At what age can you be positive that pullets are not roosters?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HaloAmanda, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. HaloAmanda

    HaloAmanda Out Of The Brooder

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    Will have extra birds and plan to thin out when they are a bit older (all under 6 weeks currently) but I'm wondering at what age can I be POSITIVE none are Roos?
     
  2. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Depends on the breed. A picture is worth a thousand words. Best wishes.
     
  3. HaloAmanda

    HaloAmanda Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh I have such a mix over here. Barred rocks, jersey Giants, black stars,Orpingtons, brahmas, silkies, legbar, welsummer, faverolle, Cochin, a sultan and a few others.

    They are all way to young currently and were sold as sexed pullets but I know it's not 100% and just wondering a safe age to start thinning out my flock and not accidentally end up with roosters and therefore less hens than I would like. Like can you be sure by 20 weeks? That brings me into January probably not a good time to cut down anyway.
     
  4. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Isolate them one on one and determine what ones are laying eggs then you will have 100% confirmation they are hens, some individual roosters hide themselves very well into maturity up to even 30+ weeks in some breeds but most breeds and roosters should be clearly obvious by 20 weeks as they should start crowing and exhibiting mating behaviors :)

    Several of the breeds you listed could have been 100% visually sexed the minute they came out of the eggs, so there is little reason those breeds were not properly sexed, others like the barred rocks are easily visually sexed once they feather out...
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If you don't want to wait until point of lay to see which are crowing and which are laying, usually by six weeks of age, the cockerels are sporting noticeably redder combs and wattles than the pullets.

    In some breeds, the plumage of the males is darker and more "vivid". Legs may be thicker and longer. By ten weeks, you will start seeing pointed saddle feathers emerging, and if you look underneath, you may see colorful pin feathers on breeds that are multicolored.
     
  6. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With the 11 peeps my broody hen hatched this spring from Light Brahma roo x Silver Leghorn & Amercauna hen cross eggs, I could tell at 9 weeks.
    Out of the 5 of them that I kept as pullets, I was 100% correct.
    Had one other I was sure it was a pullet but it had issues and was culled.
    Other 5 tasted like cockerels...... :)


    The ones I culled as cockerels all had red combs at 9 weeks and their tail feathers were pointed & "floppy". They were also quickly developing longer saddle feathers. I will try to dig up photos tomorrow.
     
  7. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Depends on the breed. All breeds can be sexed by feather with 100% accuracy once they develop their older juvenile feathers - if you know what to look for. Feathers don't lie. In most breeds, the latest these gender specific feathers will come in will be 14 weeks. Extremely slow feathering breeds, like Barred Rocks or Oriental Gamefowl, might take up to 18, but these are exceptions to the rule.
     
  8. HaloAmanda

    HaloAmanda Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you have any links explaining this?
     
  9. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I think she is talking about the saddle and neck feathers.
     
  10. HaloAmanda

    HaloAmanda Out Of The Brooder

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    That's what I was thinking. I'll have to study some pics of the different breeds once I figure them all out hahahaha there was some mix ups and some freebies which I don't mind but it's hard figuring out who is what at this age lol they are all 6 weeks and under.
     

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