All Pullets or Not?

sphillips

Songster
6 Years
Feb 18, 2013
225
229
156
New Mexico
Hi all! I have 8 Red Production 'pullets' that are about 4 weeks old. I was in the brooder with them yesterday, and noticed that one of the 'pullets' is a bit larger, tail looks slightly different, and the comb is just a bit larger than the other ones. These were supposed to be sexed chicks, what are the odds that I'd end up with a rooster? I know sexing isn't 100%, so just wondering. I'm okay with having one rooster, as long as that wouldn't be too much for 7 hens. That's my other question. I'll post pics later of the suspect pullet.:jumpy
 

Spartan22

Crowing
Sep 2, 2014
3,672
3,519
452
NE Ohio
Nope, chick sexing sometime is not 100% accurate, I got a few of those experience. My 2nd batch of chicks of 6 ended up having one barred rock roo, which if I have known more about their physical appearance at that time would have been helpful for me. Then I have bought 4 pricey Black Copper Marans 3 day old chicks, which at this time I still don’t know how to sex, so I ended up with a beautiful roo. Last year we hatched 15 eggs and four end up roos, which all of them rehomed except 1. The 7:1 ratio that you are thinking is not bad, depends on how verile your rooster is. Some breeder friends of mine have 4:1 ratio and they’re fine depending on the size of coop/run space so the girls won’t be abuse.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,690
21,358
907
Southeast Louisiana
Do you know what hatchery those production reds came from? Production Reds is just a marketing name. From some hatcheries they may be sex linked but from other hatcheries they are not. From the hatcheries I've seen they are not normally sex linked so yes, they have to rely on vent sexing.

You are right, vent sexing is not 100% accurate. How accurate it is depends on the skill of the person doing it, but some chicks are a lot harder to tell than others even for a highly skilled person. Plus they are sexing tens of thousands of chicks in a day, working until they get through all of them. They can get pretty tired. Most hatcheries guarantee 90% on correct sexing, I think most do a little better than that. But the more chicks you get the more likely you are to get a male. Those odds are on each chick. If you are really unlucky you can do much worse than 90%.

From what you describe it is highly possible you have a male. Four weeks is a little early to tell for a lot of chicks but it is certainly possible. At that age you will mainly get clues that it might be a male, nothing really that definitive, but occasionally you get one that you can tell at hatch.

At that age size is a clue but don't depend on it too much. When you post those photos give us a good head shot showing any comb and wattles, size and color. Dark red is a really strong clue, so are wattles. Give us a shot of the legs, heavy legs usually means male. And try to show posture. A male often stands upright while females ore more horizontal.

Some people will tell you that you have to have a ratio of 1 to 10 or civilization as we know it will end. It is guaranteed doom and gloom in the flock, life will be horrible for your flock. I kind of grin when people tell me I can't do what I do all the time. My normal laying/breeding flock is one rooster and 6 to 8 hens. My hens are not barebacked or over-mated, they do not live in terror of the rooster. One thing that I think helps in this is that I have a lot more space than the minimums you read about on here.

Each chicken, male or female, is an individual. I have had roosters that were not that well behaved, they disrupted the peace and tranquility of the flock. I've had hens that disrupted the peace and tranquility of the flock. I don't allow these to breed or stay with the flock. A good friend once called me ruthless in this regard. I thanked her for the compliment.

There is a world of difference in roosters and hens versus cockerels and pullets. If that is a cockerel it is very likely you will see a lot of drama down there until the cockerel and the pullets mature more into adulthood. With pullets that maturity often comes around the time they start to lay. With cockerels I've seen that level of maturity anywhere from 5 months to 11 months. The cockerel is more important than the pullets but they play a part too. Many people get really upset when they see what I consider normal adolescent behavior. Many cockerels literally lose their heads when they go through this phase for what I consider normal pullet/cockerel behavior. Occasionally you do get a brute that needs to be removed from your flock but usually they grow up and behave responsibly if given a chance.

I always recommend that you keep s few males as you can and still meet your goals. The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Everything else is pure personal preference. It's not that you are guaranteed problems with more males, it's just that problems are more likely. If you determine that the correct number for you is zero, don't feel bad at all. For a lot of people it is the correct number.

Good luck on it being a female!
 

sphillips

Songster
6 Years
Feb 18, 2013
225
229
156
New Mexico
Do you know what hatchery those production reds came from? Production Reds is just a marketing name. From some hatcheries they may be sex linked but from other hatcheries they are not. From the hatcheries I've seen they are not normally sex linked so yes, they have to rely on vent sexing.

You are right, vent sexing is not 100% accurate. How accurate it is depends on the skill of the person doing it, but some chicks are a lot harder to tell than others even for a highly skilled person. Plus they are sexing tens of thousands of chicks in a day, working until they get through all of them. They can get pretty tired. Most hatcheries guarantee 90% on correct sexing, I think most do a little better than that. But the more chicks you get the more likely you are to get a male. Those odds are on each chick. If you are really unlucky you can do much worse than 90%.

From what you describe it is highly possible you have a male. Four weeks is a little early to tell for a lot of chicks but it is certainly possible. At that age you will mainly get clues that it might be a male, nothing really that definitive, but occasionally you get one that you can tell at hatch.

At that age size is a clue but don't depend on it too much. When you post those photos give us a good head shot showing any comb and wattles, size and color. Dark red is a really strong clue, so are wattles. Give us a shot of the legs, heavy legs usually means male. And try to show posture. A male often stands upright while females ore more horizontal.

Some people will tell you that you have to have a ratio of 1 to 10 or civilization as we know it will end. It is guaranteed doom and gloom in the flock, life will be horrible for your flock. I kind of grin when people tell me I can't do what I do all the time. My normal laying/breeding flock is one rooster and 6 to 8 hens. My hens are not barebacked or over-mated, they do not live in terror of the rooster. One thing that I think helps in this is that I have a lot more space than the minimums you read about on here.

Each chicken, male or female, is an individual. I have had roosters that were not that well behaved, they disrupted the peace and tranquility of the flock. I've had hens that disrupted the peace and tranquility of the flock. I don't allow these to breed or stay with the flock. A good friend once called me ruthless in this regard. I thanked her for the compliment.

There is a world of difference in roosters and hens versus cockerels and pullets. If that is a cockerel it is very likely you will see a lot of drama down there until the cockerel and the pullets mature more into adulthood. With pullets that maturity often comes around the time they start to lay. With cockerels I've seen that level of maturity anywhere from 5 months to 11 months. The cockerel is more important than the pullets but they play a part too. Many people get really upset when they see what I consider normal adolescent behavior. Many cockerels literally lose their heads when they go through this phase for what I consider normal pullet/cockerel behavior. Occasionally you do get a brute that needs to be removed from your flock but usually they grow up and behave responsibly if given a chance.

I always recommend that you keep s few males as you can and still meet your goals. The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Everything else is pure personal preference. It's not that you are guaranteed problems with more males, it's just that problems are more likely. If you determine that the correct number for you is zero, don't feel bad at all. For a lot of people it is the correct number.

Good luck on it being a female!
 

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