Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gender Bender - How to Sex Easter Eggers



Photos By Justine - Write-up By Leigh

There are some breeds that are just harder to sex than others, Easter Eggers being one of them. So how can you tell the difference between pullets and cockerels in juvenile birds? 

  





Of course the birds pictured are adults, but these are the signs to look for in maturing birds.

The first signs you may notice in young birds would be hints of iridescent feathers sprouting on the tail. It should be noted that pullets with a lot of black coloration may develop a few iridescent tail feathers too. Next, watch for the development of saddle and hackle feathers.

The combs won't be as obvious until the birds are closer to sexual maturity in many cases.
   
Justine adds:
They are kind of sexable by quick feathering... The girls tend to feather out faster than the boys - not always, but 80% of the time I find they do. 

You also want to watch for any red patches. Consistent patterning will be girls, quilt pattern will be boys.

Justine & Leigh
For more information and pictures, check out the Sexing Eastereggers page on the Natural Chicken Keeping FORUM!

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10 comments:

  1. Thanks for such a detailed write up. I had read about the 3 rows vs. 1 row in the comb, but I guess the iridescent tail feathers is the kicker for our EE "Daphne", especially since "she"'s deep red everywhere else. Guess we better keep an eye on her. Currently, she's only of the sweetest of our flock, especially in letting the kids hold him. Thanks again!

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  2. Thanks for the pictures! I've been hearing about the three row pea comb, but I had no idea what that meant. I'm off to go look again at my Easter Egger. Fingers crossed that she's Esther and not Edgar!

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  3. I have 2 easter Eggers don't what there sex are one is brown and really small the other is white and really tall and crows.they are both 6 months old.help please.

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  4. Eek! I need help figuring out our four Easter eggers. At first I thought 3 hens and 1 roo as they feathered out faster than the one little guy (but he might even be a different breed.... barnyard bred, haha). Can I send you some pictures?

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    1. LOL! They are tricky! If you can get some good shots of their faces from the front and side, I will try to help you out. They do need to be at least 8+ weeks of age.
      I find the males combs generally look more pink than the females and continue to darken as they age. The females don't pink up until they are nearing the point of lay. But I know it's hard to be patient! LOL!

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    2. Opps - almost forgot! You can email me at: shabbychicken@hotmail.com

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    3. Hi, I was wondering if you could help tell me what my Easter eggers are in sex I’m am very new to this! I think I have all roosters and one hen but can be wrong.

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    4. Gutgirl - If you can get some good shots of their faces from the front and side, I will try to help you out. They do need to be at least 8+ weeks of age. You can email me pics at shabbychicken@hotmail.com

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  5. Hello! I have a ...hen...? Rooster?? I dont know??! I was wondering if you could please help me.. I have read so many things that are pointing to rooster including "her" physical appearance, but her demeanor is so.. Not rooster.. I really can't tell and don't know how to tell except wait to see if she lays and egg.. Or not.. I would really appreciate help. Thank you! P.s. her name is Millie (even though i know that doesnt matter lol)

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    1. Feel free to email me photos of Millie at shabbychicken@hotmail.com and I will do my best to help you.
      I need pictures from the side, the top, and some close-up pics of the face from the side and front. I also need to know his/her age. :)

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