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What age can I tell hen or roo?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all I wanted to know what age I can start to tell if my chicks are rooster or hens. I have an araucana, barnevelder, silkie and a polish
post #2 of 6


I guess it varies depending on your experience in spotting the tell tale signs of gender in each breed. From what i have seen posted here on BYC, members seem to make a better attempt at identifying gender at around 8 weeks. Personally, i think its more a sport than a science :D

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Animal-lover101 View Post

Hi all I wanted to know what age I can start to tell if my chicks are rooster or hens. I have an araucana, barnevelder, silkie and a polish

 

The Barnevelder should become apparent fairly soon, often by 4 weeks, sometimes at hatch with carefully controlled lines as the chick down breast color is often different between male and female (one is cream while the other is more white, I've forgotten which is which at the moment). As they grow, the hens and roos are colored differently. Black breasted will indicate roo (usually) and gold lacing on the breast, with overall gold lacing, will indicate hen. Hatchery quality stock skew results a bit as the birds may not be correctly colored, but the hens should have a laced appearance while the males will be more solidly black and mahagony with red/gold color blocks, typically on the wing tips, and have a darker overall color. Lacing is visible, but it is as the sun hits the feathers and dark against a dark background. Comb development is fairly early too in males.

 

Silkies are notoriously hard to sex as they have similar feather types for both sexes and develop slowly. The males tend to be taller, lankier, and have a "mohawk." They will also develop a pronounced black walnut comb and some wattle. The females will be lower to the ground, more tear dropped shaped, little to no wattle, small comb which will be hidden beneath their large top pom-pom, which is full and round.

http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/CGP/Silkies/BRKSilkies.html

 

Polish also can be hard to sex. I've not owned these personally, but I know that the fellas usually get far more crazy in their crest, typically have the horn comb showing, but not always, and will be taller. The girls will be a bit plumper and lower than the boys. I'm not sure how soon these show, but I do know that it is hard to know earlier like Silkies are hard to know.

 

Araucanas will be harder as well...depending upon if you got an Araucana or an Easter Egger. True Araucanas are rare and almost always have to be purchased from a breeder. If you bought it from the feed store, or a Craigslist back yarder, it is almost certainly an Easter Egger. Easter Eggers are hybrids, meaning a cross between two breeds (or more). For an Easter Egger, there should be Araucana or Ameraucana in the background. If you are in America and there are signs of beard and muff it is not Araucana but Ameraucana in the background, a more common bird type, but still uncommon except for true poultry breeders. What is sold in the store with beard and often green legs is an Easter Egger and these are often called Americana or even Araucana in error. A true Araucana, in the US, should be rumpless (no tail) and half will have ear tufts (ideal, but the tuft gene is leathal if 2 copies are inherited, therefore one must breed a non-tufted to a tufted). 

 

In case of Araucana, you will need to watch comb development. Usually 3 rows of peas indicate male, and the comb will be more red and fleshy earlier. You should have indication by 8 weeks.

 

If you have an Easter Egger, color pattern can help a lot. The common gold partridge pattern, with black ticking at the neck, and patterning over gold on the back with even coloring is almost always female. A white with black pattern is usually male. There are exceptions. Overall, even color pattern, like a kaleidescope, is female. Blotchy color pattern, like a block quilt, is male. If red appears on the wing bows, it will be male. Comb development appears earlier in males. 3 rows of peas is typically male.  You should know again by 6 to 8 weeks for those with solid colors, or multi-color, earlier if the typical male or female color (with some exceptions possible).

 

Overall, you typically have a guess by 6 to 8 weeks of age if it is a male or female, although there are exceptions. Usually by 12 weeks, you've got them figured out. Some breeds you have to wait for a crow or an egg.

 

The only way to know for certain very early is to purchase a sex-linked hybrid (i.e. Red Sex Link or Black Sex Link) or an autosexing breeed (i.e. Rhodebars, good Welsummer lines) where the chick down from hatch indicates male or female. If you are lucky, the breed telecasts early due to adult color differences, like the Barnevelder, or comb growth (like a Marans, a breed you are not mentioning).

