Time to Begin Separating the Sexes
Once the chicks are eating well, it is time to begin separating the chicks into groups. There are several division that can be made but outside of broad divisions such as: kind of song bird, type bird or color bird the most important division is by sex. Housing the sexes together should be avoided as it is a stressful environment for the young hens who may not thrive and also for young cocks who may learn faulty notes from the young hens or faulty non-related young cocks chirping.
Some kinds give you clues to the sex such as the darker chicks within a nest are usually cocks or the slightly browner chick of a green line (bronze etc) of any ground color (red, yellow, white), the more likely it is a hen. Since hens are browner and that is not desirable in a green line show bird, it is best to show cocks in the green line but since brown is desirable in the brown line (red brown etc), hens are a better show specimen in the brown series regardless of the ground color.
Another way to divide them is thin chicks from fatter chicks. The thinner chicks tend to be less aggressive females and if not separated may go light and become emaciated with a prominent sharp breast bone, sit around with their head under their wing, and eventually die.
Within the German rollers, I separate all full brothers in separate cages and then half brothers so that their song differences will be apparent and if one is a crow, I have not taught the same fault to all of the relatives and I can more easily analyze where the problem is coming from. Make this caging a conscience effort as for the very same reason you do not want to go shuffling young cocks around from cage to cage. My late friend Janice Klein, once did just that. First she moved them to flights for a few weeks and then shuffled them around in smaller groups. When she figured out she had the dreaded chung gluck, a very contagious fault, it was too late, all her birds had it and there was no way of going back to see which breeding had produced the problem crows. The effect was devastating as all of those young and all of the old cocks had to be placed in pet homes! Only the hens could be salvaged!
Within the crest birds, I separate crested from non-crested and any really promising show birds from all the rest in color or in type. With all the cage grouping, I have run out of cages and I am being forced to stop breeding!
Lesson: Take time to think out your young bird grouping making sure that young hens are separated from young cocks, and if it is a song bird, do not move cocks around from cage to cage, only remove the misjudged young hens from the young singers.