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Colour pattern in auto-sexing redbar chicks Hill, Arthur Thomas

Abstract

A study of the colour pattern of Redbar chicks was undertaken to ascertain if the male and female chicks could be distinguished and if so, to devise a system of auto-sexing them. During the 1946 season, 1080 chicks from 36 female and 4 male parents were handled. Seventeen characteristics were described on each parental bird and forty-one on each chick. Down colour differences were found and the auto-sexing accuracy was improved from 62.1% to 94.0% with 80.0% for the whole season. During the 1947 season, 542 chicks from 38 female and 6 male parents and 345 non-pedigreed pure Redbar chicks were handled. Twenty-two characteristics were described on each parental bird and eleven on each chick. Auto-sexing accuracy varied from 91.4% to 98.5% with 93.6% for the whole season. Characteristics of the heads and bodies of the chicks used to obtain these accuracies were as follows: Females - uniform brown colour, brown head stripes, brown back stripes. Males - mottled heads and backs, white head spots, very light heads and backs, short T or I shaped brown head stripe, two whitish back stripes.

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