 

 

LofMc


Edited by Lady of McCamley - 9/30/15 at 11:00pm
Keeper of 15+ layers, common to specialty types for colorful egg baskets. Brooding Queens: The Queen Mum Silkie and 2 Bantam Cochin handmaids. Preparing to breed my own Olive Eggers! Barnevelder roo with Splash Marans and CL for egg color and color coding :D Former 4H leader, GDB Puppy Raiser, Homeschooler. Current ESL tutor. Proud new grandma. Loving wife to a very tolerant husband.
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Keeper of 15+ layers, common to specialty types for colorful egg baskets. Brooding Queens: The Queen Mum Silkie and 2 Bantam Cochin handmaids. Preparing to breed my own Olive Eggers! Barnevelder roo with Splash Marans and CL for egg color and color coding :D Former 4H leader, GDB Puppy Raiser, Homeschooler. Current ESL tutor. Proud new grandma. Loving wife to a very tolerant husband.
Reply
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady of McCamley View Post
 

 

The Barnevelder should become apparent fairly soon, often by 4 weeks, sometimes at hatch with carefully controlled lines as the chick down breast color is often different between male and female (one is cream while the other is more white, I've forgotten which is which at the moment). As they grow, the hens and roos are colored differently. Black breasted will indicate roo (usually) and gold lacing on the breast, with overall gold lacing, will indicate hen. Hatchery quality stock skew results a bit as the birds may not be correctly colored, but the hens should have a laced appearance while the males will be more solidly black and mahagony with red/gold color blocks, typically on the wing tips, and have a darker overall color. Lacing is visible, but it is as the sun hits the feathers and dark against a dark background. Comb development is fairly early too in males.

 

Silkies are notoriously hard to sex as they have similar feather types for both sexes and develop slowly. The males tend to be taller, lankier, and have a "mohawk." They will also develop a pronounced black walnut comb and some wattle. The females will be lower to the ground, more tear dropped shaped, little to no wattle, small comb which will be hidden beneath their large top pom-pom, which is full and round.

http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/CGP/Silkies/BRKSilkies.html

 

Polish also can be hard to sex. I've not owned these personally, but I know that the fellas usually get far more crazy in their crest, typically have the horn comb showing, but not always, and will be taller. The girls will be a bit plumper and lower than the boys. I'm not sure how soon these show, but I do know that it is hard to know earlier like Silkies are hard to know.

 

Araucanas will be harder as well...depending upon if you got an Araucana or an Easter Egger. True Araucanas are rare and almost always have to be purchased from a breeder. If you bought it from the feed store, or a Craigslist back yarder, it is almost certainly an Easter Egger. Easter Eggers are hybrids, meaning a cross between two breeds (or more). For an Easter Egger, there should be Araucana or Ameraucana in the background. If you are in America and there are signs of beard and muff it is not Araucana but Ameraucana in the background, a more common bird type, but still uncommon except for true poultry breeders. What is sold in the store with beard and often green legs is an Easter Egger and these are often called Americana or even Araucana in error. A true Araucana, in the US, should be rumpless (no tail) and half will have ear tufts (ideal, but the tuft gene is leathal if 2 copies are inherited, therefore one must breed a non-tufted to a tufted). 

 

In case of Araucana, you will need to watch comb development. Usually 3 rows of peas indicate male, and the comb will be more red and fleshy earlier. You should have indication by 8 weeks.

 

If you have an Easter Egger, color pattern can help a lot. The common gold partridge pattern, with black ticking at the neck, and patterning over gold on the back with even coloring is almost always female. A white with black pattern is usually male. There are exceptions. Overall, even color pattern, like a kaleidescope, is female. Blotchy color pattern, like a block quilt, is male. If red appears on the wing bows, it will be male. Comb development appears earlier in males. 3 rows of peas is typically male.  You should know again by 6 to 8 weeks for those with solid colors, or multi-color, earlier if the typical male or female color (with some exceptions possible).

 

Overall, you typically have a guess by 6 to 8 weeks of age if it is a male or female, although there are exceptions. Usually by 12 weeks, you've got them figured out. Some breeds you have to wait for a crow or an egg.

 

The only way to know for certain very early is to purchase a sex-linked hybrid (i.e. Red Sex Link or Black Sex Link) or an autosexing breeed (i.e. Rhodebars, good Welsummer lines) where the chick down from hatch indicates male or female. If you are lucky, the breed telecasts early due to adult color differences, like the Barnevelder, or comb growth (like a Marans, a breed you are not mentioning).

 

 

LofMc


X2 on LofMc's post.

post #5 of 6

x3 on Lady of McCamley's post.

Breeder of Dutch bantams, Wyandotte bantams, and a few exhibition rabbits.

Feel free to ask me questions about chicken and rabbit care, breeds, and showing! I'm always happy to help!

 

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts."

--William Shakespeare

Reply

Breeder of Dutch bantams, Wyandotte bantams, and a few exhibition rabbits.

Feel free to ask me questions about chicken and rabbit care, breeds, and showing! I'm always happy to help!

 

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts."

--William Shakespeare

Reply
post #6 of 6

x 4             plus  polish males generally will grow  wild,rock star crests  while the pullets will have a bushy, orderly, rounded crest.

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