16 week Buff Orpingtons

Redhead Rae

Chickens, chickens everywhere!
Premium Feather Member
Jan 4, 2017
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Braxton County, WV
I think I have 16 Cockerels and 9 Pullets in my 16 week old batch of Buff Orpingtons. However, there are a few that i've classified as roosters that I'm just not sure about.

I know this one is a Pullet.
buff hen.jpg


I know this one is a Cockerel.
buff rooster.jpg


I've tentatively identified this one (and several others like it) as a Cockerel, but I'm not sure.
buff roo-hen.jpg


The comb and wattle are smaller than on the Cockerel above and they have smaller tails, but the tails are slightly rounded. I'm confused. I don't want to put any of the hens in the stew pot.
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
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My Buff Orpington started laying at 16 weeks. You will see bigger combs and wattles when they are ready to lay. Have your suspected cockerels begun crowing? Do you see pointy hackle or saddle feathers? I can't tell by the photos, but perhaps others can.
 

Redhead Rae

Chickens, chickens everywhere!
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Braxton County, WV
I'll have to get closer pictures of the "suspected" ones. I'll need someone else to help me grab and tag the birds (I need to weigh them to decide which of the cockerels stay and which get eaten). I haven't seen any eggs yet, but some of known pullets are getting bigger, redder combs and wattles.
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Sep 29, 2014
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Part the feathers at the base of their tails and see if you can see any narrow feathers coming through. That would indicate a cockerel. Some pullets do have curvy tail feathers until they moult out straight. It all depends on the genetics of your birds as to how quickly they will mature and how quickly you will know for sure.

Here are our orpingtons (the breeder kept mixed colour pens) at 17 weeks old - one with a curvy tail and two with rather large wattles and combs. None started laying before 6 months old, though they were winter babies. With the group I had (the boys went back to the breeder) I knew by 3 weeks old who the boys were, and one started crowing at 5 weeks old!
Cinnamon and Butternut.jpg Floss and Miss Muffet.jpg
 

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