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8 week old chicks - they can't decide what sex they are!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by archmichelle, May 5, 2008.

  1. archmichelle

    archmichelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2008
    Portland, OR
    This is my second post on the forum, but I will still do an intro since my other one was in the buy, sell, giveaway section.

    My husband and I decided to become chicken owners about 2 months ago. We loved the idea of harvesting our own eggs and free fertilizer, and we also thought it sounded like a great, unique idea for a feature in our yard. After researching for about a month, we got 3 pullets from a local feed store (they were all a few days old when we got them.) We have a Black Australorp (named her Betty Paige,) a Buff Orpington (named her Doris Day,) and a Delaware (named her Marylin Monroe.) We have had a blast raising them as well as building their coop and run. The coop is attached to the henhouse and is roofed over, then we have fenced off part of our yard so they have a free range run when we are home. We moved them in about 3 weeks ago. I can watch them for hours chasing each other, taking dust baths, and just doing what chickens do all day long. It has fast become our favorite part of the yard.
    It has been very interesting watching our little chicks develop their personalities. I worried about Doris at first because she was so small compared to the other two and I read BOs can get picked on because they tend to be so docile. At first she did get stepped on because she was small, but she has actually turned into the most aggressive of the three. I am actually worried she could be a he. I talked to people at our feed store that said sometimes females will act like males, even try to crow. Doris loves to face off with Betty, and loves to run around their yard like she's on a racetrack. She is hilarious, but does seem a little gender confused, at least that's what I'm hoping is the issue. Maybe a Napolean complex?
    Well, I know for sure Betty is a Bobby. I need to find him a home so I have posted on Craig's List as well as here. He is a very sweet roo and has always been the easiest to handle. He is also protective of his flock and will stand watch at their door in the evening. But he is already crowing and developed very early (look at those tail feathers!) so I have no hope left for a masculine hen.
    Marylin was the biggest pullet when we first got them and had her feathers the fastest. She definitely acts like a girl, loves taking dust baths, and cuddling with the other two. Hopefully good signs.
    Anyway, that's my flock. Here are a few pics in case anyone wants to weigh in on the gender confusion. I'd love to hear any input!
    [​IMG]
    definitely roo
    [​IMG]
    roo or just confused?
    [​IMG]
    hopefully hen?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    [​IMG]

    If you are sure they are only 8 weeks old... I fear you have all roosters.

    Sorry.
     
  3. Lanissa86

    Lanissa86 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    Looks like your Delaware is a girl! I have 3 that are maybe a week younger then yours, but starting to look just like that. They are the sweetest things! I love them so much! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    They do look older than 8 weeks but they all look like girls to me.

    I had 4 Red Sex Links once that looked and acted like roos but they laid eggs. I got them from a feed store and I never did find out where they got them from but they were the strangest chickens that I had ever been around.

    They eventually all ended up in the freezer, all they ever did was cause trouble in my flock; I finally got tired of it and put them to better use. That little escapade cured me from buying mystery chicks at feed stores.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2008
  5. chickmomma30

    chickmomma30 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2008
    Odessa MO
    THey all look like roos to me
     
  6. archmichelle

    archmichelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Quote:Silkiechicken,
    I checked my calendar again, and they are probably closer to 10-1/2 weeks. Would that make any difference with the Delaware? She really has not exhibited any rooster characteristics like the other two.

    Another thing, why do feed stores say you are picking from what are supposed to be only pullets and then you end up getting 3 out of 3 roos?! How can they even say they're sexed with that kind of percentage? With anything else that would be considered false advertising. I called them and asked what I should do and they acted like it was my fault I picked out boys because they were all supposed to be girls, and they refused to take them back. I mean, if you can't sex them any more accurately, then tell people it's a straight run and be done with it.

    Sorry for the rant, I'm just really frustrated. Should I give up and try to find new home for all of them now, or is there any hope left? How should I start over? Clearly the feed store is not the way to go.
     
  7. peruvian_princess

    peruvian_princess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2008
    Fayetteville, Georgia
    I wouldnt worry to much. I bought all my RIRs from the feed store and they were all considered to be pullets. As they were growing I begin to think maybe they were roos. THeir crests begin to get really big and red and their little jowls began to grow. Their tails grew in fast but they were definately hens. I think some hens just look more like roos when they are younger. My hens would even fight like roos when they were that age. It can all be so confusing sometimes.
     
  8. tberggren

    tberggren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 20, 2008
    Ithaca NY
    Someone once said that by four weeks you can sex BO's because the boys comb will start turning red where the girls stay yellow.
     
  9. archmichelle

    archmichelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Quote:When do the females turn red then? My BO didn't start turnng red until about 8 weeks. If it's a roo it's either going to have a really big growth spurt soon, or it's going to be shaped like a girl and miniature. Out of the three it has looked the most like a hen body-shape-wise all along.
     
  10. Mrs. Green Thumbs

    Mrs. Green Thumbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Every chicken has the possibility to be different. They aren't much different from us if you think about it. Every one matures in their own good time. Same goes for chicken's. I'v got 5 "girls" and I will be keeping them until A) I find one crowing and B) it actually LOOKS like a cockerel. Until then I'm trying to not think about it...
     

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