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What are the main characteristics of rooster vs hens?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

What should I look for in our 2 week old chicks as far as trying to figure out their sex?

I have been watching their combs and they are slowly coming in and some chicks have larger combs already.  But what else can/should I look for?

Mommysongbird wife of 11yrs to one hardworken' man, mom to 3 peeps Josh 24, Kelsey 21, Curtis 9, also have 7 grand peeps Kayla 6, Cadence 6, Wyatt 4, Pheobe 3, Annabelle 2, Rain 1 and Gracie still in the bator!

I am a SAHM homeschool my youngest child, this is our VERY FIRST chicken experience!!
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Mommysongbird wife of 11yrs to one hardworken' man, mom to 3 peeps Josh 24, Kelsey 21, Curtis 9, also have 7 grand peeps Kayla 6, Cadence 6, Wyatt 4, Pheobe 3, Annabelle 2, Rain 1 and Gracie still in the bator!

I am a SAHM homeschool my youngest child, this is our VERY FIRST chicken experience!!
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post #2 of 7

Honestly, at 2 weeks, it's a bit tough.  It's easier to wait another few weeks and look at feather development.

Kelly, mom of two daughters, six cats, and a Great Pyrenees
Black Stars, EEs, Marans, and a feathered demon (whoops, I mean silver Lakenvelder) and now 6 mixed chicks under two broodies!
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Kelly, mom of two daughters, six cats, and a Great Pyrenees
Black Stars, EEs, Marans, and a feathered demon (whoops, I mean silver Lakenvelder) and now 6 mixed chicks under two broodies!
Reply
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKsmama 

Honestly, at 2 weeks, it's a bit tough.  It's easier to wait another few weeks and look at feather development.


Can you go in more detail on this as to what to look for in "feather development"??

Prior Service Army Infantryman. My ladies are my stress reliever!! Chicken Daddy  AKA  "The Rooster" 

6 Tetra Tints,  8 Production Reds
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Prior Service Army Infantryman. My ladies are my stress reliever!! Chicken Daddy  AKA  "The Rooster" 

6 Tetra Tints,  8 Production Reds
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by macadam8157 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKsmama 

Honestly, at 2 weeks, it's a bit tough.  It's easier to wait another few weeks and look at feather development.


Can you go in more detail on this as to what to look for in "feather development"??


X2 and what else to look for?

Mommysongbird wife of 11yrs to one hardworken' man, mom to 3 peeps Josh 24, Kelsey 21, Curtis 9, also have 7 grand peeps Kayla 6, Cadence 6, Wyatt 4, Pheobe 3, Annabelle 2, Rain 1 and Gracie still in the bator!

I am a SAHM homeschool my youngest child, this is our VERY FIRST chicken experience!!
Reply
Mommysongbird wife of 11yrs to one hardworken' man, mom to 3 peeps Josh 24, Kelsey 21, Curtis 9, also have 7 grand peeps Kayla 6, Cadence 6, Wyatt 4, Pheobe 3, Annabelle 2, Rain 1 and Gracie still in the bator!

I am a SAHM homeschool my youngest child, this is our VERY FIRST chicken experience!!
Reply
post #5 of 7

Hackle feathers on roos are usually longer, with pointed ends.  Pullets usually have hackles that are a bit shorter with more rounded ends.  Roos have longer, pointed saddle feathers that hang down, and of course the tail feathers are longer and the sickle feathers are curved downwards.  If they are slow in feathering, you may have to wait a while, but probably in another 4 weeks you'll really be able to tell.  The combs and wattles will be more telling at that time too.  It's just too confusing at 2 weeks to try to figure it out.  They kinda all look the same, they all peck, they all chest bump each other. . . unless you know how to sex by wing feather tips or vent sex (and there are few people who do), you'll drive yourself crazy trying to guess at 2 weeks of age.

Kelly, mom of two daughters, six cats, and a Great Pyrenees
Black Stars, EEs, Marans, and a feathered demon (whoops, I mean silver Lakenvelder) and now 6 mixed chicks under two broodies!
Reply
Kelly, mom of two daughters, six cats, and a Great Pyrenees
Black Stars, EEs, Marans, and a feathered demon (whoops, I mean silver Lakenvelder) and now 6 mixed chicks under two broodies!
Reply
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKsmama 

Hackle feathers on roos are usually longer, with pointed ends.  Pullets usually have hackles that are a bit shorter with more rounded ends.  Roos have longer, pointed saddle feathers that hang down, and of course the tail feathers are longer and the sickle feathers are curved downwards.  If they are slow in feathering, you may have to wait a while, but probably in another 4 weeks you'll really be able to tell.  The combs and wattles will be more telling at that time too.  It's just too confusing at 2 weeks to try to figure it out.  They kinda all look the same, they all peck, they all chest bump each other. . . unless you know how to sex by wing feather tips or vent sex (and there are few people who do), you'll drive yourself crazy trying to guess at 2 weeks of age.


I agree! But I have 1 that is hen featherd. But as he grew, he told me and everyone else what he is.

Nothing very very good, or very very bad, last very very long.
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Nothing very very good, or very very bad, last very very long.
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post #7 of 7

Some also say that the males' legs are thicker, the females more slim and dainty.  Of my silkie chicks, the one who I've been most suspicious of (of being a cockerel) has definite "cankles."  Its leg at the ankle joint on up is far thicker than the other chicks...
But I agree that most chicks' sex becomes pretty apparent by 4-5 weeks.  Hang in there...


Edited by teach1rusl - 4/26/11 at 10:15am

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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