Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Saga of Specker...

When we purchased 3 little yellow chicks at Tractor Supply this past spring,  we were assured they were all "Amber Sex Link" pullets (young females) . After all, "sex link" chicks are always born one color or the other depending on gender, right? Well...


Specker is much larger than other hens of the same age and has a different color pattern.

For the first month, all 3 little fuzzy yellow chicks began to grow in white feathers and all looked identical, although one did have a noticeably more developed comb and a few more spots than the others. As one month turned into two, "Specker" (who was originally named "Cinnamon for the reddish spots) began to outgrow the other two and had much larger leg circumference than all the others! Her tail feathers were coming in completely different as well.

Specker's tail is downward curved and much fuller than the others'.

Well, we just figured she was maturing a little faster and thought nothing of it 'til... We heard crowing... Not a completely developed, wake the dead type typical crow, but a lower pitched scratchy sounding racket unlike any other song or call we've heard from our other adult hens. We thought "This is PROOF that Specker is a Rooster!". Well, after some researching, I discovered it IS possible for hens to crow, too! 

So, it was back to the drawing board. "Spurs!", it hit me. Surely Specker has to be a hen, there are no spurs! I lied. Upon closer inspection, there were 2 tiny, barely visable nubs on it's legs. MUST be a rooster! Right? Nope. There are cases of hens having developed tiny spurs, too... 

Specker is now about 14 weeks old. Back to square one again... We're more confused than ever concerning this chicken. Hen? Rooster? Who are you? Is it possible that sex linked chicks can be born the color of the opposite gender? I'll be sharing this around hoping for an answer from someone more experienced with this breed. If you happen to have any advice, or know of someone who can give us an answer, please share!