Are there tell-tale signs if a chick is male?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by EmilyOstertag, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. EmilyOstertag

    EmilyOstertag Just Hatched

    Mar 6, 2017
    I bought 5 chicks in the beginning of March from a source that guarantees 90% of them be hens. They are about one month old now and are growing fast! This is my third year raising chicks, and every year I have gotten them from this same source. So far, I have never gotten a rooster, or male chick, and wouldn't be familiar with the signs of a chick being male.

    So my questions are: How early can you tell if a chick is male? And are there specific signs I should be looking for--physical or characteristic--that would indicate if a chick is male?

    As of now they all pretty much look and act the same as every other chick I have raised in the past, all of which are female. I'm just not sure how I would be able to tell and am curious.

    Thank you!
  2. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Around age six weeks, or a little before, you may notice larger, redder combs and wattles on the boys.

    Two summers ago, for the first time, I had a chick crow at around seven weeks. That's usually a dead give-away.
  3. EmilyOstertag

    EmilyOstertag Just Hatched

    Mar 6, 2017
    Okay, thank you for the pointers! :)

    I will keep an eye out for larger, redder combs and waddles in two weeks or so. Wow, a crowing chick?! That must've been pretty funny, and cute! [​IMG]
  4. KyloRenChicken7

    KyloRenChicken7 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 2, 2016
    Quote: Definitely the combs, for sure.

    Our boys also had thicker legs than the girls, before their spurs grew out.
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Have you ever played "which one is not like others?" Well, it's just like that. In a group of birds sexed pullets they will all look the same. On the off chance a cockerel slipped into the mix it would look different than the others. Lankier looking with honking thick legs. This is how to tell males from females as soon as hatch day without vent sexing. They will literally stand more upright. There is no way to not notice a male in a group of females especially if they are all the same breed but even if different breeds the boys will stand out. They just wont look like the others. Some notice these differences naturally and others need to train themselves to notice the differences but in a nutshell, once you note the difference in stance and leg size and length it will be very easy to pick out cockerels in a flock then after.

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