen that three is my absolute max number of chickens. this would be a great way to be sure of what you got so you dont get too attatched to a chick you have to...*gulp* cull/rehome!
     
  6. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I second the suggestion to order from My Pet Chicken. They seem to get slightly mixed, but for the most part excellent reviews. I have gotten birds from them a couple times and they did pretty well for the sexing considering they were bantams. Lots of other people here have had 100% success with them and sexed bantams. That is an option. You could always then test your babies as double verification. Avian Biotech comes up here every now and then and I know there are several of us here that use them. I have used them for gosh probably ten years and they are great (not used them for a chicken though). You could also just buy some chicks and have a few sexed until you get the number of females you need and sell off the rest while they are still chicks.
     
  7. VelvetDragon

    VelvetDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    AZKat: I would definitely prefer a show line silkie, myself! I just love the floof. Hehe. I can't have five chicks, which is the MPC minimum for bantams. And unfortunately I've heard the sexing of hatchery silkies is far less accurate than that for non-bantams, which is only 90% anyway.

    I reeeeally can't have a rooster, if I got one of those 10%+ that are mis-sexed, I'd have to rehome it and that'd be hard for me. I also can't have five chicks, which is their minimum for bantam chicks.

    Edit, since CityChicker posted while I was writing: It is good to know they seem to do better than average for bantams! There's still the 5 chick minimum, but maybe I could find someone to go "in" with me on chicks? The only other thing is hatchery silkies just aren't all that typey. How are MPC's?

    I'm looking for a way around all these little issues!

    aubreynoramarie: Yes, I'd get way too attached. I'd hate to get a silkie, have it for a few months getting all fond of it, and then find out it's a roo and have to find a new home for it. It's hard to find roo homes that aren't a freezer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  8. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Really, to be honest, your best option is probably going to be to buy a mature bird. You just don't have many options in your situation. If you want something that has the type you are looking for, has to be hen, and you don't want to rehome any, and can't start with even 5 birds- You are severely limiting your options. The only way you are probably going to get that is to buy a mature bird of known sex or maybe to go the option of finding a local breeder that will let you do DNA sexing on some chicks and then take a few females. Be aware though that even from the best stock only a small percentage grow up to be excellent type (show quality).

    Editing to add- Also keep in mind, a lot of breeders of show quality birds do not sell single hens, especially of their better quality birds. It just doesn't happen often at all. Good luck though! I hope someone comes through for you!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  9. High Roost Ranch

    High Roost Ranch The Chicken Whisperer

    Quote:While Avian Biotech has been my lifeline for my parrots that aren't dimorphic (gotta love those little Parrotlets minus the albinos, LOL) and I would always suggest them, you could end up spending quit a bit to find that female silkie chick if you start sexing chicks. You can get a fairly younger bird that is reliably sexed a pullet from a knowledgeable silkie breeder and still enjoy watching her finish the second half of her growing up. I'm with CityChicker, starting with a more finished bird really is the only logical way to go in your situation.
     
  10. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    find a silkie breeder and offer to be the forever home of two cull hens?
     

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