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cockerel or pullet? how to tell

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

when is the earliest you can detect if you have a cockerel or a pullet? what are some of the signs/characteristics.
i have one whos tail feathers are different and bigger!

YEAH...They are here 4.21.09
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YEAH...They are here 4.21.09
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post #2 of 27

what kind of chicks are they?

people call me "Elly May!" 
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people call me "Elly May!" 
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post #3 of 27

For most breeds, the secondary sex characteristics start to show themselves between four and six weeks.  If your chicks are at least that old you could post some pics and we'll try to help you out.

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people. 

A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, runner ducks, call ducks, two geese that are my feathered children, and a crossbeak silkie X named Dragon. 

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If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people. 

A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, runner ducks, call ducks, two geese that are my feathered children, and a crossbeak silkie X named Dragon. 

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post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gritsar 

For most breeds, the secondary sex characteristics start to show themselves between four and six weeks.  If your chicks are at least that old you could post some pics and we'll try to help you out.


I agree.  The first sign I usually notice is a larger and redder comb.

A wonderful DH who puts up with my addiction, 2 beautiful children, 1 labrador retriever, And 40 standard chickens of various ages   


People who count their chickens before they are hatched, act very wisely, because chickens run about so absurdly that it is impossible to count them accurately Oscar Wilde
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A wonderful DH who puts up with my addiction, 2 beautiful children, 1 labrador retriever, And 40 standard chickens of various ages   


People who count their chickens before they are hatched, act very wisely, because chickens run about so absurdly that it is impossible to count them accurately Oscar Wilde
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post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

they are only 2 weeks.
but one is just really different!
i have 2 black australorps and it is one of those that are different.
thanks.
will wait and see!!!

YEAH...They are here 4.21.09
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YEAH...They are here 4.21.09
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post #6 of 27

if the comb is yellow at 2 weeks will it TURN red at 4-6 weeks if a roos? and stay yellow if a pullet?

Chickens! Spring time fuzzy butts! Love it!
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Chickens! Spring time fuzzy butts! Love it!
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post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by m2wandc 

if the comb is yellow at 2 weeks will it TURN red at 4-6 weeks if a roos? and stay yellow if a pullet?


The pullets start getting some color to their combs and both develop larger combs, it just happens younger in the cockerels.

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people. 

A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, runner ducks, call ducks, two geese that are my feathered children, and a crossbeak silkie X named Dragon. 

Reply

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people. 

A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, runner ducks, call ducks, two geese that are my feathered children, and a crossbeak silkie X named Dragon. 

Reply
post #8 of 27

I went through this last year even though I bought sexed pullets.  They can make mistakes when sexing them and I was horribly worried I had a roo on my hands before I was ready to have one.  It was just really difficult for me with the BA's.  My other chicks this year are proving somewhat easier, though there are still a couple that keep me wondering.

post #9 of 27

I have been able to tell around four weeks by their feathering!  The male's backs will be just about bare  and the "wing bows" are naked, but the pullets will be pretty much feathered out.  The comb usually has a bit more pink on it than the girl's do, too.  I've been able to tell 1st by the comb and then confirmed by the feathering.  Good luck... you only have a couple of more weeks before you can tell.  I'm not a good judge on the tail feathers, however some people are! 

Here is the excerpt from another thread:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=162401

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gritsar 

ETA:  For future reference:

According to UC Davis Veterinary Care Program.
2. Physical Characteristics (4-6 weeks of age)
a. Comb The cockerels comb is medium size and pinkish, the pullets is small and yellowish.
b. Legs The cockerels legs are sturdy and long, the pullets are finer and shorter.
c. Tail The cockerels tail is stumpy and curved, the pullets is longer and straight.
d. Back The cockerel has a thin line of stub feathers down the center of his back, the pullet has more advanced feathering along the center of her back.
e. Side of neck, flank and crop The feathering in the cockerel in these areas is poorly advanced, the pullets feathering in these areas is well advanced.
f. Wing bows In the cockerel the wing bows are bare, in pullets the wing bows are covered with small feathers.


Edited to add:  Ha!  I didn't realize Gritsar had posted on this already!  Gritsar has posted a lot of useful information, I've used the infomation above to accurately determine that I have had *way* more cockerels than a person should ever have!  Thanks!


Edited by Jennie5193 - 5/2/09 at 11:25pm
Married to my HS sweetheart for 9 years and SAHM to two homeschooling preschoolers.  I've got chickens... just ask me... I'll tell you all about 'em!
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Married to my HS sweetheart for 9 years and SAHM to two homeschooling preschoolers.  I've got chickens... just ask me... I'll tell you all about 'em!
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post #10 of 27

So I bought two pullets but one seems to be growing a comb and some tail feathers both are in this picture.  Can someone give me advice as I am not quite sure
http://www.wiltedleaf.com/images/pulletorcockeral.jpg

thanks
Scott Novell
wiltedleaf.com


Edited by swimmer5555m - 3/17/11 at 3:24pm
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