Chicken Sex – Feather Sexing Day Old Chicks


I went out a little after daylight this morning and found that my broody hen had hatched 6 new members to add to my chicken flock. As is the normal percentage rate about 50% roosters – 50% pullets, I have 3 pullets and 3 roosters. She {the broody hen} is still setting on 6 eggs! Someone slipped a couple of extra eggs in her nest when I wasn’t looking.. At any rate I will give her until Friday night to hatch anymore viable eggs, then the remaining eggs go into the garbage and the hen will be put back in with the flock.

Chicken Sex is fairly easy to determine if you know the secret to feather sexing day old chicks. This is a visual examination of the chicks wing feathers to determine it’s sex. I found this site with all the information you will need in sexing your new day old chicks. Feather Sexing Chickens is provided by University of Missouri – Animal Sciences – College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

You can save a lot of time, money and effort by sexing day old chicks and only keeping the pullets. Unless you plan on raising the rooster for meat birds or you need a breeding rooster, it is best to sell or give away all the roosters that you hatch. It requires a great deal of time, effort and feed to get these birds to butcher weight. Click picture to Zoom-In
feather sexing chicks

One note of Caution: Feather sexing chickens can only be accomplished when the chicks are 1 or 2 days old. Birds grow so fast that by day 3 it is ‘Very’ difficult or impossible to use this method to determine the sex of chickens.

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)

About these ads

24 responses to “Chicken Sex – Feather Sexing Day Old Chicks

  1. Very interesting! I’m going to have to give it a try if we ever have any that hatch.

  2. Pingback: Harriet, A Chicken For All Seasons | Town & Country Gardening

  3. Pingback: Feather Sexing Day Old Chicks | TBN Ranch

  4. This is really handy to know as we have had sooo many chcks turn out to be yet more roosters !

  5. The Belmont Rooster

    Well, I have been in the hatchery business, I learned to vent sex day old chicks, and I majored in Poultry Science at the University of Missouri. I think feather sexing can only be accomplished on certain strains of commercial poultry. In my day, feather sexing could only be done on special commercial strains of White Leghorns and broiler crosses.. Color sexing can be done on sex-link crosses and pretty well on Barred Plymouth Rocks and Rhode Island Reds (or Production Reds) if you know what to look for. What breed do you have that you can feather sex? But you did spark my curiosity. I may have to email one of my old professors making people think they can feather sex any breed. The hen in the photo is a Columbian Plymouth Rock, which one of my competitors claimed he crossed with New Hampshire or Rhode Island Red, to produce a buff sex-link. You can cross Barred Rock females with a Rhode Island Red male and get a black sex-link. In my hatchery, I used Silver factor White Rock females with RED males and we were the first to offer the buff sex-link known as the Cinnamon Queen. Delaware females crossed wit New Hamps or R.I. Red will also produce a buff sex-link which. We were also the first to offer the black sex-link named the Rock Red. FYI, we also first named the Cherry Egger.

    • Re The Belmont Rooster – Just for the record, I am not nor do I claim to be any kind of chicken expert.
      I learned to feather sex chick from a fact sheet published be the University of Missouri about 15 years ago.
      I have good luck sexing birds as long as they are no older that 2 days old, new hatched is better.
      My success rate is about 99 percent on any breed that I may have in the coop.
      I have tried vent sexing ducks and geese, but the fact is I just don’t have the required knowledge or experience to be successful.
      Thanks for your comment(s) and taking time to visit my humble blog

      PS Maybe you could in your spare time be a Guest Author on my Town & Country Gardening blog. Well just a thought!

      • The Belmont Rooster

        I would be happy to. I am just still a little confused about being able to feather sex any breed of chick… If that were true, why did we hire chick sexors at the hatchery (LOL). Sorry, if I sounded rude, and I apologize to you and your blog readers. Those were the good ‘ol days that went wrong (and not on my part), so that is why I get a little bent out of shape. I just remembered how old I was and probably all my old professors have passed anyway… These days I avoid the mirror as much as possible.

  6. I am learning the best stuff on your blog :)

  7. Reblogged this on Tales From Riverside: Compost and Custard and commented:
    How to tell what sex your day old chicks are.

  8. You can actually tell as soon as they hatch. Little roosters will have shorter wings than hens. Once they get more feathers you can look at the neck and saddle feathers (feathers on the back between the wings). Roosters will have a pointed tip on the these feathers but hens will be rounded. The exception to this is seabright chicks. Both male and female of this breed have rounded feather tips. The difference in these feathers can usually be seen before other distinguishing features become apparent.

  9. I grew up on a farm and we had chickens but I never knew this.

  10. Pingback: Egg – Chick – Rooster – Hen To Your Table | Town and Country Gardening

  11. Pingback: Backyard Poultry Flock From Scratch _Chicken Coops And More | Town and Country Gardening

  12. Pingback: Poultry Brooder – What Is That – What Does it Do? – Do I Need One? | Town and Country Gardening

  13. If I ever decide to grow chickens, I will remember this! – Kaye

  14. I had no idea you could tell the difference right away. I can’t tell you how many “chickens” we’ve had turn into roosters on the sly! LOL. Well, we’ve got a brooder sitting on 6, and I will most definitely use this method. Thanks for a great post.

    • Re: Libby Keane – Thanks for finding time to visit my tiny blog.
      Grinning, just don’t wait to long..by the time they are 3 days old this wing feather sexing method will no longer work, by day 3 both sexes wing feathers will look the same.

  15. Just found this information on sexing chicks to be very helpful, I wish I had seen this when my chicks were younger as they are now a week old. However I have more chicks to be hatched so will definately refer to this with them, thank you so much.

    • Thank you for finding time to visit my tiny blog.
      Grin… Yes… I also at times find chicks sexy, well what really mean is, sometimes I need to sex chicks to sort out who stays and who goes!
      ~Pobept

  16. I am lovin’ this blog! Everything is so well-written, so informative, I’ll be back again and again for more of your organic brain food. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!
    Wendy

  17. Pingback: Raising Chickens: Survival Method for the Unemployed or Others who just want to be Self-Sufficient | Go Fish Ministries, Inc

  18. Pingback: Old Breeds: Chickens Best Ever | Sunnyside Lane Hobby Farm

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s