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Forum Home > General Discussion > Sexing silver-gray day old chicks?

poultrypalace
Member
Posts: 26

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone here knows if there is a way to sight sex day old silver-gray dorkings based on color. I have heard that the chicks with darker markings on the head are females, but I have never tested this theory and i was wondering if it was true. I was somewhat skeptical because of the variation in the darkness or lightness of the color of the different flocks of adult SGD's that I have seen.\

Thanks

--

Poultry Palace Whidbey Island, WA  Silver-gray Dorkings, Buff Brahma (bantam), Royal Palm Turkey, Gray Mallard, Black Muscovy, Guineas- Lavender, Pearl, Royal Purple www.freewebs.com/whidbeypoultry/

February 3, 2012 at 12:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Uisge
Member
Posts: 33

I was able to easily sex the 5 chicks I hatched last spring at birth.  Three pullets and two cockerels. 


The dark V shaped patch on the head was much cleaner and well defined on the pullets while the cockerels were more of smudge.  Also the little pullets had much more distinct dark lines around the eyes.   Next hatch I have got to take some good photos.

 

As they grow each day they became easier to sex and as their feathers start coming in the cockerels were immediateyt developing black feathers on their breasts and the pullets the salmon colored breasts.


Here they are at 6 weeks and at that point there is no way to confuse them.


https://picasaweb.google.com/110504617161800857991/Chickens#5695068775082132386


Regards,


-Scott


 

 

 

 

 

February 3, 2012 at 1:08 AM Flag Quote & Reply

poultrypalace
Member
Posts: 26

Thanks, I have been sexing them by the color of the breast feathers when they grow in, but I have some people who want day old chicks but only want females. I had noticed the color difference in the chick down before but had never bothered to track any of them to see what they turned out as, which is why I asked here. When  I get my first hatch I will post some pictures here with my guesses as to sex. I only got one chick out of my first hatch today so I will have to wait a week till the next ones come out to do any comparing.

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Poultry Palace Whidbey Island, WA  Silver-gray Dorkings, Buff Brahma (bantam), Royal Palm Turkey, Gray Mallard, Black Muscovy, Guineas- Lavender, Pearl, Royal Purple www.freewebs.com/whidbeypoultry/

February 3, 2012 at 9:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

starrose
Member
Posts: 35

I know that on Feathersite, it says that you can sex SG chicks by the color on their head, but I have not found this to be 100% reliable. IME.

Kim

February 4, 2012 at 10:18 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Karen - KI4GOT
Member
Posts: 36

ok so far i'm 14/14 for sexing chicklets...  and got 8 pullets and 6 cockerels. so far so good. *knock on wood* tho i lost my oldest cockerel last month. no clue why, just gone overnight.

the 3rd from the left you'll see her head is darker with more definition of the edge. the other 3 were cockerels...

on this next one, there were 2 sg dorkings and some oegb's...  even on the oegb's, the one in the center's head markings were fainter than the other 2 (they're crele, so the white spot is because they're also barred), but the dorkings you'll also see the one on the right has a much darker and more defined head...

the cockerel on the left is the one i lost... 

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Karen - k.i.forgot (it's a ham thing)

2 Morgans, 2 Minis, 1 Standard Poodle, 3 cats, 20 y.o. B&G Macaw, 21 y.o. cockatiel, LF Dorkings - Silver Grey & Red, Swedish Flower Hens, bantam Cochins (BBS Mottled, Mille Fleur, Silver Laced & Red) and Blue Laced Red Wyandottes (LF & bantam)

February 4, 2012 at 11:18 PM Flag Quote & Reply

rtroxel
Member
Posts: 51

I think Silvers are easier to sex than Reds. I think there is a middle ground that is somewhat confusing and hard to tell, but there are definitely males and definitely females, then the few left over. The more you see, the easier it will get.

I also think there is a difference in strains. For example, my silvers don't have the white spot/mark that Karen's chick had on its head.  This might be a result of adult color as well.

In working with Partridge Wyandotte LF and Partridge Cochin LF, I have noticed that chick color is different in the two breeds (caused by different brown base gene). I would suppose that strains of SG or Red could also have considerable variation in chick color.

--

Raising Red Dorkings from Roger and Silver Greys with roots from Dee in Iowa!


And a whole lot of other stuff, too!  :)

February 8, 2012 at 5:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Karen - KI4GOT
Member
Posts: 36

actually that one cockerel (not the oegb chicks) has been the ONLY one to ever have a white spot, and he also feathered out with a lot of bronze in his wings. He was destined to be culled but i lost him at about 3 months old.

