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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Comments

2 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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