Who determines the sex of the chicks????

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by knippk, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. knippk

    knippk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I always thought it was the male!!! But i seen in another post.......somebody said it was the hen????? [​IMG] ????
    Is it the hen?????
    Thanks K.C.
     
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Its the hen.
     
  3. seriousbill

    seriousbill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, it's the hen.
     
  4. knippk

    knippk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well..........you can learn something new everyday!!!! [​IMG] Thanks .....KC
     
  5. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    I thought the one determining the sex was the Japanese guys over at Murray McMurray.

    HEY! That's what they said on "Follow That Egg" on the Food Network!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    It's the hens...

    Chickens have a ZZ and ZW sex chromosome system. The hen is the ZW and the rooster is a ZZ.

    That means gender determination is from the hen, NOT from the male as with humans and other mammal species.

    The rooster always contributes a Z chromosome in the sperm. The hen's ova may contribute a Z chromosome (resulting in a baby roo) OR may contribute a W chromosome, resulting in a baby hen.

    Incubation temperature will have no impact on the gender of the chick - it is already decided at the moment of fertilization of the ova, way before the egg had a shell.

    Now, there is some debate on whether fluctations in conditions during incubation can alter the typical 50/50 ration of ZZs to ZWs (roos to hens) in a clutch of eggs. The thought is that 'girl' eggs may prefer a particular hatch condition resulting in a higher % of hatch for girl eggs and a lower % of hatch for boy eggs and vice versa. This would let you set 100 eggs but instead of the typical expected 40/40 ratio with an 80% hatch rate, you would maybe get 60/20 - more 'boy' eggs would not make it to hatch than the girl eggs, given the same hatch rate overall.

    To that, I say that if large hatcheries haven't figured out by now how to increase the ratio towards hens in laying breeds, and roos in broiler breeds through some manipulation of incubations, there must not be a reliable way to influence hatch rates of the different gendered eggs, OR a reliable way to predict gender based on some test like shape of egg, needle on a string, some sign seen in candling, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  7. coopist

    coopist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now, there is some debate on whether fluctations in conditions during incubation can alter the typical 50/50 ration of ZZs to ZWs (roos to hens) in a clutch of eggs. The thought is that 'girl' eggs may prefer a particular hatch condition resulting in a higher % of hatch for girl eggs and a lower % of hatch for boy eggs and vice versa. This would let you set 100 eggs but instead of the typical expected 40/40 ratio with an 80% hatch rate, you would maybe get 60/20 - more 'boy' eggs would not make it to hatch than the girl eggs, given the same hatch rate overall.

    To that, I say that if large hatcheries haven't figured out by now how to increase the ratio towards hens in laying breeds, and roos in broiler breeds through some manipulation of incubations, there must not be a reliable way to influence hatch rates.

    Right. Hatching eggs are really pretty resilient, and slight fluctuations in temperature don't affect them much, unless they're weak already from poor breeder nutrition or shipping or other factors. Back in the early part of the twentieth century, when incubation was just coming into its own, all incubator thermometers were set to 103 degrees F. We own two of these antique incubator thermometers, and 103 is marked off in large print as the ideal temp [​IMG] That's what they thought, based, I believe, on body temp of the hen. They didn't realize that was too hot and dangerously close to the 104 deformity/failure mark. So, they went about their business with their big wooden cabinet incubators and their shiny mercury thermometers all set to 103 degrees, and they hatched chicks just fine (and they weren't all roos, either). Later on, people found out that more chicks hatch if the temp is a couple of degrees lower. But, from what I've been able to determine, the gender ratios were the same then and now.​
     
  8. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    Here's another interesting tidbit. My da had some fantail pigeons and the female would lay two eggs and then set on them. My dad said they were always a male and a female,lending to the theory that the female alternately laid an egg that was male or female. I wonder if hens do that? That would cretainly explain why the 50/50 ratio is so common. Another observation, and mind you it is just my observation, for the last two Summers I have had several hens go broody in mid July and August. The first time I had 3 hens that hatched 7 chicks between them(I only set them with a few eggs). All but one was a pullet. Last summer I had a bantam hen set in August and for 2 weeks straight our temps were between 103 and 106. I though for sure her eggs were goners,but she did hatch 2 chicks,both pullets. I have hens setting and due to hatch all through this month. I think I will keep a record and report back.
     
  9. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Who determines the sex of the chicks????

    God​
     
  10. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Dr. N.W. Walker claimed he could alter the sex ratio to favor females by feeding sorghum seed.
    He had noted it in finches and was making the leap to say that it should work in other birds, but hadnt tried it yet. Heres the article from TMEN:

    Dr. N.W. Walker (D. Sc., Ph.D.) claims that you can use sorghum seeds to get more females.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some years ago, while doing research on the properties of sorghum seed, I discovered that a genetic female hormone was quite prevalent in these small, glossy kernels.

    I had a feeling that this sorghum hormone could, perhaps, influence the percentage of female birds hatched, and-to check this "hunch"I set up an experiment using zebra finches ... which (because they regularly hatch up to four eggs a month) seemed the best choice available to me.

    Before I began the research, these birds had hatched out a predictable half-and-half mixture of male and female finches.

    I decided to keep a full dish of sorghum seeds in the aviary at all times and watch for developments.

    At first the birds didn't show much interest in the new food, but-in the course of three or four weeks-they began to feed on the sorghum before moving on to their regular feeders ... and they followed this pattern both morning and evening. Then, after two or three months, I began to notice an increase In the number of female birds hatched.

    In fact, by the end of the first year of sorghum-supplemented feeding, my finches produced close to four female birds for every male hatched! Unfortunately, other (and, at the moment, more important) matters interrupted my experiments before I could take the time to See if my "discovery" held true for larger birds, too.

    I do hope to continue this research—as soon as time allows—with Marsh's Pharaoh Coturnix Quail, because these birds are about the most prolific larger fowl that I've come across. Quail eggs hatch within 16 days, and the chicks actually begin laying eggs themselves by five or six weeks after hatching. Obviously, these qualities would help the experiments proceed quickly.

    In the meantime, however, I'm glad to pass this little bit of information along to anyone who has a few chickens, geese, etc. and who would be interested in seeing if sorghum seed will increase the percentage of female chicks produced by these more practical barnyard fowls.

    I can assure you that I've found nothing in sorghum that was not definitely beneficial to the health of any birds fed on this seed.

    And, in exchange for this little tip, I'd appreciate it if any of you poultry-raising MOTHER readers who try this experiment with your own birds would drop me a line ... just to let me know what results (if any) you might have. Just address any such information to Dr. N.W. Walker, P.O. Box 13206, Phoenix, Arizona 85002.


    Thanks to TMEN for this snippet. I dont know if it ever panned out - you'd hink we'd have heard by now....
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008

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