January 2017

January Tip #3

A certain sign – apart from crowing – that a chick is male are shiny pointy saddle feathers. They can appear from 12 weeks of age onwards but in some breeds they may take up to 20 weeks to appear.


These pointy feathers become very obvious when using a piece of paper.


Pullets (see picture below) only have rounded feathers.


In henny feathered breeds like the Sebright the males don’t grow shiny pointy feathers.

The presence of these shiny pointy feathers is a sure sign it is a male but their absence doesn’t guarantee it’s a female.

January Tip #2


One of the most likely pitfalls when buying heritage breed pullets is that the buyer ends up with males and not females.

The image above shows a pair of young Buff Cochins. They are about 6 weeks old. Only the male on the right shows quite a bit of comb growth. The wattles are often a better indicator of the gender, especially in breeds with rose, pea or walnut combs. The wattles are the red dangly bits under the beak. The pullet on the left has much smaller wattles than the male on the right. It is important that only chicks from the same breed at the same age are compared.


January Tip #1

Now in mid to late summer is the best time to get spring hatched heritage breed pullets. Breeders are sorting through their stock, deciding what to keep for breeding and showing – and what to move on as backyard layers. Spring hatched pullets of good laying strains will start to lay in late autumn or early winter supplying you with eggs when older birds moult and don’t lay.

Adding spring hatched pullets to your flock every year, preferably in late summer, is the best way to guarantee a year-round supply of homegrown eggs.

A Happy and Successful New Year to all our members, exhibitors and friends from the committee of the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club!

2017 will be a BIG year for us and we hope that our 150th Anniversary Show which we will celebrate by hosting the New Zealand National Show will be an event to be remembered.

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