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Messages - Lindsay Helton

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Show Name: Northwoods Poultry Fanciers Club Show
Meet Type: Club
Show Start - End Dates:   9/3/2022
Host Club:   Northwoods Poultry Fanciers Club
Show Facility:  Wisconsin Valley Fairgrounds
Show Address:  1201 Stewart Ave
Show City, St, Zip:  Wausau, WI 54401
Show Secretary: Zach Wrzesinski
Show Secretary's Email:

Breeding / Feather sexing in poultry
« on: June 11, 2022, 09:23:10 PM »
I have come across several posts from Ameraucana breeders asking if their chicks can be feather sexed. Feather sexing using sex-linked genes related to feather development is a widely used chick sexing method in the poultry industry. In order for feather sexing to be accurate, it must be specifically bred for and involves controlled matings and selection.

In poultry, females carry a Z and a W chromosome and males carry two Z chromosomes. It takes a pair of sex-related chromosomes to determine the sex of the offspring. The mother contributes one sex chromosome to the offspring, and the father contributes the other. It is the female, therefore, that genetically determines the sex of offspring in poultry.

The locus of the feather development gene (K) is located on the Z chromosome.  A feather sexing line can be created in poultry from using early-feathering (k) and late-feathering (K) genes.

By establishing maternal stock with the dominant gene (K) and paternal stock with the recessive gene (k), the slow-feathering characteristic is passed from mothers to their sons and the rapid-feathering characteristic is passed from fathers to their daughters. The males produced typically have shorter primary feathers than the females.  In the females, the covert feathers are shorter than the primary feathers. In the males, the covert feathers are as long as, or longer than, the primary feathers.

Somes (1970) reported on a third allele (Kn) at the K locus. This allele is dominant to both K and k and results in an extremely delayed feathering.
A scientific study completed in 1977 identified a fourth allele at the K locus. The new allele was found to be dominant to late feathering (K) and to early feathering (k). The term “slow” was suggested and it was labeled with the symbol KS (McGibbon, 1977).

The probable order of dominance of the alleles at the K locus is KN→KS→K→k.

Several scientific studies have been completed to assess the effects of the K alleles.

A study in 2012 found that the presence of slow feathering was connected with lower fertility and hatchability. Presence of slow feathering also resulted in lower body weight of birds at 36 weeks of age (Sohn et al, 2012).

A study completed in 1961 found that the k allele was associated with bigger chicks at hatch (Saeki et al, 1961).

A study completed in 1965 associated early maturity and larger eggs with the k allele (Lowe et al, 1965).

The influence of the sex-linked rate of feathering allele, Kn, was compared to that of birds carrying the k allele in a study completed in 1970. The Kn allele was associated with reduced body weight, egg production, hatchability and liveability compared to birds carrying the k allele. It also increased age to maturity (Somes, 1970).

Hopefully this educational post will be helpful to breeders that are curious about feather sexing, the K locus, and the effects of the various K alleles!

Bang, M. H., Cho, E. J., Cho, C. Y., & Sohn, S. H. (2018, September). Study on the Characteristics of Feather Developing Pattern and Morphology in Early- and Late-Feathering Korean Native Chickens. Korean Journal of Poultry Science. The Korean Society of Poultry Science.

H. Cerit & K. Avanus (2007) Sex identification in avian species using DNA typing methods, World's Poultry Science Journal, 63:1, 91-100.

Jacob, J. 2016. Sexing Day-old Chicks on Small and Backyard Flocks.  Kwon, J. H., Choi, E. S., & Sohn, S. H. (2021, March). Establishment of Korean Native Chicken Auto-Sexing Lines Using Sex-Linked Feathering Gene. Korean Journal of Poultry Science. The Korean Society of Poultry Science.

Lowe, P. C , S. P. Wilson and R. B. Harrington, 1965. Association of some qualitative and quantitative traits in chickens. Poultry Sci. 44: 106-112  McGibbon, W.H. A Sex-Linked Mutation Affecting Rate of Feathering in Chickens, Poultry Science, Volume 56, Issue 3, 1977, Pages 872-875, ISSN 0032-5791.

Mincheva N, Lalev M, Oblakova M, Hristakieva P, Ivanova I 2012 Effect of feathering alleles (K/k+) on laying performance, hatchability parameters and some body measurements in two lines of white Plymouth Rock hens. Biotechnol Anim Husb 28(3):405-414.

