Tail Feather Troubles...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by robinleigh6686, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. robinleigh6686

    robinleigh6686 New Egg

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    ....okay its not really trouble it just sounded like a better title. I have 6 different breed chicks, all ordered specifically as females from a hatchery with a sexing guarantee because i cannot have roosters where i live and with my urban chicken license. I am watching them very closly to make sure they are actually females so i notice all small changes and have a few questions i hope someone can help with. I have a Lavender Orpington, double laced barnevelder, cream legbar, black copper maran, blue favacauna, and silver laced wyandotte. They are 1 week 4 days and growing like crazy. All of my chicks have gotten tons of wing and tail feathers except the BF and SLW. they have moderate wing feather growth and minimal if any tail feather growth. I know it is extremly early to tell if they are pullets or cockerals and that the feather growth is not an indicator of gender and all birds get feathers at a different rate but like i said i notice every little difference because i watch them so carefully. I guess my two main questions are:
    Do SLW seem to get wing and tail feathers slower than some other birds?
    Does anyone have any tips or indicators to gender i should keep an eye out for?

    Thank you in advance this is my first post.
     
  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi :welcome

    It is early to tell for sure and I'm not sure how the hatchery guarantees sex at such a young age with them not being sex linked chicks? Will the hatchery take males back once sexed? I'm a little confused as to how this works.

    For now there is little you can do other than enjoy raising them, they sure are lots of fun! In a few weeks you can post in the what breed gender section for help on sexing them ~ https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/15/what-breed-or-gender-is-this
    I'm sure lots of members there will be able to help you.

    As for the feather growth I would not be too worried. All chicks even of the same breed can feather out at differing rates. Each chick is individual.

    Good luck and enjoy your time here on BYC :frow
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Yorkshire, here in the States most hatcheries employ specialists (generally Japanese since they perfected the technique and they want to keep it in the family) to vent sex. They squeeze the poop out of the newly hatched chicks and look in the vent. They can pretty much tell sex by what they see inside. It’s not 100% but the hatcheries guarantee a 90% correct rate. What that guarantee means will vary by hatchery, often it’s credit on your next order.

    Robinleigh, first welcome to the forum, glad you joined us.

    You can read this for clues but it’s not always easy. Some experience does help. Usually around 5 weeks they do show clues, but sometimes it takes longer than that. I suggest at five weeks you post photos of them. We need a good close-up of the head showing comb and wattles, if any. An absence of comb and wattles is a great sign. Also, a profile shot showing the legs and posture can really help. One of my major clues is the legs, longer heavier legs usually mean male, but since each of yours is a different breed it’s hard to compare on to another.

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

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Here is a U-tube of a show where they show the vent sexing process, sort of. This show is for entertainment not science so it’s not as informative as you might wish for.

     
  5. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you @Ridgerunner :D
    As we don't have big hatcheries that you can buy from vent sexing rarely crosses my mind. The only big hatcheries we have are for commercial hens or meat birds. Nothing really for other breeds on the scale of your hatcheries there in the States.


    Interesting video :eek:
    Not sure I could bring myself to handle chicks in that manner but with that many you can't dally about sexing and sorting them. I'm guessing the Japanese won't want much given away on the vent sexing element so they can keep it in the family and not give the secrets away.
     
  6. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! How did it go with the blue favacauna? I have two that I'm watching, at 7 weeks. In my experience they are developing much more slowly than their Marans hatchmates.
     

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