Why isn't feather sexing accurate? *pics*

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by MA Mama, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. MA Mama

    MA Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have seen a few sites that show feather sexing, and it pretty much comes down to that the females have those 2 rows of wing tip feathers ( and they are longer) and the males have just one, and they are shorter. My true rumpless Araucana (not the Americauna or EE) week old chicks CLEARLY have two distinct feather arrangements amongst them, JUST as what is shown on those feather-sexing sites. They are either just like the first pic or just like the second pic. However, my Araucana breeder tells me you can't do feather sexing on them because they are not a "quick-to feather" breed. My chicks aren't even a week old and they have big feathers on their wing tips, and like I said, obviously two distinct arrangements. Why does it seem that every chicken person who is "in the know" (and I am not one of them!!!) doens't think feather sexing is accurate? I feel like I must be missing something and I would love to be informed! THANKS! The first pic is what I think is a female and the second is what I think is a male. They hatched last Thursday. Again, thanks for any insight!

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  2. hdowden

    hdowden Overrun With Chickens

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    the chicks have to be breed for feather sexing. i wish it was that simple to sex them then there wouldnt be any guessing involved in their gender.
     
  3. MA Mama

    MA Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So these chicks could be the same gender? The feathers on these guys just simply don't mean anything? I appreciate your help!
     
  4. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They very well could be. I have three araucana (bantams):

    One was chipmunk fuzz like your first one and feathered very slowly. His comb was pink and raised by 4 weeks and terra cotta colored feathers coming in on the wings by 6 weeks. Obvious boy.

    One was black with no comb whatsoever, and had "quick" feather development. No pink AT ALL at 4 weeks. Obvious girl.

    One was black with salmon breast, had a very questionable comb and "quick" feather development, same amount as the obvious girl. Jumped the gun on saying girl, right? He's a beautiful boy. His comb pinked up around 5-6 weeks and started raising at 5.

    It all depends on the parents. Some will feather quickly, some slowly, but that's a gene that's *not necessarily* sex-linked.

    You need a couple more weeks to start knowing for sure. Keep us posted - they will be beautiful. Though they're my only bantams, I wouldn't trade my girl for anything - such a sweetie!!!
     
  5. MA Mama

    MA Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was extremely helpful! Keeping in mind these are my first chickens, do you think the comb differences are obvious enough that an untrained eye can see the difference in male/female at 6 weeks? Thank you so much, i learn so much from my fellow BYCers!!!!!!
     
  6. MA Mama

    MA Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was extremely helpful! Keeping in mind these are my first chickens, do you think the comb differences are obvious enough that an untrained eye can see the difference in male/female at 6 weeks? Thank you so much, i learn so much from my fellow BYCers!!!!!!
     
  7. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

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    In order to feather sex using the wing feathers you need two things, do it within 3 days or less preferably within 24 hours and secondly you need to know what parent carried which feathering gene. I forget the order but one parent has to have the fast gene and the other the slow feathering gene and if you switch the feathering gene to the other parent then the offspring in one generation may give say slow feathering to all the female chicks but the offspring of that generation may give slow feathering to all the males. You have to know what the parents are to actually determine which sex gets which gene, in other words all males do not necessarily have the fast feather gene and females do not always get the slow feather gene it is actually determined by the configuration of the parents.
     
  8. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, you have to breed 2 separate lines of the same breed, 1 for fast feathering, one for slow, I think the father comes from the slow and the mom from the fast? Could be totally wrong on that. and then cross those 2 lines to be able to sex the resulting generation. Way more work than most people or hatcheries bother with.
     
  9. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

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    Your right the larger hatcheries cannot maintain 2 flocks for one breed just to be able to sex the chicks that way economically. They usually buy those eggs from someone that will do the proper parenting on the more popular breeds that they sell. Most hatcheries figure a 50% loss to roosters right off the top.

     
  10. MA Mama

    MA Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like i either need to learn some patience...... Or vent sexing.... Hmmmmmmm patience it is!
     

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