Saeki, Y., and T. Katsuragi, 1961. Effect of early and late feathering gene on growth on New Hampshire, Leghorns and their crossbreds. Poultry Sci. 40: 1612-1616.  Sohn, S.-H., Park, D.-B., Song, H.-R., Cho, E.-J., Kang, B.-S., & Suh, O.-S. (2012, August 31). Genotype Frequencies of the Sex-Linked Feathering and Their Phenotypes in Domestic Chicken Breeds for the Establishment of Auto-Sexing Strains. Journal of Animal Science and Technology. Springer Science and Business Media LLC.

Somes, R.G. The Influence of the Rate of Feathering Allele Kn on Various Quantitative Traits in Chickens, Poultry Science, Volume 49, Issue 5, 1970, Pages 1251-1256, ISSN 0032-5791.

Housing, Health & Hatching / Re: Cabinet Incubators
« on: June 09, 2022, 07:12:31 PM »

You may want to speak with Brad Stonebarger. I noticed that he is listing a cabinet style incubator for sale that he has made modifications to. He may be able to offer insight.

I personally love my GQF sportsman. The temps are stable and I have not made any modifications. My hatch rates have been good.

Ameraucana Marketplace / Re: Black bantam hen
« on: May 30, 2022, 11:56:54 AM »
Very nice!

News and Information / Fraudulent email
« on: May 04, 2022, 01:41:26 PM »
A few of our members have received a fraudulent email from a fake account. Please disregard the email.

Emails from the ABC will come from the following two email accounts:

Past Meets / 3-19-22 Cascade Spring Show 2 Monroe, WA
« on: April 13, 2022, 02:06:57 PM »

Past Meets / 3-19-22 Cascade Spring Show 1 Monroe, WA
« on: April 13, 2022, 02:05:39 PM »

The new Ameraucana Breeders Club egg color reference card has been released! It is available for purchase in the marketplace section of our website.

The new egg color reference card was derived from Ameraucana eggshells and the samples are roughly 4x the size of the samples on our previous card. It is double-sided and printed on 5x7 cardstock! Order your new egg color reference card today!

*The color on the egg color reference card images have been modified slightly for copyright. They will appear differently in person.

News and Information / Large fowl Splash 1st Qualifying Meet
« on: April 05, 2022, 02:47:14 PM »
Paul Smith has selected the following meet for our first large fowl splash qualifying meet. For more information on the qualifying meet, he can be reached via email at This is also the location of our 2022 national meet.

Show Name: Nebraska State Poultry Association Show
Meet Type: National
Show Start - End Dates:   11/19/22 – 11/20/22
Host Club:   Nebraska State Poultry Association
Show Facility:  Lancaster Event Center
Show Address:  4100 North 84th Street
Show City, St, Zip: Lincoln, NE 68507
Show Secretary: Vicki Gilliam
Show Secretary's Email:

Breeding / Re: Breeding wheaten to self blue for isabel
« on: March 30, 2022, 07:46:02 PM »

I am working on an educational post on isabel Ameraucana and will share it to the forum as soon as it is completed! You may find other breeders of isabel Ameraucana on the Ameraucana projects page on FB.

The ABC is currently accepting donations to be used in our 2022 ABC national meet silent auction. The proceeds earned during our silent auction will be put towards our 2023 ABC national meet. To donate hatching eggs, chicks or another item for the silent auction, please send an email to

I will gradually update this post until the list of silent auction items are finalized and then we will open up bidding on them!


10 large fowl day old self blue straight run Ameraucana chicks by Paul and Angela Smith hatched March-May 2023, shipped by Priority mail.  Purchaser's choice of hatch date from our scheduled hatches.

10 large fowl blue, black and splash Ameraucana chicks priority express shipping paid to be shipped Spring 2023 by Lindsay Helton

15 count large fowl Ameraucana chick variety pack priority express shipping paid to be shipped Spring 2023 by Lindsay Helton (may contain any of the following: blue, black, splash, wheaten, blue wheaten, self blue, black split to self blue)

1 dozen bantam white Ameraucana hatching eggs shipping paid to be shipped Spring 2023 by Lindsay Helton

1 dozen LF buyer choice eggs by Samantha Brown - buyer can pick any of our LF varieties next laying season and they pay shipping.

1 dozen buyer's choice bantams eggs by Samantha Brown - buyer can pick any of our bantams varieties next laying season not including buffs bantams and they pay shipping.

1 dozen LF black Ameraucana hatching eggs buyer pays shipping for Spring 2023 by Brad Stonebarger

LF brown red breeding pair, chicks, or hatching eggs TBD by mid August - Stacy Melton

Two sets of 1 dozen Erminette Ameraucana hatching eggs shipping paid for Spring 2023 by Becky Pelton

LF show box: Gordon Gilliam

Bantam show box: Gordon Gilliam

Brinsea Ovaview High Intensity Bird Egg Candler: Don Cash

Four $25 gift cards from Cackle Hatchery

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