How to Distinguish if a Silky Bantam Chick is Male or Female

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Sexing silkie bantam chicks can be difficult.

Silkies are a breed of chicken with no barbs on their feathers. In place of barbs, they typically have very soft, fluffy feathers. The breed matures fairly late and determining the difference between male and female silkie bantam chicks is difficult. There are some clues that can tell you if your chicken is male or female.


Step 1

Look at the feathers on the chick's head. Males tend to have feathers that stand upright and curve towards the back, while the female head feathers tend to form in a rounded feather puff.

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Step 2

Look at the comb when it develops within two to three weeks of the chick's birth. The comb is the flap of tissue at the top of the silkie's head, and a male will have a larger comb than a female.


Step 3

Compare chicks from the same clutch. Males are significantly larger than females, and this can be obvious a few days after hatching. This isn't considered a certain method of sexing though because you may just have a large female or a small male. It's also a poor method if you are trying to compare chicks from two different genetic lines.


Step 4

Listen for crowing. The chicks will start losing the fluffly baby feathers around four of five months. At that time a male silkie will start attempting to crow.

Step 5

Look at the saddle feathers just before the tail and the hackle feathers on the neck. These feathers will be long and sharp on a male and gently rounded on a female.

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