Where to look for hackle and tail feathers

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by haileyeverhart, Apr 6, 2018.

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  1. haileyeverhart

    haileyeverhart Songster

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    Hey guys I have 2 six week old EE's here and I suspect the lighter one to be a cockerel. When do the hackle and tail feathers come in and what would they look like as baby feathers? Pics appreciated!
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  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    Saddle and hackle feathers come in with their adult feathers at 4-7 months of age. Before that you look at comb development and leg size to determine sex. Generally you can tell at 6-12 weeks of age for most breeds. Some breeds the sexes feather out differently as far as color as well.
     
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  3. haileyeverhart

    haileyeverhart Songster

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    Oh someone told me to keep an eye out for saddle and hackle feathers now, so those wont come in anytime soon?
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    Not for a few months yet.
     
  5. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Crowing

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    On most of the chicks I have raised the hackle and saddle feathers are coming in by 2 to 2 1/2 months old. And I've raised hundreds. Red in the comb and wattles starting to come in are the signs I look for at 6 weeks old.
     
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  6. AlleysChicks

    AlleysChicks Enabler

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    Usually (for me at least) I start seeing saddle feathers at 10-12 weeks old for the first time.

    I’d say the red/white one is a cockerel and the other is a pullet.
     
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  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    Saddle and hackle feathers are not the same as rooster colored feathers. Chicks go through multiple molts as they grow. It makes no sense for them to put the energy into growing rooster specific feathers until they are at the final molt which occurs around 5 months.

    If someone thinks an 8 week old chick has saddle or hackle feathers I sure would like to see a photo, because I bet that's not at all what you are seeing.
     
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  8. AlleysChicks

    AlleysChicks Enabler

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    Pointy shiny feathers above the tail? And shiny thin feathers around the neck?


    Those chicks don’t have either...yet. But the red and white has a pretty good size comb for 6 weeks and slower feather growth.
     
  9. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Crossing the Road

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    This guy is roughly 5 weeks in the picture. See the comb on HIM! 20170610_094741.jpg A female from the same hatch. 20170729_175924.jpg The same male from the first picture almost 3 months and still no saddle or hackle feathers. The male in the background is starting to show some hackle feathers. 20170807_133848.jpg I include this one because he was my sleeper cockeral. The comb isn't anywhere near as red as the other males yet the saddle feathers are a giveaway. At 14 weeks he showed his true form much latter then his brothers.
     
  10. haileyeverhart

    haileyeverhart Songster

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    Yeah that is so true! Don't know what they were talking about then.
     
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