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Testing the sexing methods! Week by week, different breeds

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by spotter, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. spotter

    spotter Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2014
    We have a group of thirteen 5-day old chicks of the following breeds: 3 buff orpingtons and 2 blue cochins, white crested black polish, black australorps, silver grey dorkings, and black langshans.

    After doing some reading and watching youtube videos on how to sex baby chicks, we decided to try some of the methods and document whether or not they were accurate. We couldnt do the "examine the genitalia" method because they were 4 days old when we got them, but we are testing the following methods:

    1. The "wing test": if the feathers at the wing tip are all the same length, it's a roo; if they alternate long-short-long-short, it's a pullet.

    2. In one youtube video, it says that if you flip a baby chick on its back and it pulls it's legs into its body, it's a pullet, but if it sticks one or both legs out, it's a roo (for what it's worth, all but one hugged its legs into its body the day we got them, when they were 3 to 4 days old, but the next day (yesterday, day 5), most of them stuck their legs out if they were alert, and pulled them in if they were falling asleep... so we highly doubt whether there is any merit to this test!

    3. Wing and tail development: contrary to what one might expect, pullets are supposed to have better developed wing and tail feathers than roos

    4. Specific markings: this was specific to some breeds and is described in each case.

    We plan to take pictures every week until it is clear whether they are pullets or roos to determine how accurate the measures are.

    We would also welcome any input from people with experience sexing chicks!

    I will post the 5-day old pictures of each breed in separate posts below. Feel free to weigh in on what you think they are!

    And FWIW, if the tests above are correct, we reallllly lucked out, because they are saying we have 11 pullets for sure, and possibly 12, with only 1 roo - a blue cochin, and from what I've read, they are awesome roosters. [​IMG]

    - Susan

    Happy admirer of the best rooster ever - Maestro, an Euskal Oiloa - and three commercial laying hens, Sophia (white leghorn), Chicken Nugget and Henny Penny (golden comets)... and most recently, 13 new baby chicks (3 buff orpingtons, 2 blue cochins, 2 white crested black polish, 2 black australorps, 2 silver grey dorkings, and 2 black langshans).
     
  2. spotter

    spotter Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2014
    Buff Orpingtons (3)

    BO #1: Wing test

    [​IMG]
    short-long pattern = pullet?!


    BO #1: Wing & tail development

    [​IMG]
    Wing feathers developed, tail not evident, but to touch - prickly feathers coming in = pullet?


    BO #2: Wing Test

    [​IMG]
    Short-long pattern = another pullet?!


    BO #2: Wing & tail development

    [​IMG]
    Just like #1, this one has good wing feather development and prickly tail feathers just emerging - another pullet?!


    BO #3: Wing Test

    [​IMG]
    Another short-long pattern = all three BOs are pullets?! Could we be so lucky?!


    BO #3: Wing & tail feathers

    [​IMG]
    Just like the last two, this one also has good wing feather development and prickly tail feathers emerging.


    So what do you think? I've read that these tests can be done during the first 10 days or so and after that, they are no longer reliable.


    - Susan
     
  3. spotter

    spotter Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2014
    Silver Grey Dorkings (5 days old)

    Dorking #1: Wing Test

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Short-long pattern... pullet?


    Dorking #1: Wing & tail feather development

    [​IMG]
    Wing feathers and little tail feathers sticking out [​IMG]

    Dorking #1: Head markings

    [​IMG]

    Dark pattern like this with clearly defined edges is supposed to signify that it's a pullet [​IMG]


    Dorking #2: Wing Test

    [​IMG]
    Again, long-short pattern = pullet?

    Dorking #2: Wing & tail feather development

    [​IMG]
    Good wing feathers, and tail feathers just visible.

    Dorking #2: Special markings

    [​IMG]
    This one has a similar, clearly defined marking on its head, like #1.


    Am I interpreting these tests correctly or missing something? Is it true that we likely have 2 dorking pullets in addition to our 3 orpington pullets? I want to believe it, but it seems too good to be true!

