5 week old buff Orpington chicks
At 5 weeks you *may* be able to get an idea of gender, especially if either is a "loud and proud" cockerel already showing a big bright comb or wattles. Look at the overall feathering of the entire body and see if it appears uniform in color or darker over the wing area - really at this age the differentiation is going to be more a matter of obvious cockerel comb/wattles than anything as it will be a few more weeks before some of the other characteristics start to come in. Has the seller shown you any photos? If so, you can post them here so we can help you look at them.
Yes, during the integration period you will need to provide a safe area for the chicks as they will be targets for aggression by your adult birds. You can read several different methods folks here use - @azygous has some great links in their signature and @Blooie has some good information on brooding in the coop/run to ease the final integration into the flock.
Thanks very much. I actually seen the birds on Craigslist. I will probably just get them and see what happens. Eggs are good but so is fried chicken. He also has 5 black sexlink chicks around the same age. I may just get all of them. I have read that if the sexlink are males they will have a spot on their head but is this still true at 5 weeks?
At 5 weeks the spot is going to be fairly well gone as they are feathering out - but that doesn't matter as the males will have feathered out barred (black and white pattern) and the females feather out mostly solid black with some degree of copper "leakage" around the chest/collar and sometimes on throughout the body --- the key thing is if it is barred it is male....the bird pictured for BSL would be female.
The BO seems a bit pink in the comb/wattles in this photo -- if it truly is no matter to you and you are open to eating a cockerel there's not much to worry about, but if you would prefer to avoid that issue I would steer clear of that one if it looks that pink in person.
These are 5 weeks old and the middle one is what I surmise to be male. The tails on the males look different than the females too. The tail you see is a male. The feathers point up while the girls tails are pointed down. Hope this gives you an idea of what to look for.
Edited by grace4261 - 4/10/16 at 9:02pm