--

Karen - k.i.forgot (it's a ham thing)

2 Morgans, 2 Minis, 1 Standard Poodle, 3 cats, 20 y.o. B&G Macaw, 21 y.o. cockatiel, LF Dorkings - Silver Grey & Red, Swedish Flower Hens, bantam Cochins (BBS Mottled, Mille Fleur, Silver Laced & Red) and Blue Laced Red Wyandottes (LF & bantam)

February 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

poultrypalace
Member
Posts: 26


So i finally got more than one chick out of a hatch so I could compare the head colors. the above picture are four day old chicks. I am guessing that the right two are females and the left two are males. As for the one pictured below I think it is a male. Anyone concur or disagree? I got an 83% fertility rate on the last hatch despite the cold weather when I was collecting the eggs, so I am excited to see what happens as it warms up and the days get longer.


--

Poultry Palace Whidbey Island, WA  Silver-gray Dorkings, Buff Brahma (bantam), Royal Palm Turkey, Gray Mallard, Black Muscovy, Guineas- Lavender, Pearl, Royal Purple www.freewebs.com/whidbeypoultry/

February 12, 2012 at 10:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

starrose
Member
Posts: 35

Those chicks with the in between coloring on their heads are why I said that sexing by those markings is not always accurate. I have had some that are just too hard to tell.

Nice looking chicks. Good to hear that you are getting decent fertility.

Kim

February 13, 2012 at 11:35 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Uisge
Member
Posts: 33

If I were guessing I would say the two on the right are females, the one in the upper left is male, and the lower left is indeterminant.   I usually also look at the side of the head for darker lines around the eyes which are more prominent on the females.


I'ts not 100% sure and a lot depends on your flock.  Your genetics may throw females that have very celar markings and may always be as distinct as the two on the right, or they may be less distinct like that on the lower left.   You will just have to practice and get to know your flock.  Get some leg bands on them so you can follow your day old sexing guesses and in few weeks when their breast coloring starts coming in your will know for sure.  As more hatches go by you will get better and better at it.


-Scott



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February 13, 2012 at 2:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

starrose
Member
Posts: 35

A friend and I got an order of SGs from McMurray's. Every chick had the very dark triangle marking. I told my friend to look at the Feathersite sexing photo and asked him what he thought. He agreed that they all look female due to the very dark triangle on all their heads. They are now 3 weeks old and getting their chest feathers. There are at least 4 cockerels. So I still say that you can not accurately sex day old SGDs. I have another batch of just hatched chicks, from my own birds this time. Only 2 have the very dark triangle, 2 more have a slightly less defined dark triangle and the rest have lighter head marking. We will see if this batch turns out true to their early markings. :)

Kim

March 13, 2012 at 6:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

poultrypalace
Member
Posts: 26

Yeah i have gotten quite a few more chicks and it seems that for my flock the eye line is a better indication than the top of the head color. the little black triangle does not seem to be a very accurate indicator for mine. The overall color of the center stripe seems to be somewhat indicative but I get only about 70% of them figured out by only looking at the top of the head. I have had only two so far that I couldn't figure out. Otherwise I was 100% accurate.  that said if i am selling them I still think I prefer to just wait until they have the first few chest feathers and i can tell for sure.

--

Poultry Palace Whidbey Island, WA  Silver-gray Dorkings, Buff Brahma (bantam), Royal Palm Turkey, Gray Mallard, Black Muscovy, Guineas- Lavender, Pearl, Royal Purple www.freewebs.com/whidbeypoultry/

March 14, 2012 at 11:43 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lynette
Member
Posts: 1

I, too, am wondering about my day old chicks.   My flock of eight silver gray hens (the ladies) and Mr. Roosevelt are the proud parents of 4 chicks and one mutt.  The mutt is complements of my father in law's flock and his hen that did the sitting.   None of  my ladies has gone broody.  However, I read that the darker the v suggests a pullet, so I will see.  Congrats on your chicks.  I was hoping for a rooster, but it looks like 4 pullets if the dark holds true as a good indicator.   If not, I need to locate a rooster.  Mr. Roosevelt is rather mean, and I am not too fond of him.   

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May 7, 2012 at 10:07 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Uisge
Member
Posts: 33

Take a look at this album.

https://picasaweb.google.com/110504617161800857991/Chickens

I dont know that that my pictures are any clearer than any of the others here  but there are some pictures there of a couple of day old chicks, one a pullet and one a cockerel.  I think it's often pretty easy to tell, but not all chicks are that distinct.


But when they are distinct I personally think it's pretty obvious.


Regards,


-Scott

May 7, 2012 at 3:04 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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