Genetics ( chickens) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I'm looking for someone who knows genetics in chicken breeds. The reason I'm asking is that we are planning to incubate eggs from our own hens. We have a Barred Rock rooster and the hens are Red sexlinks, Black sexlinks and Barred rock. My question is this, are we going to be able to tell the pullets and the cockrels apart like in the sexlinks? I have been told that if you incubate only the rounded eggs they will be pullets and the pointed eggs are cockrels, is this on old wives tale or is there some truth to it? I would just a soon not have many cockrels. Of course, we know all but the Barred rocks will be mutts. We look forward to seeing what kind of mix , mash we get.

-- Kelle in MT. (, March 20, 2001


Hi Kellie, the sexlinks are a true hybrid, meaning they will not pass their characteristics on to their offspring, some, but not all, will be passed on, with no way of telling which.

Egg shape has nothing to do with sex of the peep that will come out of the egg, I wish it were that simple, tee-hee!!!

The Barred Rocks are a great bird, but I prefer the Buff Orpingtons, a similar producing bird, but kinder and gentler to work around, and they pick on each other less, especially the roosters.

Good luck with the hatch, home raised peeps are great fun!!!

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (, March 21, 2001.

Annie, when do the Buffs start laying and is there a good way to sex them? I bought 10 2 weeks ago and this is the first time I've had them. Always raised RIR and Barred rocks and had some New Hampshires. I"ve posted a couple places trying to find a sure fire way to sex the chicks, but I think it's a science that comes from long experience. I wanted to go with a broad varity this time, so I now have white leghorn, rir, barred rock, buff orphington, gold sexlink, light brahma, black australorpe and americanua chicks. Talk about the mutts I'll have next year! Kelle, what kind of incubator do you have. I'm trying to find out what the temp. swing is for the one I have. I just added a turbo fan. I have the styrofoam, 2 window type that holds about 42 eggs. Right now I have goose and duck eggs in it and not sure the 4.7 degree swing is normal???? Good luck on yours.

-- Kent in WA (, March 21, 2001.

Kent, the Buffs start laying at 20 weeks, sometimes a week or so later, depends on the weather, warmer the earlier. By two months old, you should be able to judge the sex with 80-90% accuracy, going by the comb and wattle developement. Some are always a suprise though!

The almost 5 degree flunctuation on your incubator sounds a tad high, you could try calling the manufacturer and asking about that, otherwise, see how the hatch goes, then decide. You could always replace the wafer thermostat, they sell them at Jeffer farm supply, catalog and online, 1-800-JEFFERS. My incubator has about a 3 degree temperature variation, but is kept in a room with little ambiant temperature change in it, might be the difference.

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (, March 22, 2001.

Thanks Annie, looks like I'm out of luck till they start to develope their combs. My local feed store is getting chicks in every week, so I might try and catch some 2 day olds and do the wing feather check. I want to get a rooster from each variety that I have. It would be nice knowing how to sex them at a early age. I lost 30 or so chickens to a cougar and bobcat this year, so the first time I've been without a rooster in over 10 years. My average temp. on the incubator is staying right at 100 degrees. I'll have to see what happens. I posted a seperate post, so maybe I'll get some feed back from that.

-- Kent in WA (, March 22, 2001.

Sex link info:

-- ~Rogo (, March 23, 2001.

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