About what age can one sex chicks relatively accurately?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Godiva, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Songster

    May 17, 2007
    I have 6 chicks 8 weeks old. Two orpingtons, two sussex/ orpington crosses, two silkies. I was wondering at about what age the orpingtons start crowing, I seem to remember they were later than my polish and the tiny little rosecomb that started at 5 weeks! I am trying to figure out if I have a bunch of hens or roos! The large breeds all look much the same with comb size and wattles. The two silkies look like I might have a hen and a roo. Will have to wait and see with those two... any tips? I was looking at the hackle feathers and they look like they are all the rounded feathers of a pullet, how soon do the feathers show the difference? I have a friend who wants 3 hens and a roo and I was wondering how soon I will know? I also want to split them up so I can give feed specific for the sex, broiler vs layer prep...
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    If you post pics, that would help. There is a category for 'what breed/gender'. Whole body shots from the side are helpful.

    Post pics there and I'm sure you'll get some help! Telling gender varies widely between breeds...
  3. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    I know silkies are notoriously hard to sex until someone starts crowing or laying eggs. I have a hard time with Easter-Eggers that are non-standard Ameraucanas, due to their pea combs and sometimes hen-type feathering.

    Generally (but not always...) anything else can reasonably be sexed at 8 wks old and sometimes younger. You can always post pictures of them on BYC and let us help you out. [​IMG]
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    It really depends on the breed; that's why I love my Barred Rocks. Well, one of the reasons. Almost always can be accurately sexed at less than a week old.
  5. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    I'm with Cyn here! I can't tell til they crow on any breed except Barred Rocks and Silver Phoenix. Gosh - I hear silkies are impossible to sex! Maybe you'll get lucky and start seeing some red combs early on with those other chicks...
  6. Godiva

    Godiva Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Well, one of my 'sussingtons' has started crowing! And that was the day after I had decided they must all be hens, now I think that maybe we have a high percentage cockerels! Oh well, I guess we will be having some nice late season roasts! I need to get a digital camera so that I can take pics and post. Is there some post with the how to's of posting pics?
  7. edster951

    edster951 Songster

    sussex chickes are easy to sex at 4-5 weeks. The girls have long wing feathers and defifnite tails, the cockerels have no tail, and short wings. Thier wattles and comb are quite developed in cockerels as well at 4-5 weeks.

    Cockerel 4-5 weeks

  8. lyndatu

    lyndatu Songster

    Nov 13, 2007
    Hmmm.........chicks can be sexed relatively accurately when they're around 5-8 weeks old, and roos usually start crowing around 10-15 weeks........this is because secondary sex characteristics appear at this age(comb, wattle, tail feathers, etc.). But there are some techniques for sexing young chicks, like vent sexing and feather sexing, but both can be quite challenging......

    Vent sexing is where you look at their vents(below the tail) and do something to make them reveal their genitalia. They usually do this when pooping. If you see something on the vent on what looks like a small pimple, then it's a male.

    Feather sexing can only work at some breeds.........females are more white and males are more brown.

    But the really most accurate way is to wait for them until they're 5-8 weeks old.

    Good luck!
  9. KingsCalls

    KingsCalls Songster

    Oct 22, 2007
    New Market,Tn.
    Quote:YOU'RE TELLING ME! My "roo" has layed 5 eggs in the last 6 days(LOL)
  10. Godiva

    Godiva Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Well, I have two crowers! One I know is the largest Sussington, the other one I suspect is the other but will have to catch them at it. The silkies are quite different in a couple of things, the one is smaller than the other and has no comb to speak of, the other is definitely getting a comb and some wattles. BUt again no way to know until they lay or crow huh! Will let you know! I think the sussington roos are going to be gorgeous! Such a rich colour, I am tempted to keep one just to see how pretty he will be...

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