Sunday, August 15, 2010

Help me wing-sex my chicks!

Eva has been trying to help me understand wing sexing.  See Eva's wing sexing entry.  She has emailed me several videos on the matter and tries to explain it to me, though my brain doesn't seem to necessarily be taking in this concept.  The premise is that on days one through three of a chicken's life, we can tell the gender based on wing development.  The girls have two rows of primary feathers, and the boys only one.  If i'm doing this right, i've noticed that the boys also tend to have fewer visible primary feathers.

I happen to have eight new babies at my house, who started hatching on Friday - and who were all hatched by Saturday mid-morning.  So today is day two of life for most of them, possibly day one and a half for some.

I'm not sure i know what i'm talking about here, but i'm giving it a shot and hoping for feedback.  Here we go....

Chick #1:  
This is a nice place to start because i know that this one is a girl.  She's a black sex link, and this is her wing.  She was one of the first to hatch, so this is definitely day two for her.

Chick #2:  
This one, i think, is a boy.  There are only a few obvious feathers, and i can only see one row.

Chick #3
 This one might just be younger than the others, but since this is at least day one and a half, and there is hardly any visible feather development, i'm going to call this one a boy also.

Chick #4:  
Another boy.  Maybe we'll call him Soup.

Chick #5:  
This one throws me off a little because i CAN see some slight development of a second row of primary feathers - or at least i think i can - but i think this is a boy because there are way fewer primary feathers visible.

Chick #6:  
This one has a clear second row of feathers.  Female.

Chick #7:  
Female.  Eva says the girls' feathers also look a little more tapered, like they've been to the salon.

Chick #8:  
Is that a second row?  If you blow it up, it might be easier to see.  I think this is a girl too.

So i see four boys and four girls.  What do you think?  That's exactly what i got when my dog had puppies, four boys and four girls, but they were easier to sex.  


  1. wow..... I agree except number 5 looks like a girl to me.... I would recheck number 5 tomorrow. I say 5 girls 3 boys....

    I wish we would hurry up and become wing sexing experts. If you can in fact wing sex day olds....then we will become the ones who know... lol

  2. What works?

    I didn't number their little heads, but i'm planning to take pictures again tomorrow and see if i still get 4 and 4 or 5 and 3 or whatever.

  3. My chick is 3 days old, and has very big wings! a big head, and big feet. Her body is so small compared. She's a silky. I sex winged her.. I guess thats what it's called, and when she first dried off after hatching she was defiantly a boy, she had tiny wings, and their were no primary feathers it seemed, they were so small. Day two they were a little bigger, not munch, and still looked like a boy. Now it's day three and she has huge wings, and they are even bigger female feathers, bigger than the pics up here, so i don't know if i should hall it her or him? Help!!

  4. Guineapig, this is exactly the problem i find with wing sexing. The pattern changes. I'm afraid you might just havebto wait and see. :)


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