It's very gratifying when my friends and associates get as "in" to my chickens as I do. My friend Kristin, in particular, has been a big chicken supporter. Her favorite question, one that she asks with regularity is, "Any crowing yet?"
- Yubaba is what's called a sex-link; females are one color, and males another. Yubaba's black and gold feathers make her not only a tidy, attractive chicken, but also undeniably female. So we are 100% sure, at this point that she'll be a layer, not a crower.
- Yakul and Calcifer are Easter eggers. They were "sexed" by professional chicken sexers at the hatchery. When they were a day old, a probe was shoved into their vent to look for the bump that would indicate a male. (Fun job, eh?) Anyway, neither Yakul, nor Calci had the bump, so we're 95% sure that they are of the female persuasion.
- So that leaves our smaller breeds: Kiki, the Mille Fleur (shown above), Lady Yupa, the Polish (shown below) and Totoro, the Silkie. In reality, for these three, the only way to really know if they are male or female is to wait for eggs. (Crowing isn't even foolproof, as occasionally a dominant female, in the absence of a roo, will take it upon herself to keep her flock in line...crowing all the way.) With that said, a couple of months before laying, males and females tend to feather in differently. Feather sexing is uncertain at best, but it does seem 80-95% accurate, depending on the breed.