At what age to secondary sex characteristics develop?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by EmsoffLambs, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. EmsoffLambs

    EmsoffLambs In the Brooder

    Jul 13, 2007
    Chilcoot, CA
    Hi, I'm experienced with other livestock but am completely new to poultry. About 7 weeks ago, I purchased 8 light brahmas and 5 dark cornish day old straight run chicks. They are now, obviously 7 weeks old and are growing well. I plan on butchering all but two cockrel and keeping the pullets as layers/breeders. I can't find anywhere the age that male and females can be determined by feather/comb/wattle development. Some of the birds are getting bigger than the others now with more comb and wattle development, but I don't know if this is due to sex, or just differences in maturity.

    Any help would be great. I've read the Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry cover to cover, and have done some internet research, but I'm just not finding the info I need. I've been a member of a sheep forum for years, so I know that you just can't beat the experience of knowlegeable, helpful folks! Thanks in advance.
  2. Country Gal

    Country Gal Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    You may need to wait a while longer before you can tell for sure. Mine are about 10 weeks old and I am just now figuring out which ones are cockerels and which are pullets.
  3. Rooster01

    Rooster01 Songster

    Feb 25, 2007
    Southern WV
    7 weeks is a little young to be sexing them. Give it another 3-4 weeks and then it should be easier.
  4. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    i could tell immediatly when the cockerels bump chests. i bought 3 chicks 2 were males. i knew because the comb grew fast and they were bigger. i then replaced one with a pullet and then eventually had to get rid of my dear dear rooster who i loved dearly penelope, (she was a cross dressing rooster). i got penelope thinking she was a boy but a lady at the feedstore kept telling me that boys and girls get the combs early. not with my experience. penelope was a rooster and we had to get rid of him because we live in the city. so right now i have 2 females and i am getting a cuckoo maran pullet real soon (i love you only need a minimum with three so it is easy to go in with an order on somebody) i am naming her lenore [​IMG] my dad named his chicken (the first female ) fajita and my mom named hers gordita.
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    With Lt. Brahmas, you may have to wait a little longer than the others. They mature more slowly. Chest bumping is not an indicator since all chicks do that in establishing pecking order, including the pullets WITH the cockerels. If you had Barred Rocks, for instance, you'd know already in 99% of the cases since there are male/female differences besides the wattles/combs. In Lt. Brahmas, usually the males have more of a black wash of feathers down the back past the collar area and the girls have a more perfect "Elizabethan Collar" effect. Here is a picture of my sexed "pullet" from Ideal who turned out to be a cockerel to show you that area on the back. He was a doll, but I already had several rooster and had no interest in breeding Brahmas, or he would have stayed:

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