The difference between a Hen and a Rooster

One thing to note is

Hen means Female,

Rooster means Male,

Pullet means female under 1 year,

Cockerel means Male under 1 year.

When a chick is advertised as straight run, it means un-sexed.

Visual ways to tell the difference

First thing to look at is the comb and wattles. Roosters often have big red combs and wattles, whilst hens have smaller red combs and wattles.


Rooster (Cochin)

(Not my photo)


Hen (Cochin)

Roosters and Hens also have different saddle and hackle feathers.


Roosters Saddle Feathers. (Not my photo)


Roosters Hackle feathers. (Not my photo)


Hens Saddle (S) and Hackle (H) feathers. (Not my photo)

Hens and Roosters roles in the flock

Hens and Roosters have different roles. Hens lay eggs and Roosters fertilise.

Roosters are the protectors of their flock. They guard their flock, find their hens food, and watch for predators. Roosters often mate hens by mounting them. Roosters do not lay eggs.

Hens can go broody. When Hens go broody they try to hatch eggs, this would be the time that you put fertile eggs underneath them. Hens when they go broody will often sit flat, fluff themselves up, and growl. Depending on the breed you get they may be more or less likely to go broody.

Age of sexing

Different breeds are harder to sex and may require them to be older.

Most breeds can be sexed at the earliest between 6-9 weeks.
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