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Author Topic: Only a moment, to show something interesting about feather sexing chicks  (Read 17139 times)
Cindi
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« on: February 28, 2010, 10:12:45 AM »

I have observed very deeply, watching and watching, comparing several different hatches of chicks, these being of the standard size, light Brahma and Cochins, the Cochins being blue and splash.

At a very early age, there are clear differences between the cockerals and the pullets, of which I have pictures to show the differences.  Look closely and you will see the difference of the breeds with the primary (flight (longer)) feathers and tail feathers.  Upon maturation to an age where clearly the gender (i.e., wattles and comb) is apparent, these observations have held true.  I only have had light Brahma and Cochin for a great comparison.  I have noticed, as well though, that these same differences are apparent with the buff Orpingtons that I have incubated and raised.   Just some interesting observations that if anyone is interested in looking at, carry forward.  These chicks that you see in the pictures were born of the January 31 incubation. The pictures were taken when the chicks were 11 days old. They are now close to the 30 day old mark, and these clear differences in feathers are still extremely apparent.  Enjoy the pictures, the pullets all now have very heavy feathering on the tails, on both sexes, much larger than the cockerals.  Do have that most wonderful and awesome day, with that great health, Cindi


This is the blue Cochin cockeral, take note of the short wing feathers and  very small tailfeathers



This is the blue Cochin pullet, notice the longer wingfeathers and the bigger tailfeathers



This is a splash Cochin cockeral, I had a high number of splash in this hatch, note again, the shorter wing and tail feathers



Another shot of a splash Cochin cockeral



This is a shot of the splash Cochin pullet, notice feathers



This is a different splash Cochin pullet, notice feathers, particularly noticeable on this gal is the long flight feathers



Now on to the light Brahmas, very, very noticeable with this breed, meaning the differences, consistently visible with all sexes of this breed

The light Brahma cockeral



A light Brahma pullet



Just a cool shot of the group when they were moved from their brooding box to the growing area,  there was 50 the 73 that hatched out in this batch of youngsters



Just some observations from a gal that spends too much time observing chicks, smiling.
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
David LaFerney
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2010, 01:45:36 PM »

Very good pictures to illustrate.  How much confidence do you have with this method?  Does it apply to most breeds?

BTW, at the grocery store today I noticed some frozen ducks - $18 each.  Wow!  Not very big either.
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doak
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2010, 08:47:00 PM »

Those individual pictures, they really know how to respect the camera. shocked Wink :)doak
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2010, 10:09:26 PM »

Cindi, excellent pictures and observations!  You have given me things to think about.  The differences are very apparent would be interesting to do an on official survey with people that raise chicks, maybe on Backyard Chix?  I  used to be able to 97% sex my pied, lutino & immature grey cockatiels by the patterns on their wing & tail feathers so I know what you say is true!  Keep on observing girl, teach us all something new every day!

Jody
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 10:57:00 PM »

You been lookin' at lots of lil chickens there Cindi, I too would love to know the official end results of your observations.

Hope you and Ken are doing well & the rest of your family.


...JP
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Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2010, 08:32:43 PM »

Thank you for the replies, life is just swamped here, whine, whine  Wink shocked Smiley Smiley .  David, I am 100% confident in this method with Cochins and the light Brahma.  I have black, blue, and splash cochins and that wing and feather sexing when the feathers begin to grow are absolutely true to the gender.  Positive....100%.  I know also that it is 100% accurate with the buff Orpington that I have as well, 100% positive.  I do not raise other breeds, so I cannot say if this is true for other breeds, no clue about that, but these three breeds, yup, yup.

The chicks were born on January 31.  To this day at almost 5 weeks old, there is still a massive difference in the length and size of the wing feathers and the tailfeathers.  Still showing true to the gender, as I predicted.  Life is fun, being having a whole lotta fun with the chicks, the incubator has been set aside now, as a move is getting closer and closer in time.  Can't have little babies running around with the wrecklesness of moving Noah's arc, smiling.

