If you want to hatch out your own chicks it can be really useful to know which chickens are autosexing. Here are what breeds to get and how to tell which chicks are male and which chicks are female.
Sexing chicks is a delicate skill, and not many people can do it easily. Thankfully there are breeds with physical appearance differences between the boys and girls. This makes it easier for you to tell what you’ve got and to make a plan for the adult birds.
Autosexing and sex linked chickens were developed in the 1920s. When chickens carrying the barred gene are crossed with chickens of a solid color the males receive two barred genes which makes them lighter colored than the females.
You can theoretically breed your own sex linked hybrids if you have the right combinations and understanding of genetics. However, you will not be able to breed two sex linked birds to each other and have their offspring breed true. In order to do that, you will need chickens that are autosexing breeds.
Which Chickens Are Autosexing?
Cream Legbar’s are probably the most well known autosexing chicks. They were bred from Brown Leghorns, Araucanas, and Barred Plymouth Rocks. They also have the bonus of laying blue eggs. The females will have light and dark stripes on their body while the boys will have an overall lighter coat and a yellow spot on their head. Most autosexing chicks have similar coloring patterns.
Barred Plymouth Rocks and their crosses are the most easy to obtain breed that will be autosexing. All Barred Rock chicks will have a white spot on their heads, however, the males will have a larger spot. On the females the white spot is smaller and they may also have darker down over their body. Cuckoo Maran chicks will have similar markings as well.
Bielefelders are available depending on how popular they are in your area or online. They will have similar markings to the Barred Rock chicks. They will also have what is commonly referred to as a chipmunk stripe down their back. This stripe is a darker brown on the females.
You can distinguish Buckeyes, Rhode Island Reds, and Orpingtons because the males will have a white spot on their wing. The females will also have darker coloring.
Dark Cornish, Silver Leghorn, and Welsummer chicks are also autosexing with similar coloring to each other. The females are darker all around on on their heads. The males will have a more broken pattern to them. Welsummers are great birds to have in your flock. One of my favorite first birds was a Welsummer. They aren’t the highest egg layers available, but they are quite feed efficient for their egg laying.
All of these chickens make great additions to your flock. If you want to hatch out your own chicks they could be quite useful!
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