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How To Sex Chickens

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How To Sex Chickens The Right Way

how to sex chickens

It is important for poultry farmers to know how to sex chickens, as each sex plays its own role in this business.

If you are planning to raise backyard or decorative chickens, you should also know how to sex chickens, as this knowledge will help you to manage them.

In the poultry farming business each gender has a role to play, female chickens or hens are generally layers while males are used for meat or breeding purposes.

It is actually possible to sex chick as young as a day old but this is not easy as the sex organs are internal, once they have started developing sex characteristics, it becomes easier.

How To Sex Chickens- Venting

Experienced poultry-men can tell by the size and shape of the comb, and roosters will also play fight and attempt to crow. In the 1930’s Cloacal sexing was perfected by two Japanese professors, this is also known as vent sexing and it entails examining the vent which is located under the tail feathers. With experience a sexual organ which resembles a pimple can be seen in the roosters inside their anatomy.

Machine sexing was the next method to be developed to learn how to sex chickens and this entails the use of a Chicktester or Keeler Optical machine. This method is still used although these machines are no longer available. They were invented in the 1950’s and it entails inserting and telescopic tube into the vent of the baby chicken.

This tube is lighted and it enables the farmer to see if there are ovaries or testes present. After a number of years of genetic research, in 1969 feather sexing became possible when wanting to know how to sex chickens but only on certain cross breeds of birds, which leaves the vast majority of chickens unable to be sexed in this way.

How To Sex Chickens – Color

The most recent method of sexing chickens is “color sexing” after the development of commercial breeders in 1975 it became possible to identify hens and roosters from the color of their plumage. In hens this is white, while in roosters it is brown, and this is visible as early as day old chicks. But obviously this is only a viable sexing option in commercial breeders.

If you have ornamental fowl such as bantams or guineas and you want to learn how to sex chickens then you may try vent sexing, or get a professional to do this for you. Of course you would only really need to know this for breeding purposes. If these birds are pets, they will eventually show sex traits and you will know one from the other instinctively.

One breeder tells us how to sex chickens by using a very unique way. He waits till they are about two months old and are in the yard. He then throws a frisbee over their heads. The cock birds stand upright and make warning noises, while the hens run for cover!

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