    - Susan
     
  4. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hilo, HI
    I remember doing that but without much success :( For your own info, write you findings down and WAIT! Patience is really hard but around 4wks, you should notice their combs. Cockerels combs will turn redder & be bigger that Pullets. Post pictures of their combs when they're about 4 - 6wks. They are cute!
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

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    Long Beach, WA
    1. Sexing by wing feathers requires a very specific set of genetics to be accurate. None of your chosen breeds are sexable by wing feathering.
    2. This method is pure myth.
    3. Like wing sexing, sexing by the growth rate of feathers is inaccurate. For it to be accurate, you must be certain that the rooster was pure for fast feathering, and the hen was pure for slow feathering genes.
    4. Is reliable, since there is a little thing called sexual dimorphism in birds, where males look much different from females with the same color/pattern genetics. Unfortunately, it's not until a chick is mostly feathered that these differences are clearly visible.

    Comb development is the most accurate way to spot young cockerels. Any chick with a bright red comb, regardless of breed, by 10 weeks old is a cockerel.
     
  6. spotter

    spotter Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2014
    White Crested Black Polish (5 days)

    Polish #1: Wing test

    [​IMG]
    Long short pattern = pullet?!

    Polish #1: Wing & tail feathers

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Good wing and tail feathers showing = pullet?

    Polish #1: Afro poofiness - pullets have a crown of round, puffy feathers on their heads that resembles an afro at this point, whereas the males have a more flat crown.

    [​IMG]
    This one is all attitude! But check out the crown... [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Looks pretty round and poofy to me! (pullet?)


    Polish #2: Wing test

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It was hard to get a good shot of this one's wings because she (he possible) was so squirmy, but they had the long-short pattern (=pullet).

    Polish #2: Wing & tail feather development

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Harder to make out on this one than on #1, but wing and tail feathers were similarly well developed, but the lower white wing feathers were not as evident.

    Polish #2: Poofy crown feathers

    [​IMG]
    Very pullet-ish hair-do I'd say [​IMG]


    Does it look like ANOTHER two pullets to anyone else?!?!

    - Susan
     
  7. spotter

    spotter Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2014
    Blue Cochins (5 days)

    Cochin #1: Wing test

    [​IMG]
    This little guys feathers were all fluff and the same length so we're thinking roo.

    Cochin #1: Wing & tail feather development

    [​IMG]
    Basically none! He was the only one of the bunch who didn't have little prickly feathers under the fluff on his behind. (we're thinking roo)

    Cochin #2: Wing test

    [​IMG]
    Unlike cochin #1 who had no adult-like wing feathers, this one has a short-long pattern (pullet?)

    Cochin #2: Wing & tail feather development

    [​IMG]
    This one had a few adult-like wing feathers and prickly tail feathers just emerging under the fluff [​IMG]


    Thus, based on these tests, we have one cockerel and one pullet. It will be interesting to see how things turn out!

    - Susan
     
  8. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are so very right, aside from waiting for the Crow or Egg :)
    I raised chicks (hatch to 8wks) for a breeder, just for fun I "sexed" and kept a log on each chick using the wings method, the feet/leg method, the stance and the comb. Comb is the "easiest", seeing differences between 4 - 6wks. I've been reading up on the "egg sexing" unfortunate for me, I can't have Roosters so can't join in on the experiment.
     
  9. spotter

    spotter Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2014
    Black Australorps (5 days)

    Australorp #1: Wing test

    [​IMG]

    short-long pattern (pullet pattern)

    Australorp #1: Wing & tail feather development

    [​IMG]
    Good wing feathers and tail feathers emerging (pullet?)


    Australorp #2: Wing test

    [​IMG]

    Short-long pattern (yay!) - possibly another pullet.

    Australorp #2: Wing & tail feather development

    [​IMG]
    Hard to make out because she moved, but she has good wing feathers and tail feathers emerging.


    Based on these tests, both australorps appear to be pullets (we can only hope!).

    - Susan
     
  10. pipAchick

    pipAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the bottom pics a pullet
     

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