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sex determination of 4 week old Barred Rock chicks  

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hello, I'm a first time chick mommy.  I have three chicks, and the man I got them from told me that they are likely to be females because of black coloring on their legs and a white spot on their heads. 

They are about 4 weeks old, and I'm pretty confident that one is a pullet.  She has mostly black feathers with a little white, and her comb and waddles haven't developed at all yet.  The other two I'm worried about.  Their feathers are both lighter grey with more white than the other one.  Both are starting to grow combs and waddles that are pretty red.  I've heard that cockerels combs and waddles develop faster...but I don't know if this is too early to tell. 

Thanks for your help!

Meg

post #2 of 37

If their combs are getting redder at 4 weeks they're probably roos.  The roos are also lighter colored too.

I'm a Farmer/Rancher  Wife,Mom & Grandma  No Farms, No food. 
If you want house chickens and ducks in diapers then this is the forum for you.
I've got 50+ years of poultry experience, but this 'poultry' forum isn't for me anymore.
If you're going to complain about farmers, don't do it with a full belly or a mouthful.
I'm a Farmer/Rancher  Wife,Mom & Grandma  No Farms, No food. 
If you want house chickens and ducks in diapers then this is the forum for you.
I've got 50+ years of poultry experience, but this 'poultry' forum isn't for me anymore.
If you're going to complain about farmers, don't do it with a full belly or a mouthful.
post #3 of 37

welcome-byc

I am not sure who you bought them from but you can not tell the sex by the color of their legs or from a spot on their head.  Sounds like he wanted to make sure he had a sale.

Can you post a pic of them?

When they feather out a Roo will have a lighter coloring.  Don't be too quick to give away or sell the Roos until you know for sure that is really what they are.  Unless of course you wants some Roosters they are great to have.

2 Jersey Black Giants, 2 Barred Rocks, 12 Ameraucanas, 12 Black Sex Links, 1 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Gold Laced Wyandottes, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Ameraucana Rooster, 1 Cochin Rooster. 1 Dog and 2 Cats
2 Jersey Black Giants, 2 Barred Rocks, 12 Ameraucanas, 12 Black Sex Links, 1 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Gold Laced Wyandottes, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Ameraucana Rooster, 1 Cochin Rooster. 1 Dog and 2 Cats
post #4 of 37

Actually on BRs the little pullets are more likely to have a dark wash down the front of their legs and the little roos have a bigger white spot on their heads....not 100% of the time, but most of the time.

I'm a Farmer/Rancher  Wife,Mom & Grandma  No Farms, No food. 
If you want house chickens and ducks in diapers then this is the forum for you.
I've got 50+ years of poultry experience, but this 'poultry' forum isn't for me anymore.
If you're going to complain about farmers, don't do it with a full belly or a mouthful.
I'm a Farmer/Rancher  Wife,Mom & Grandma  No Farms, No food. 
If you want house chickens and ducks in diapers then this is the forum for you.
I've got 50+ years of poultry experience, but this 'poultry' forum isn't for me anymore.
If you're going to complain about farmers, don't do it with a full belly or a mouthful.
post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 

I know I can't have two roosters (all I have are three chickens and a small backyard).  I will wait a bit longer certainly.  I will try to post pictures tonight.  My husband does not want to keep a rooster.  I have a good place for at least one of them to go (where they won't be eaten either!). 

Does anyone know where I could get only a couple pullets at a time?  I live in Pittsburgh, and we're allowed up to five chickens in a backyard flock.  The minimum orders I've found online are higher than that.

post #6 of 37

Hello, Meg, and  welcome-byc  frow I'm waiting to see if one of my BRs is a roo. They're 3 weeks and one is much lighter feathered tan the other two. The combs seem to be about the same though.  Good luck with yours!

Susan

Edit for spelling


Edited by BearSwampChick - 5/12/08 at 10:49am
Susan

"In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but its effects." -J. William Fulbright
Susan

"In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but its effects." -J. William Fulbright
post #7 of 37

Actually, the size and shape of the headspots and the leg color has been used for sexing Barred Rocks for years. Here is the documentation:

Historical Document
Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station

SEX IDENTIFICATION IN PUREBREDS
BARRED PLYMOUTH ROCKS

It had long been recognized that the size of the light head
spots in Barred Plymouth Rocks varied in the two sexes. The
males tend to have larger headspots and the females to have
darker colored legs. However, this method has not been sufficiently
accurate to be of much commercial value.
Quinn and Knox (1939) attempted to separate the sexes of
Barred Plymouth Rocks by means of the intensity of the black
pigment in the down and legs. In different lots of chicks they
report 83.5, 86.1 and 91.8 percent accuracy.
Jerome (1939) describes a method of sex identification in
Barred Plymouth Rocks based upon the regularity of the outline
of the head spot rather than the size of the spot. Those chicks
having headspots irregular in outline and scattered in appearance
are males while the females tend to have headspots with
more regular outlines. The author claimed an accuracy of 90
percent or better when considering only the headspot and 95
percent if the color of the legs was included in the consideration.
The Canadian Department of Agriculture (Anonymous 1941)
issues an excellently illustrated bulletin describing the method.
It is stated in the bulletin that the method is widely practiced
in Barred Rock chicks by commercial chick

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It Has Come to My Attention that Empathy for Others in Today's World Has Died...URGENT! Always Quarantine Newly Purchased Birds!
~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

 

 

 

Come See the ALL NEW Blue Roo Creations, where every artisan is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran!

BRC Web Store Purchases Now Include Shipping!

It Has Come to My Attention that Empathy for Others in Today's World Has Died...URGENT! Always Quarantine Newly Purchased Birds!
~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

 

 

 

post #8 of 37

Yup, mine's a roo alright! Thanks, Cyn!

Susan

"In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but its effects." -J. William Fulbright
Susan

"In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but its effects." -J. William Fulbright
post #9 of 37

I ordered a bunch of barred rocks a while back and 1 barred rooster and 1 dominique rooster... it was driving me crazy trying to figure out the rooster until I read about their legs being lighter color by their feet, and sure enough, I picked the rooster right away and the comb different in the dominique!!

post #10 of 37

I was told the leg thing was an old wives tale????

2 Jersey Black Giants, 2 Barred Rocks, 12 Ameraucanas, 12 Black Sex Links, 1 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Gold Laced Wyandottes, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Ameraucana Rooster, 1 Cochin Rooster. 1 Dog and 2 Cats
2 Jersey Black Giants, 2 Barred Rocks, 12 Ameraucanas, 12 Black Sex Links, 1 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Gold Laced Wyandottes, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Ameraucana Rooster, 1 Cochin Rooster. 1 Dog and 2 Cats
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