Determining the sex of chicken breeds

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Dear Poultry Farmer

Dear Poultry Farmer,

Feather sexing is possible for some chicken breeds.

Apart from Vent Sexing another sex-linked characteristic that is used commercially among Chick sexers is the Rapid-Feathering, or Fast-Feathering, Gene.

Dear Poultry FarmerA Rapid-Feathering male is crossed with a slow-feathering female . The resulting males will be slow-feathering, while the females are rapid-feathering.

As a result, the Males have wing feathers that are relatively shorter than those of the Females. In the females, the covert feathers are always shorter than the primary feathers. In the males, the covert feathers are always as long as, or longer than, the primary feathers. Some training is required to develop accuracy and speed in sexing on the basis of wing-feather length.

However, the amount of training is considerably less than that required for Vent Sexing.

Throughout embryonic development, there are no external characteristics that identify the sex of the chick. At hatch, male and female chicks are the same weight, and—except for the down color and feather length as mentioned earlier—neither males nor females show any distinguishing secondary sexual characteristics. The most accurate way to sex chicks is to watch them grow. As the chicks get older, they will exhibit differences in behavior and feathering.

🐓. The males switch from chirping, which is common to all chicks, to attempting to crow. 🐓. The males have larger bodies, combs, and wattles than the female.

🐓. In single-comb birds, such as Leghorns, the male’s comb stands upright and the females typically flop over on one side.

🐓. The males develop larger spurs than the females.

🐓. The males have longer, more pointed, and narrower hackle feathers (located on the neck). The hackle feathers typically have a rounded oval shape in females.

🐓. The males and females both have main tail feathers, but only the males have saddle feathers.

🐓. In crested chickens such as Polish, Sultans, and Crevecoeurs, the crest feathers of the females are curved and form a soft topknot. The crests of the males are pointed to give a more punk-like appearance.

🐓. The combs of young roosters begin to develop earlier than those of females. The timing of this varies from breed to breed.

In most breeds with large combs, it is relatively easy to distinguish between the two sexes. For some of the breeds with small combs, such as those with pea combs, distinguishing the sexes may be more difficult.

By:Godbold Chukwuebuka

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