Before discussing about how to tell chicks gender, let me fist describe something important about it. Generally determining process of a chick’s gender is called chick sexing. And it’s the method of distinguishing the sex of chickens. Usually this process is done by well trained person called chicken sexer or chick sexer. Large commercial hatcheries use chick sexing method because they raise male and female chicks separately for their specific production purpose. But in most cases, breeders kill the chicks of an unwanted sex almost immediately for reducing costs. There are some ways on how to tell chicks gender that the breeders use. As a poultry keeper you should learn the methods. The chick sexing methods are described below.
Sex Linked Chicks
Sex linked chicks are available in the most hatcheries. It’s a easy way to get your desired breed with specific gender. Usually through crossing certain breeds of chickens results in chicks exhibiting sex linked down coloration. You can obtain black sex linked chicks by crossing a barred hen with other male. Crossing a male that does not contain a barred or white gene with a barred Plymouth rock will produce male chicks that contain white spot on their head. A red male chicken crossed with a silver female chicken will result in red down on female chicks and light down on male chicks. Sex linking is one of the popular methods of chick sexing.
Only through vent sexing we can determine the gender of chicks who do not have sex linked traits. Vent sexing is also known as venting. Chick sexer determine the gender of a chick through squeezing the feces out of a chick and slightly opening up the it’s anal vent. If he see any small bump there then the chick is a male, if not then it’s a female. Although some females also have bumps. But their bumps are not as large as those of male chicks. The eminence is found midway on the lower rim of the vent of chicks and it looks like a very tiny pimple. A relatively prominent eminence is available in most of the male chicks and most of the females have no eminence. In some cases both male and female chicks have relatively small eminences. It’s quite difficult, sexing this type of chickens. But an experienced chick sexer can do it perfectly. Accuracy rate of determining the gender of chicks through vent sexing is very high (90 to 95 percent).
There are some other easy methods available for sexing your chicks. Usually small scale poultry producers face some problems while sexing their chicks. Follow this breed specific identification methods.
- Cuckoo Marans: The male chicks of Cuckoo Marans have the similar psychical characteristics like Barred Rocks. They have wider white barring, larger and splotchier head spot.
- Rhode Island Reds: It’s quiet difficult to tell the gender of newly born Rhode Island Red chickens. Usually males have larger and thicker legs and larger comb and wattle area by their 5 weeks of age.
- Salmon Faverolles: You will be able to see differences in the colors of wings of Salmon Faverolles chicks by their 2 weeks of age. Chicks with brown wings are pullet and cockerel have black colored wings.
- Silkies: Determining the gender of Silkies chicks can take several weeks or even months. Generally cockerel tend to stand more erect and pullets more likely to be squatty and short. If the feathers of a Silkies chick swoop back towards the neck on the crest, then it is likely to be a cockerel.
- White Crested Polish: The female chicks of White Crested Polish tend to get more fluffy. And they have mushroom looking crests.
It’s absolutely a fascinating experience for the people who want to hatch chicks from eggs. In most breeds, both male and females are similar looking and it’s quiet difficult to tell their gender until they reach maturity. After a certain period roosters start developing combs and wattles on their head, long tails and begin to crow. And then you can easily identify them. If you practice the above mentioned methods, you also be able to tell the gender of the chicks.