What age do I need to start paying attention - breeds listed in post


5 Years
Mar 19, 2014
Erath County, Texas
I've ordered 4 types of bantams - silkies, easter eggers, dominiques, and buff orpingtons. I know silkies will be pretty much a crow/lay egg type thing, but what about the other? Are they like the standard versions? I'd rather not miss an opportunity to sex them early if possible, so if someone could please tell me at what age it might be possible to sex each breed. I've still got over a week before they ship out and guess they'll be 2-3 days old when I get them.

Also, how do you identify them from each other, especially the tiny bantam chicks? If I want to keep some records, like weight, behavior, guess at gender, etc., I think I'll need a way to tell them apart. All the dom chicks and bo chicks I've seen pretty much look the same to me, and with 6 of each, I don't think I can keep up with personality. :)
With everyone but the silkies you'll pretty much know by 6 weeks. Orpingtons can be slower to mature, but I'm not sure if that applies to bantam versions or not.

If you want to tell your chicks apart, you'll have to band them. You'll need different colors or color combos, and multiple sizes so you can change them out as they grow. I just ordered leg bands from Stromberg's and am happy with them.
Thanks. I thought there were certain times you could look at wing feathers and guess that was earlier than 6 weeks.

I've ordered a variety pack of zip ties for now. 10 colors, so I'll be able to have each one in each breed a different color. I can also add a band on the other leg for the four different breeds if I think it would help. (Thinking more for assisting DH or another family member in identifying the chick for me as they may not be able to easily identify which breed it is.) I'll just have to check frequently and change as they grow.
Your easter eggers will look like little chipmunks, but they may vary in color and cheek size, so you may be able to tell them apart that way. Your buffs will probably be more difficult as they're all basically yellow. Dominiques may vary in darkness and head spot size. These three breeds you'll be able to tell in 4-6 weeks. My dominique roo matured very quickly. Your silkies may also come in different colors. They'll have black skin, feet, and a black beak, no matter what color they come in. Good luck!
I've got my charts ready to match my zip ties. I hope to get the chicks in one week and get them on them sometime that weekend after they've had a few days to relax. I'm expecting 7 Silkies and 6 of each of the other breeds, but I went ahead and carried out my color chart to 10 just in case there are extras thrown in. Hopefully if they do that, they will at least be of one of the 4 breeds that I ordered and not something entirely different.

I put a box for name/gender, but am not expecting it to be filled in on all of them. I'll just add info there if we have any to add.

I'm hoping this ID setup will really help us monitor their progress and keep us consistent. I'll have it on a clipboard where they are at. After a few weeks, as final numbers of each breed are known, I'll renumber everyone, giving them all a unique number so that I can start keeping some info on them on a database.


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