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spotted draft x filly
Mar. 31, 2011, 08:04 PM
We might be moving into a new home that's set up to accomodate horses and we were thinking about getting a couple of bantams for bug control. We thought about it while we were at Tractor Supply playing with those balls of fluff. But does anyone know how to sex them at that age? I'm sure the neighbors right next door would be appreciative if we didn't get any or two roosters.

kinnip
Mar. 31, 2011, 08:15 PM
It takes a pro to sex chicks. That's why sexed chicks cost extra. I've never shopped for banties, so I don't know if any hatcheries sell them sexed. If you can stomach a full sized bird, there should be a tank at TSC labelled "Pullets". These should all be hens, however, sometimes the pros make mistakes, and sometimes folks are indiscriminate about which tank they put the chicks in after fondling them. If you really want to ensure you have females, try a hatchery or MyPetChicken.com.
ETA: Sometimes the pullets are what's called sex-linked. These are colour coded for sex through breeding. If you look into Production Reds or Blacks, this is what you'll find. There are no surprises with these, but they are full sized.

spotted draft x filly
Mar. 31, 2011, 08:56 PM
Thanks. I will look into the pullets when I go to TSC again. I was looking at their chart they had there and it mentioned that bantams were the best for bug control. I've had chickens in the past. I bought them at an auction. I had several Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rocks. I ended up with more roosters then hens. I've read online that you can hold them upside down and look under their tail and see if there is a "pimple" there or not. Has anyone tried this and had any luck getting it right?

back in the saddle
Mar. 31, 2011, 09:46 PM
May only work on standard sizes but you can give it a try

Last half of the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zbkkkn_PxE

kinnip
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:05 PM
Just wow!

Daydream Believer
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:16 PM
Wow...that blows my mind. I had no idea how rough they were on the chicks at that stage. I typically buy from small hatcheries so hopefully my "kids" are not getting tossed around that much. They did not seem too much worse for the wear but I'm always very gentle with the little chicks. I guess they are tougher than they look.

At least they weren't shredding the males alive. I saw that once on one of those videos and it was upsetting.

back in the saddle
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:01 PM
Wow...that blows my mind. I had no idea how rough they were on the chicks at that stage. I typically buy from small hatcheries so hopefully my "kids" are not getting tossed around that much. They did not seem too much worse for the wear but I'm always very gentle with the little chicks. I guess they are tougher than they look.

At least they weren't shredding the males alive. I saw that once on one of those videos and it was upsetting.

Oh I know. Isn't that horrible? And it's legal to do that? how?

RougeEmpire
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:35 PM
Sexing chickens is very hard and even pros get it wrong some times. Breeds such as Silkies and other bantam breeds are almost always "straight run" meaning they are sold unsexed and virtually no place guarantees the sex of chicks, so you may end up with roosters anyways.

RougeEmpire
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:41 PM
Its not as rough as it looks, chicks are pretty tough. A lot of reseach has gone into creating the most ideal and efficent processing plant. If the handling was to rough to many chicks would die and production levels would be to low. Its in the best intrest of the company to have machinery that does not hard the chicks.

Quibbler
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:46 PM
All I saw was the title of this thread on the main page of the forum. It disturbed me at first... which obviously meant I needed to click and read.

Hampton Bay
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:53 PM
Don't try to sex them on your own. If you're too rough in just the wrong way, you can kill the chick.

Best to order from a hatchery that will sell them sexed. Some hatcheries will sell some of the more common bantam varieties sexed, but really any hearty chicken that is raised to forage will be as good with bugs as any other. The best for bugs are muscovy ducks though. Chickens and other ducks go more for vegetation than they do bugs.

yaya
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:54 PM
For chick sexing, someone's got to find the video of Mike Rowe from "Dirty Jobs" they used several different methods at the hatchery he visited.

Daydream Believer
Apr. 1, 2011, 07:21 AM
Its not as rough as it looks, chicks are pretty tough. A lot of reseach has gone into creating the most ideal and efficent processing plant. If the handling was to rough to many chicks would die and production levels would be to low. Its in the best intrest of the company to have machinery that does not hard the chicks.

