Sexing chicks is an important part of poultry farming, as it helps plan for the future growth and development of flocks.
What’s more, chickens can live up to 10 years, so it is therefore important to know the sex of each bird so they can be housed appropriately.
For people who are new to rearing poultry, determining the sex of newly hatched birds can be a challenging task.
However, you only need to learn the right skills, and you will be able to distinguish between male and female chicks with a certain degree of ease.
The following are the most popular techniques for identifying the sex of recently hatched chickens:
Vent sexing: This technique involves skilled poultry professionals identifying a chick’s sex by looking at its anatomy. This technique involves inspecting the internal genitalia and determining the sex by gently squeezing the vent (cloaca) of the chick. It is recommended to leave this approach to experts because, if done improperly, it could cause disembowelment of the chick.
Feather sexing: This technique involves identifying a chick’s sex based on the look of its feathers. In general, male chicks have longer, sharper wing feathers than female chicks. This method is not always effective given that feather growth can be impacted by environmental factors and can take many weeks to become visible.
Behavioral sexing: The sex of newly hatched chicks can also be determined by observing their behavior and physical features. Compared to female chicks, male chicks are typically more aggressive, active, and noisy. This technique is not always reliable because a chick’s behavior can also be impacted by individual personalities and environmental factors.
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DNA sexing: The most precise and consistent method of identifying the sex of recently born chickens is DNA sexing. By taking a small sample of the chick’s blood, its sex can be ascertained by testing its DNA. Although this procedure is the most precise, it is also the most costly and calls for specialized tools and training.
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