Sex-Linked Traits in Chicks

If the chicks come from a strain that has the sex-linked genes for feathering rate (very common in commercial strains), you will be able to sex the chicks as you remove them from the incubator. As you can see in the photo of the chick wings above, the male has shorter primary plumes (primary Plumes and covert plumes are the same length). The female on the other hand has primary plumes that are twice as long as the covert plumes. Male carries the slow feathering gene and the female the fast feathering gene.