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Baby Chicks - Hens or Roosters? Options
Jeannie Morris
#1 Posted : Tuesday, May 11, 2004 6:11:37 AM
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Posts: 134,494
Is there a way to tell the sex of baby chicks? Sure would like to know how to tell the hens from the roosters! Does anyone know how to tell? Thanks for any info you can provide! Jean
#2 Posted : Tuesday, May 11, 2004 6:11:37 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
You can have the chicks sexed if you order them from a company.
There is another way to sex chicks ..it''s by checking the "vent"

The best way to sex chickens is to watch them grow. Feed them, water them, observe them and enjoy them while they mature. As they develop, changes will become obvious as the males will begin to act manly and their voices will change from the chirping common to young chicks to attempted crows.

The young males'' feathers will also change from the round oval-shaped feathers common to hens and young birds to the shiny, more narrow and pointed feathers found on their necks and at the base of their tails.
Additionally, the combs of the young roosters will begin to develop at an earlier age than they will in females. In most breeds of chickens with large combs, this is a very obvious distinction between young roosters and hens as they are maturing. In short, enjoy the birds and watch them grow.

One final method, and this is the method that I use myself, feather-sexing. To the best of my knowledge, this method works on meat-type breeds and possibly others. The main requirement is that it be done within the first 24-hours after hatching, after that the differences are so small that it''s nearly impossible. Hold the chick in the normal head-up position as if it were standing. Extend either wing-tip and look at the feathers on the surface. Look closest to the edge of the wing and you will see that there are two distinctly different kinds of feathers. One set is more feather-shaped and the other is fluffy, downy feathers. The first is called the "primaries" and the others are the "coverts." If the coverts are shorter, you have a little pullet - a baby hen. If they are the same length, or the coverts are longer, reach for a cigar because it''s a baby boy. Granted, you have to look closely, and remember that the primaries are closest to the wing edge and the coverts are higher up. Don''t forget to do it quickly after hatching!

Good luck![:)][:X]

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