Yes intellectually I know that they are not intentionally hurting them but there were a lot of tumbling and dropping places in that automated process. They have hundreds of thousands and you wonder if they care if a couple are injured in an "efficient" process that ultimately saves them money.

I was trying to figure out what they are..my guess is that they were commercial meat birds know as the Cornish Cross. They are hatched in huge quantities like that and shipped all over the place but mainly to CFAO's where they are raised.

back in the saddle
Apr. 1, 2011, 07:40 AM
The wing feather sexing method has worked for me. It has to be done about 2-4 days of age. After that the males and females look more alike. I'm trying it on my 3 silkie chicks. Those may not be accurate. The saying with silkies is: until they crow or lay an egg you just don't know.

Chaila
Apr. 1, 2011, 08:47 AM
I totally read this as "Sexting Chicks" and thought it was spam.

Ah! Sexing Chicks. That's a real thing. Need more coffee now. Good luck!

RougeEmpire
Apr. 1, 2011, 12:28 PM
Yes intellectually I know that they are not intentionally hurting them but there were a lot of tumbling and dropping places in that automated process. They have hundreds of thousands and you wonder if they care if a couple are injured in an "efficient" process that ultimately saves them money.

I was trying to figure out what they are..my guess is that they were commercial meat birds know as the Cornish Cross. They are hatched in huge quantities like that and shipped all over the place but mainly to CFAO's where they are raised.

Im not a fan of commerical farmed anything. I am lucking to live not far from a local slaugher house/buthcer shop the services the area. I don't remember the last time I bought "factory farmed" chicken, pork or beef. Industrial chicken farming turns my stomic and haven eaten local farm raised chicken I know how much better it tastes :) I like supporting local farmers and eating an animal was grazing down the street just a week ago. Keepin it real, lols!

Daydream Believer
Apr. 1, 2011, 04:29 PM
Im not a fan of commerical farmed anything. I am lucking to live not far from a local slaugher house/buthcer shop the services the area. I don't remember the last time I bought "factory farmed" chicken, pork or beef. Industrial chicken farming turns my stomic and haven eaten local farm raised chicken I know how much better it tastes :) I like supporting local farmers and eating an animal was grazing down the street just a week ago. Keepin it real, lols!

I feel much the same way. I can't even eat chicken or beef anymore when we are out...well perhaps a lean steak like a sirloin, but anything fatty, I can't do it. The chicken has no taste or texture. Don't even get me started on eggs!

Once you go over to the dark side, it's very hard to go back! ;)

RougeEmpire
Apr. 1, 2011, 04:53 PM
I feel much the same way. I can't even eat chicken or beef anymore when we are out...well perhaps a lean steak like a sirloin, but anything fatty, I can't do it. The chicken has no taste or texture. Don't even get me started on eggs!

Once you go over to the dark side, it's very hard to go back! ;)

OMG nothing is like farm fresh TRULY FREE RANGE chicken eggs! Store bought eggs are nasty as far as im concerned. The feed store not far from me sells eggs from the chickens the sell. They hundreds of chickens in big outdoor pens. They are fat and happy and eat chicken feed plus bugs, worms and left over vegitables. You have to get there early to buy eggs as they sell out fast because people love them so much! I buy three or four dozen at a time. The eggs arn't washed and the protective coating is still on them, no need to refrigerate and they last weeks! Sometimes they have duck eggs too which I love for baking :)

Daydream Believer
Apr. 1, 2011, 09:00 PM
It's true about the eggs. All I have to do is get someone to buy a dozen eggs from my pastured hens just once and they are hooked. ;-)

katyb
Apr. 3, 2011, 08:58 AM
I bought my chicks at my local Co-op, and unlike TSC, they only buy sexed hens. Of course, there may be a few mistakes, but at least you don't have to worry about a zillion kids mixing up the pullets from the general population.

Mine are 2.5 weeks old now and have suddenly become total hellions.

Edited to add - I have a friend with bantams, and they are much noisier than full-sized chickens.