Transgender Red Sex Link?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by cheequechick, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. cheequechick

    cheequechick Out Of The Brooder

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    I purchased 2 Red Sex Links 10 months ago.

    One of them started laying eggs at 20 weeks. But the other one never lays egg :( The one that never lay eggs is quite big and has bright red comb, it even crows although not very good at it (compared to my other roosters).

    Is it possible that this chicken is actually a rooster ? Oh boy.. I thought the idea of red sex link is to differentiate the male and female chicks :(
    Thanks


    [​IMG]
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    crowing video:
    http://sendvid.com/x3riv10l
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    That's a hen. Just look at those rounded back feathers. She is likely fairly old for a red sexlink though, they don't lay much after they hit 3 years old.
     
  3. cheequechick

    cheequechick Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2015
    Indonesia

    Only 10 months old and never lay egg. I know for sure, because I bought them when they were only DOC (2 or 3 days old)
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Weird, but definitely a she. Red Sexlinks do tend to have laying issues though, and a higher incidence of ovarian infections and cancers.
     
  5. WalnutHill

    WalnutHill Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It is absolutely possible to have a bird with that coloration and it be a male...that one may come of a RSL hen and a White Leghorn rooster by the look of that comb. I have a bunch of Easter Eggers that I bred by crossing my Light Brahma/Ameraucana cross to Red Sex Link hens and several of the boys are red and white.

    The spurs and intensity of comb color scream rooster. It's also possible that this bird has only one functional testicle so won't be good at being a rooster either. Check the pelvis...if the bones nearly touch and are firm, definitely a boy.
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Regardless, a male would have male saddle feathers. The bird in question has no trace of male feathering. Just a slightly larger than average comb. At 10 months old, hens will have a comb just as red as a rooster's. And hens can, and do, grow spurs. And some roosters never grow spurs. It's not a reliable way to assess gender.
     
  7. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    If it has one testicle as Walnut Hill suggested, it might not have enough testosterone to have triggered the development of all its male secondary sex characteristics. It is rare, but I have heard of it happening before. Could also be a severe case of ovarian cysts on a female bird that has messed up her hormones.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    It's a hen, likely with a hormonal imbalance. Butcher her out and see what's inside, I'm betting there are no testicles there.
     
  9. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Very interesting bird! At a glance it does look like a red sex link with unusually large and firm comb.

    However I'm also seeing a hint of slightly darker coloring and 'hardness' for a male version. So I'm wondering if there's a chance of it being a henny feathered cockerel? I've had hennies before, some of them had totally female type feathering yet had some hint of male coloring showing through a slight bit.

    Have you tried putting a new, in full lay hen with this bird to see how it responds? If it tries to mate, does all the normal rooster things I'd say it's likely a normal henny feathered rooster.

    Or if the other red sex link is isolated with this bird.... have you tried setting the eggs? If they are isolated and the eggs are fertile then this is a normal henny feathered roo.

    If this bird came from a private person instead of direct from a hatchery I'd think they probably are red sex link mixes. The colors that make up the "red sex link color" are dominant, rather easy to breed with a red sex link and get birds that look red sex link but are not sexable by hatch.

    It's true that hormonal imbalances do cause changes in a hen.. basically the lack of estrogen causes the development of male characterstics in varying degrees. Example, old peahens past "menopause" will grow all the colors of a peacock. They don't act like males at all though, no dancing, attempt at mating etc... which is why I asked about introducing a new hen to your bird and see what happens.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Oh sure Kev, try a social behavior experiment instead of my necropsy suggestion [​IMG]

    Would be interesting. I guess the OP didn't say but I had it in my mind it was a hatchery bird.
     

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