Thursday, May 5, 2016

Feather Sexing and Silkies

Leaving aside the fact that "feather sexing" sounds rather naughty, I find the idea that it may be possible to determine a very young chick's gender from the way his/her wing feathers come in to be intriguing. If you Google the term "feather sexing," you'll find lots of contradictory info online about whether feather sexing is even possible and how to do it. There's a great deal of skepticism that it's possible at all. However, I've found one apparently authoritative source on the topic which claims that it's quite possible to determine baby chicks'gender simply by taking a very close look at their wing feathers during the first week after they hatch. Specifically, this source says that chicks that show faster feathering with longer feathers during the first week of life will be pullets. I really hope that this is the case because our 4-8 day old chick Tubby's wing feathers are growing faster & longer than any chick I've ever seen. Check it out.
What's your opinion of feather sexing baby chicks? Do you think it's a reliable indicator of gender or just an old wives' tale? Have you had any luck using this method with your own chickens (and were the chickens a particular breed?)

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