Saturday, 19 January 2008

Sexing Chooks

When my parents stayed here over Christmas, my mother, who has a alektophobia (fear of chickens) became quite attached to watching (not touching) the five young chicks. She wanted to know what sex they were, and of course, we still don't know.

She mentioned that you can use the pendulum to find out, and that that's how they do it in NZ. Dad, who is ferociously sceptical in all ways, so much so that he doesn't not only believe in God, Father Christmas or the Easter Bunny he doesn't believe that daughters should have opinions of their own, though admittedly I beat that one out of him years ago. Anyway he was keen to document the process of someone holding onto a chick and mum swinging her wedding ring suspended by a cotton thread over a chook and watching which way the pendulum swung. Dad recorded the details and we're now awaiting the outcome. This experiment was held on Christmas Day and the chicks were half the size they are now.

We think that she's definately right about the orange chook, he's growing tail feathers and tends to go into attack mode when confronted with a pair of human feet.

Consider yourselves part of the documentary evidence... we'll confirm or deny Mums predictions as the results come to light.

If you'd like to you can add your own predictions to the list...

White bird with flecks of ginger. Mum's prediction: Female

Nearly totally white bird with just a few flecks of grey. Mum's prediction: Male

Grey chook, he looks like a hawk - mum's predictions: Female

Grey orange chook - mum's predictions: Female

Orange chook - mum says he's male, we think she's probably right.


han_ysic said...

Hmm, I do think she has something with the brown one, those blueish feathers look like they're sprouting out. I have heard of people who have more than one rooster and the less dominant ones don't grow distinctive feathers or crow at all, and act like a hen, until the top rooster is no longer in the picture. if they all lay that would be a giveaway :-)
I do like the colours of the grew hawkish one, very distinctive. Love the image of your mum with her wedding ring. i have always meant to try doing that but haven't yet. I'd love to hear what the results are.

Linda said...

Good point about the dominant rooster. I may have to have another try at a suggestion someone made a while back and do the neck feather test again. When young they were all rounded... hopefully this time I can see a few pointed tips.

Garden Nut said...

**Here's my guesses: (from top photo to bottom) Male Female Male Female Male

I have a fried who was given some 'female' eggs, apparently they're a different shape to the 'male' eggs. She was not happy when ever single one of them turned out ot be female birds - not a damn rooster to set aside for Christmas - LOL!

Naomi said...

If they are all the same age, then I'm going to go with all female except for the orange chook, he looks like a boy to me! None of the other chooks look like they have a comb yet, and all our young roosters (who we will be giving the chop this weekend) have good combs, while the girls from the same hatching have tiny ones. Can't wait to see what happens!

Linda said...

Looks like mum is right! Judging by tail feathers she's spot on. Still time for the judges to reverse the decision, but I might start thinking about hiring her out!

Bev said...

I don't know.....I'm very sceptical about the whole thing. I used to sell indigenous plants as a hobby from home, and I once had someone waste an hour of my time trying to sex casuarina seedlings using a safety pin swinging on a cotton thread. (Casuarinas have male and female flowers on different plants but you can't tell them apart as seedlings, only when they grow up and actually flower. She wanted one of each).

It was a windy day as I remember and she finished up crouched under the house, with the safety pin swinging wildly (or so it seemed).

She went away quite happily with her seedlings, but I never did hear how they turned out.

Melissa Goodsell said...

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I look forward to also reading your upcoming blog posts,
Enjoy your weekend,