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Ask a Poultry Farmer

Advice from a man with sixty years of experience with chickens, turkeys and waterfowl. With community blogger Dale Wheelock.

Ask a Poultry Farmer: The right way to sex fowl, Part 2

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Dale Wheelock
May 29, 2014

This is the second part of our discussion on sexing poultry. As with chickens, there are a number of reasons you want to sex poultry while they're young. Click here for part one.

Turkeys, waterfowl and guineas all can be vent-sexed as day-olds. Like chickens, this is difficult to do and is hard on them.

Sometimes the best way to separate the males from the females is to keep your eyes and ears open.

Tom turkeys will have larger caruncles, wattles & noodle (the thing on their nose). They will also strut but hens will too, sometimes.

Geese are the hardest. They can be vent sexed as adults but this too is very hard. I've seen seasoned judges have trouble doing it. Sometimes the size of the bird will help.

Ducks are the easiest. An adult male will have a curled tail feather, but the best way is the hen has a very loud quack (like we all think of with a duck) while the male barely whispers. (It's kind of like people.)

Guineas: The males have a larger helmet & wattles. The males make a "CHI-CHi-Chi-chi..." sound while the females sound is "buck-wheat, buck-wheat".

As always, post further questions in the comments section.


Dale Wheelock has been raising chickens, turkeys and waterfowl since he was a farm kid in the 1950s. He owns and operates the Wheelock Family Farm in Walworth County with his wife, Barb, and has been an agriculture leader in the community for decades. Read more about poultry farming at askapoultryfarmer.blogspot.com. Dale is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management. Have a question for Dale? Send him an email at askapoultryfarmer@gmail.com.


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