Feather Sexing Peeps

Here at the ranch, we have lots of feathered and furry friends, my favorites are the chickens!  I just love the chickens and I love hatching eggs and raising up chicks!  I’ve successfully hatched out hundreds of cute little fluffy butts and I have to say, it never gets old!



This last hatch was my smallest yet most successful to date!  Out of 9 eggs, 8 hatched!! I have 5 lovely Plymouth Barred Rocks and 3 beautiful Olive Eggers!  I am trying to master the skill of feather sexing, which is supposed to be effective with certain breeds only.  If I’m right, I have 4 pullets and 1 cockerel in the PBRs and 1 pullet and 2 cockerels in the OEs.  We shall see.  Do you know how to feather sex day old chicks? Are you successful at it?

The picture to the left is from the “Chicken Encyclopedia” it shows how to tell the difference in wing feathers in chicks 1-3 days old.  You’ll notice they both have 2 layers of feather “quills.”  Pullets have a shorter second layer whereas a cockerel has a longer second layer.  As a matter of fact, cockerels 2 layers are almost even.

cockerel feathers

This first picture is of one of my Olive Egger chicks.  At 3 days old, I believe this is a cockerel.  It was difficult to fan the wings out so you could clearly see the difference in lengths, they were quite even!

The second picture is of one of my Plymouth Barred Rock chicks.  At 3 days old, I believe this is a pullet.  Notice you can clearly see the difference in the 2 lengths.

What do you think?

pullet feathers