Wing Feather Sexing Bantams

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by ClickerChick, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. ClickerChick

    ClickerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have heard mixed results about this. Some say that only large fowl breeds can be wing feather sexed, but some say that it does indeed work with bantams. Does it work with bantams? What are your experiences with this?

    Just to be clear, I'm talking about sexing the three-ish day olds with the two rows of pin feathers on the wings - even lengths are males and one row longer than the other are females.

    Thanks! Hope you can help!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If you read the very first post in this thread you’ll get a good description of how you make sex linked chickens. Tim goes into detail on three of the methods. One of them is feather-sexing. Just read the first post. Don’t worry about the rest of the long thread. You may need to read it a few times and think about it, but if you study it you will eventually get a light bulb moment where the basics make sense.

    Tadkerson’s Sex Link Thread

    For feather-sexing to work, the parents have to be set up correctly genetically. A lot of people don’t get that. That leads to a lot of confusion. There is even a video on this forum that shows you how to feather-sex. People point to that video as proof that you can feather-sex any chick. What they don’t understand and refuse to believe is that the video used to be linked to a description much like Tim wrote about how the parents have to be set up right genetically before it can work, but the video got separated from that write-up. Although it is now out of context, it’s offered as proof.

    The light bulb moment for me with Tim’s article is that the rooster is generous and fair to all his offspring. He gives a copy of everything he can to all his offspring, male and female. The hen, on the other hand, is a stingy sexist. She loves her sons and gives them all she can but doesn’t do that for her daughters. She does not give her daughters all that she could but withholds the sex linked genes. That means the hen is the one that determines the sex of the chick.

    For feather-sexing to work, both genes the father has to have are the recessive fast-feathering gene. He’ll give one to each offspring. The hen has to have a copy (She only has one) of the dominant slow feathering gene. So the male offspring get a recessive fast feathering and a dominant slow feathering gene so they will be slow-feathering. The female only gets a fast feathering gene from her daddy and nothing from her mommy so she will be fast-feathering. This will work with bantams as well as full-sized fowl if the parents are set up correctly genetically.
  3. ClickerChick

    ClickerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    So is it only certain breeds that can be feather sexed, or does it have to be crossbreeds? My main question is can I sex the Japanese bantams that I will be getting soon?
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Only specific cross-breeds, unless you have specifically developed two separate parent flocks for feather-sexing. Unless you know the parents were specifically set up for it, you can't use it. It is extremely doubtful those Japanese bantams were. If you want to try it, you can. You have a 50-50 chance of being right. You also have a 50-50 chance of being wrong.

    I don't know of anyone that has set up specific parent flocks like that for "breeds". Feather-sexing is generally used by commercial breeders breeding hybrid egg layers or maybe broilers.

    I don't know if you are after males or females. There are a few things you can do to help your odds a little. Males tend to have thicker legs and more upright postures. There are no guarantees with any of this but you can probably beat the 50-50 odds a bit. But the real differences don't really start to kick in until maybe 5 weeks of age. At hatch the size of the chick depends on the size of the egg it came from, but by 5 weeks males tend to be a bity bigger. Differences in combs and wattles and just general body shape start to show up. That upright posture often becomes really pronounced. But right at hatch it can be really difficult.
  5. ClickerChick

    ClickerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm after females for showing - I can't have males in town. I've heard about the leg thickness thing, but if I do (from some miracle or something) get short legged chicks from the hatchery, then it might be hard to tell the thicknesses. I'll do some more research...

    Thanks so much for all of this genetic info! I love learning about chicken genetics! Thanks again for your help!
  6. kristin07035

    kristin07035 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2014
    Im getting my class B serama eggs tomorrow!
    They hopefully will hatch & some will be frizzled.
    Question is can I feather sex themwhen they hatch? I know it only works with some breeds. Is serama one of them?
  7. Yoyo with chick

    Yoyo with chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2014
    Cottage Grove, OR
    I hatched some of the first EE's from my flock and I was able to wing sex them. But if I ordered a pure breed bantam I wouldn't be able to wing sex them?
  8. TexasChicken12

    TexasChicken12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2014
    What about Sebrights? Can you feather sex them?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by