4 week old RIR chicks, do I have pullets or cockerels?

losullivan

In the Brooder
Jan 23, 2020
6
13
21
Hello! We just got 4 RIR chicks earlier this week! We wanted all pullets, but know that it is not 100%! We are new to chickens so we thought it would be informative and helpful to join this page and be able to chat with you guys who have more experience!

I will attach some pics of our 4 little chicky babies, please take your best guess of what we have.. pullets, cockerels? (We know it’s very hard to tell at this age, this is more just for fun/curiousity of your opinions!)

Thanks in advance! Excited to hear your input!

0EA8BF58-BE05-49B4-8802-DD7BA1373F6E.jpeg
5AADD9C9-1595-4C31-8340-2BC1226333E9.jpeg
C3B851D7-F6E5-494C-8E4A-6D721DB61B0F.jpeg
051DC70F-2909-44C9-AC1A-936803AE543D.jpeg
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
4,914
18,828
602
Georgia
:welcome Welcome to BYC! I actually think they all look like pullets right now but I can usually start guessing more accurately around 5-6 weeks (depending on breed) but it's always easier when you're raising the chicks yourself because you can watch for little signs. Some of the things I have noticed while raising chicks, (but certainly not a fool proof method of sexing early) is this.

1. Roosters typically get bigger faster, so if you have an unusually large chick in the batch, it's probably a roo.
2. Roos will often have thicker legs and bigger feet.
3. I have found that it's quite common that roos are really relaxed, while pullets are more flighty.
4. Pullets usually hold themselves lower and cockerels more upright.
5. A darker red comb before 6 weeks will almost always be a roo.
6. A rounded comb early will likely be a roo (looks a bit like a saw blade).

These are just some of the ways I start identifying cockerels early and you get better at it as you raise more chicks but it's really a guessing game until you start to see definite signs of saddle and hackle feathers...otherwise there's a good chance it's a rooster if it crows and it's definitely a hen if it lays an egg. ;) Update us with some more pics in a couple weeks!
 

losullivan

In the Brooder
Jan 23, 2020
6
13
21
:welcome Welcome to BYC! I actually think they all look like pullets right now but I can usually start guessing more accurately around 5-6 weeks (depending on breed) but it's always easier when you're raising the chicks yourself because you can watch for little signs. Some of the things I have noticed while raising chicks, (but certainly not a fool proof method of sexing early) is this.

1. Roosters typically get bigger faster, so if you have an unusually large chick in the batch, it's probably a roo.
2. Roos will often have thicker legs and bigger feet.
3. I have found that it's quite common that roos are really relaxed, while pullets are more flighty.
4. Pullets usually hold themselves lower and cockerels more upright.
5. A darker red comb before 6 weeks will almost always be a roo.
6. A rounded comb early will likely be a roo (looks a bit like a saw blade).

These are just some of the ways I start identifying cockerels early and you get better at it as you raise more chicks but it's really a guessing game until you start to see definite signs of saddle and hackle feathers...otherwise there's a good chance it's a rooster if it crows and it's definitely a hen if it lays an egg. ;) Update us with some more pics in a couple weeks!
thank you so much!!! I will def post more pics as they grow! When we first got them, there seemed to be 2 slightly bigger chicks and 2 slightly smaller ones, as the days go by, they seem to be almost all the same size. That goes for their feet and legs, too. There’s really not much noticeable difference between them all. They all seem to be quite comfortable with us holding them or just hanging out on us, whether it be our shoulder, head, arm, etc.. except there is one that will freak out/get flighty when we try to grab her/him but once we do she is totally cool, I think she is def a hen🤞🏼 They all sit low and stand up too, I can’t really tell a difference if any of them are doing more of one over the other. Combs don’t seem to be too dark, I will have to examine the shape of them more when I get the chance, they are so fidgety at the moment that it’s hard to get a good look and comparison! thanks for all your help! I truly appreciate it! And like I said I will posr more pics!
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
4,914
18,828
602
Georgia
thank you so much!!! I will def post more pics as they grow! When we first got them, there seemed to be 2 slightly bigger chicks and 2 slightly smaller ones, as the days go by, they seem to be almost all the same size. That goes for their feet and legs, too. There’s really not much noticeable difference between them all. They all seem to be quite comfortable with us holding them or just hanging out on us, whether it be our shoulder, head, arm, etc.. except there is one that will freak out/get flighty when we try to grab her/him but once we do she is totally cool, I think she is def a hen🤞🏼 They all sit low and stand up too, I can’t really tell a difference if any of them are doing more of one over the other. Combs don’t seem to be too dark, I will have to examine the shape of them more when I get the chance, they are so fidgety at the moment that it’s hard to get a good look and comparison! thanks for all your help! I truly appreciate it! And like I said I will posr more pics!
Hmm, your chill vs flighty ratio has me agreeing with the others now. lol Fingers crossed they're wrong! :fl
 
Top Bottom