Hey, Jody, that is downright cool about your gender observations too.  Still thinkin' that you must be my long lost twin  Kiss

Have that beautiful day, with those great health wishes, for us all.  Cindi

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2010, 10:01:31 AM »

Just thought I would put another picture in of two light Brahma chicks, they are about 5 weeks old here.  This shows the tailfeather comparisons of the two genders.  Still at this age of 5 weeks, the tailfeathers are clearly different.  and still the cockerals that I have in a group are showing those kind of puffy tailfeathers, but are becoming larger now, they were born December 19, so that makes them, hold on, let me do the math......11 weeks old, approximately.  Still no rigid-type tailfeathers, as the pullets had a long time ago.  The females at a very young age (in this breed) the tailfeathers do not have that buffy poofy look, they are longer and more rigid.  Anyways, look closely at the picture, the cockeral is on the left, the pullet on the right, very clear to see the total difference in that tailfeather.  The wingfeathers by this point are not as noticeably different.  Have that wonderful day, most beautiful day, with health. Cindi


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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 12:43:08 AM »

Excellent post!!!  I have read and seen pics about this subject but none so informative and descriptive.  Thank you for your astute observation of your chicks. I will definitely be using this method to identify cockerels in my own hatches. 
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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2010, 09:35:13 AM »

Beekissed, you must not rely on my finding as 100% gospel.

I have only the buff Orpington, light Brahma and Cochins for comparison purposes. I have not had any of the gold laced Wyandottes breed chicks here, yet....beeen too busy selling fertile eggs of this breed to do some myself.   I do not know if it works 100% with other breeds.  I know that wing feather sexing as chicks younger than 72 hours worked the opposite to what the "book" said with the light Brahmas, the ones that I thought were girls, turned out to be boys, but that was the information about the saw tooth look to the flight and covert feathers that I had read about feather sexing as only a few hours old, the younger the better.  This is different than sighting the feathers at like 10 days old, that is 100% accurate. 

Brian Bray mentioned to me that the Asiatic class of breeds were (as hour-old chicks) opposite those of the American or British.  The light Brahma are considered Asiatic and what he said did indeed corroborate my finds.  He is a wealth of walking knowledge, that man, smiling.  Beautiful days, with love and health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2012, 02:04:25 PM »

Okay, I know you may never read this, Cindi, as this topic has not been posted in for a couple years.  However, I just wanted to tell you that you have saved me the trouble of finding a rooster to watch over our chicks.  We started our chicken adventure last year.  We have two Dominique hens, what we believe is a Cochin hen and three random bantam hens.  This Spring, we got two groups of supposedly pullets, six buff brahmas and four buff orpingtons.  One of the orpingtons, we had been calling Miss No Tail, fits your description of a cockerel perfectly.  We also may have a brahma cockerel but she/he looks very different from the others in coloring so not even sure if she/he is a brahma at all, except her shape is the same.  Maybe just a dark brahma.  We were calling her Miss Wimpy because she was the last to learn to go upstairs to roost and always the last to come down in the morning.  She is just a little smaller than the other brahams.  The orpingtons are two weeks younger than the brahmas and she would always hang around with them until we came and put the orpingtons down so they could enjoy the grass in the pen for the day.  For about a week, she would not go up until we came and put the orpingtons up in the coop, which is on top of a pen, for the night.  The orpingtons would not all go up to the coop by themselves until about 3 days ago, at about 3.5 weeks old.  Miss Wimpy has no tail to speak of either.  Maybe she is a he and a dark brahma.  I've heard that brahma roosters are so kind they will allow another rooster to "rule the roost" and since they will have grown up together, maybe all will be well.  Mr. No Tail is definitely a boy though.  He is so funny to watch.  He is only 4 weeks old and already starting to lead his ladies and the funniest thing is that they follow him and he is the smallest of all the chicks.  Sometimes he gets behind and he has to hurry real fast to catch up.  The other orpingtons have these beautiful feathers, all laying nicely and his whole body looks like he is having a bad hair day.  Most of his covering is still down, except for his wings, but just the past few days he has gotten these random feathers poking up here and there, which are a little darker in color than the girl's feathers.  He is so funny to watch, I tell ya!  Thank you so much for the great posts with all the nice pictures.  You definitely convinced me to save myself the trouble of finding the right rooster and trying to introduce him to the girls.  I was worried about that.  Well, now I have at least one growing among them.  Thanks so much!  Tamara
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rbinhood
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« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2012, 02:29:32 PM »

All I see is in about 16 weeks roasted, deep fried, smoked, and of course grilled....uuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmm good! roflmao!
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