WING BOW FEATHERS and Roos, How do you sex?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickenguysmom, May 13, 2009.

  1. chickenguysmom

    chickenguysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have seen several folks refer to determining the sex of a chicken by thier wing bow feathers. Can someone explain how this works? I have bantams and they all seem to be feathering at the same rate and in the same places. Does this mean I have all roosters. Mine all feathered in this order.... Wing & Tail, two chest lines, wing bow and neck then single backline ridge.

    What do you make of all that?

    ETA: changed bow feathers to wing bow feathers
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2009
  3. kingmt

    kingmt Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Mason WV
    Before they start feathering you look at the wing & if there is two rows of different length it is a pullet but if they are all the same length it is a roo.

    To my understanding this is only in certain breads.
  4. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    The only accurate way to sex a chick that I've found is to wait until they are old enough (4 to 6 wks.) to see if their combs are growing and turning orange/red. That is the only fool proof way of knowing. [​IMG]
  5. chickenguysmom

    chickenguysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have seen posts were there are two chicks at about 2 or 3 weeks old and folks will respond something to the effect "the one on the right is a cockeral, because of it's wing bow". ???? What are they referring to?
  6. kingmt

    kingmt Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Mason WV
    Quote:I don't know about that. [​IMG] I have to pick them up to check. I seen a post about there combs also & I have seen some dandy combs on a hen & some poor combs on a rooster.
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Wing sexing can only be done in the first few days and only for American breeds (so I've been told...I've never tried it).
  8. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Quote:In my partridge rocks if that backline is wide and the tail long it's a girl. If that backline is thin and the tail short it's a boy. But I only know what I have.

    I'm looking at a friend's line of blue and black rocks and it appears that the long tails in hers are the boys. Which would be a pity cuz I want the biggest black rock chick to be a pullet SOOOOO bad.
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Two different things here. As has already been stated, some breeds can be feather sexed as day olds, based on the length of the feathers when the wing is spread out.

    The other thing is, slow feathering on the wing bows - the rounded area at the top of the wing "the shoulders" - is an indication in a 4 to 6 week old chick that it could be a cockerel:

    According to UC Davis Veterinary Care Program.
    2. Physical Characteristics (4-6 weeks of age)
    a. Comb – The cockerels comb is medium size and pinkish, the pullets is small and yellowish.
    b. Legs – The cockerel’s legs are sturdy and long, the pullets are finer and shorter.
    c. Tail – The cockerel’s tail is stumpy and curved, the pullets is longer and straight.
    d. Back – The cockerel has a thin line of stub feathers down the center of his back, the pullet has more advanced feathering along the center of her back.
    e. Side of neck, flank and crop – The feathering in the cockerel in these areas is poorly advanced, the pullets feathering in these areas is well advanced.
    f. Wing bows – In the cockerel the wing bows are bare, in pullets the wing bows are covered with small feathers.
  10. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

    Apr 19, 2009
    Fall Creek Falls TN
    I have 2 chicks that hatched the day after Easter- so a month old. One is feathering out evenly. The other- I thought something was wrong- was getting feathers at a different rate. The "shoulders" are still downy. Turns out he IS a rooster. Now he's getting the little flaps under the chin and the comb is turning red. (They are BO x RIR)

    So- in this case- I guess it would have worked. The feathering issue happened before the comb started turning.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by