Check flight feathers on chicks up to 48 hours old and you'll note short and longer feathers. Depending on breed the short feather might be female and the longer feathers male or it could be visa versa.
Checking the vent, squeeze it first to clear the opening (watch out for fall out), and chicks with 1 or 2 small round dots will be female, and chicks with not dots or a vertical slit will be male. a magnifying glass can help.
Ah Brian, I did try the feather sexing with the light Brahmas, it was vice versa to what I had read about the saw tooth look of the females and the one length of the males. So, Brahmas, if I am not mistaken are opposite to what the "book" says (the internet). That is one breed that must be the opposite way, the females have all one length flight feathers, the males the saw tooth thingy looking feathers. Sure am learning stuff my entire life long. Now, to one day try that vent sexing, seen it done on Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowan (spelling), it sounds like an interesting thing to do, chicken poop is fascinating, just kidding.....maybe one fine day, down that fine road....information gathering.....have those beautiful days, full of the greatest and best health, CindiBrian, have you ever attempted vent sexing, I would love to hear about your escapades if you have, tell us a story, Brian......
1. Grab the chick so it's head is held between the ring & pinky fingers and the thumb is between the legs. in an inverted position.
2. Squeeze chicks tummy lightly with thumb and forefinger to void the vent of obstructions (poop). It is best to have some kind of container to deposit the poop into as it can get a tad messy otherwise.
3. Using the thumb pull (roll) the vent slightly so that the spinter muscle is relaxed and open.
4. Look for a small circular spot slightly larger than the head of a pin (on chicks). A single or double round circle denotes a male, a thin line or no visible sign denotes a hen. The circle is usually on the tail or up portion of the vent while the chick is in the inverted position.
As a general rule Asiatic birds usually have the opposite definition when doing the wing feather sexing during the 1st 48 hours after hatch than do the Mediterrainian or British birds. American breeds can go either way depending upon the originof their source stock.