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telling the difference between hens and roosters

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

My husband and I bought 12 4 day old chicks from a breeder who is 2 hours away from us. We told her that we did not want any roosters just hens. She said if you lay a baby chick on it's back and they don't stretch out their legs then it is a hen. So she did that with 6 RIR and 6 Buffs. This was back in Sept. Now they are almost 5 months old and we are finding out that there is one buff crowing at 6am, and 3 RIR's that have just as big combs and have seen one RIR crow in the afternoon. My question is to those that breed chickens. Has anyone ever heard of this method of determining the sex of chickens?  If I buy baby chicks again I just don't want to have the same problem. big_smile

mother to two wonderful adult children, 3 rabbits, 60 hens, 9 nigerian dwarf & 3 fainter goats, 2 barn cats and 2 yorkies.
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mother to two wonderful adult children, 3 rabbits, 60 hens, 9 nigerian dwarf & 3 fainter goats, 2 barn cats and 2 yorkies.
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post #2 of 18

Far as I know, that method is complete baloney. You'll get a 50/50 of it being male or female. wink

The thing to do, is by the time they're 5 weeks and older, check their combs or post photos of them here. The comb size, and in a later age, the body type will tell who's a cockerel, who's a pullet. smile

To check yourself, if one is already crowing now, you should check them for bigger, redder combs and pointed, shiny feathers growing out of their back and dangling off the sides. (saddle feathers)

Araucanas, Polish, Shamos, Olive Eggers, and a handful of Finn Sheep, Wensleydale Sheep, Gotland Sheep, Kinder Goats, a Yak, and various rare breed Turkeys, Ducks, and Pigs.

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Araucanas, Polish, Shamos, Olive Eggers, and a handful of Finn Sheep, Wensleydale Sheep, Gotland Sheep, Kinder Goats, a Yak, and various rare breed Turkeys, Ducks, and Pigs.

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post #3 of 18

I've heard of that method and many other old wive's tales. The problem is that so many people actually believe them.

Your best bet is to buy pullets that are already sexed. That generally means hatchery chicks or sex links. Do not buy straight runs, ever! (unless you want some roosters)
But even sexed chicks have a margin of error of about 10%.

Don't get all your exercise leaping to conclusions!

Poultry- they may be your pets, they may be your hobby, they may be your livestock. But remember, if you fall down in the pen, unconscious? They WILL eat you.
Chicken Tender of 20 years

 

Memorial Thread

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Don't get all your exercise leaping to conclusions!

Poultry- they may be your pets, they may be your hobby, they may be your livestock. But remember, if you fall down in the pen, unconscious? They WILL eat you.
Chicken Tender of 20 years

 

Memorial Thread

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post #4 of 18

There are only a few true breeds you can sex without probing.  Barred rocks are one.  Sexlinks are not pure but you can sex them at hatch.  Most as said you can tell after 6 weeks as males will have more comb.

Tamara   breeding Partridge Plymouth Rocks
owned by 2 English Shepherd farm dogs 2 cats and 1 loving husband

Chickens Blog http://bmvchickens.wordpress.com/

http://www.bluemoonvalley.com/  Our farm website

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Tamara   breeding Partridge Plymouth Rocks
owned by 2 English Shepherd farm dogs 2 cats and 1 loving husband

Chickens Blog http://bmvchickens.wordpress.com/

http://www.bluemoonvalley.com/  Our farm website

Reply
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshine Chick 1 

My husband and I bought 12 4 day old chicks from a breeder who is 2 hours away from us. We told her that we did not want any roosters just hens. She said if you lay a baby chick on it's back and they don't stretch out their legs then it is a hen. So she did that with 6 RIR and 6 Buffs. This was back in Sept. Now they are almost 5 months old and we are finding out that there is one buff crowing at 6am, and 3 RIR's that have just as big combs and have seen one RIR crow in the afternoon. My question is to those that breed chickens. Has anyone ever heard of this method of determining the sex of chickens?  If I buy baby chicks again I just don't want to have the same problem. big_smile


And I have read the version of the OWT that says differently...that if they relax and stretch out then they are girls. Just shows you how accurate the OWT are! wink

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone and for the quick response. So I am going to guess the ones with dark red combs now will end up crowing on me eventually.smile

mother to two wonderful adult children, 3 rabbits, 60 hens, 9 nigerian dwarf & 3 fainter goats, 2 barn cats and 2 yorkies.
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mother to two wonderful adult children, 3 rabbits, 60 hens, 9 nigerian dwarf & 3 fainter goats, 2 barn cats and 2 yorkies.
Reply
post #7 of 18

Yeah, she fed you a line of bull phooey. There are certain breeds that can be sexed early on, Wheaton Marans you can tell around 2-3 weeks the boys will be dark and the girls light. Welsummers as well, if I am not mistaken, but most of them you're stuck playing the waiting game.

Get from a hatchery but even then it is not 100% sure you will have all girls. C'est la vie!

post #8 of 18

Ahhh..... if only it were so easy. I always tell people when I sell chicks that I cannot sex them but if they want to believe any of the OWT that they have heard, they are more than welcome to try it. I figure if it were that easy the hatcheries wouldn't hire people to vent sex them.

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

I have several rooster to get rid of now. big_smile

mother to two wonderful adult children, 3 rabbits, 60 hens, 9 nigerian dwarf & 3 fainter goats, 2 barn cats and 2 yorkies.
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mother to two wonderful adult children, 3 rabbits, 60 hens, 9 nigerian dwarf & 3 fainter goats, 2 barn cats and 2 yorkies.
Reply
post #10 of 18

I have a buff orpington and it crows every morning. But it doesnt have a spur. Cant tell if its a rooster or not.

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