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First chicks of the year (and Dorking cross autosexing?)

Quite surprised to find my chicken population has increased by three today and they aren't due to hatch until tomorrow! Hopefully more by then. Didn't have high expectations as there's been snow on the ground the entire time she been sat, never hatched any this early. Really feels like spring now.

Is it the case than Dorking crosses are colour sexing? The three that have hatched are farm mongrel, or dorking cross farm mongrel and two look just like dorking chicks (female). Is it a fair assumption that if they look like the 'wild type' chicks then they are colour sexing? If so goody.

Anyone else hatching?
Smooth Hound

no, ive started getting eggs though
what do dorkings look like

I've never heard of Dorkin crosses being autosexing. I'm pretty certain that pure bred Dorkin aren't


How exciting! I've a week to go until we hopefully have our first brood, six black pekin eggs under a broody. Hopefully will have some success, although not planning to keep all. A bit spacious and quiet in hen house right now.


I'm about to put my first hatch of the year on.

Marans for 2 reasons
1) They are the only breed that I have that I can guarantee will be pure at the moment
2) The Maran cockerel is not long for this world and I would like to hatch some chicks before he goes. He is unbelievably nasty and I don't like him enough to put up with the hassle of fending him off with a corn sack every time I go into the run. He isn't even very nice to his ladies :-( No thought of sharing tidbits of food with them if he gets a chance he will steal food off them, they are all terrified of him so I'm afraid he will become curry

Oh curry, Philby will be pleased

Six chicks now doing well, the three from sunday two more on monday and another appeared thursday morning, she wouldnt leave the nest to let me remove the unhatched on wed eve, with good reason is appears!

Three look like female dorkings and one looks like a male dorking, then there's a mostly yellow one, all hatched from my mongrels eggs, and the late comer hatched from the Aracuana egg and is mostly black. Only one of the three unhatched eggs was infertile, the light sussex, which considering the amount of attention she gets from the dorking (his favourite) is very surpriseing!

Here's the picture I used to sex my pure dorkings last time which was correct. I thought is was a reasonably well known fact that they were auto sexing?

FYI Dorking crossed with my wyandottish mongrel is not auto sexing! The one with the male markings was a female, and of the three with female markings two were boys. I found sexing by comparison of the size of the combs at three weeks tricky this time as there are three different comb forms in the batch. The aracuana/dorking cross is the worst being the only one and no wattles but I think it's a girl. Little yellow mongrel is turning a lovely buff like her gran, another useful broody no doubt.

They can't be any worse than silkies.
I've heard it said a few times that you can never be absolutely sure until they either crow or lay an egg lol

So far my guesses have turned out correct, but no I'm never 100% sure until then! Luckily the lemon cuckoo pekin confirmed she was indeed a hen by being the first to lay last month and her more female looking sister is yet to perform.

I have a young silkie cockerel that I have been giving the benefit of the doubt for some weeks. But I can kid myself no longer - he is a boy, just much slower to mature than his siblings

When I hatched the Dorkings and Marans I tried to kid myself that I had got it wrong on the Marans as I only had 1 hen out of 4. No guessing required on the Dorkings sadly 1 hen out of 3, she is a lovely girl tho.

The chicks just have their heads left to feather up. The Aracuana/Dorking is growing an interesting punky hairstyle and light neck feathers. Should look a rather attractive easter egger with a crest and hopefully white neck!

I posted about a batch of Partridge Pekins that I hatched.
They are really easy to sex as soon as they start to feather up as the adult plumage is so different for the two sexes.
I thought that I must have got something wrong with that batch and waited until it became obvious that I had 14 cockerels out of 17 chicks :-(

Oh no! I'm really hopeing that if I get bad odds like that, that it's not when I've spent alot on hatching eggs! My broodies have hatched 4 batches between them, and there's been a link with time of year and sex ratio which must be just luck but it's odd.

Kiera hatched Marans and Dorkings in early summer 2F, 5M.
Angelina hatched Light Sussex in late summer 2F, 3M.
Kiera hatched Poots and Pekins in early autumn (it was pretty cold) 5F, 1M.
Angelia hatched mongrels late winter 4F, 2M. (I think!)

So it would appear cooler weather = more females!

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