cloverhs

In the Brooder
Sep 24, 2020
17
20
34
Spring, Texas
I have three bantam EE chicks from Ideal Poultry that are two weeks old now and they're all identical (eyeliner-ed and "chipmunk"-y, as people say), and they started feathering at like three days old and faster than all our other bantam chicks, all three easter eggers feathered at the same speed so I feel like I never got a chance to attempt wing feather/tail feather sexing.

What indications should I be looking out for in the next few weeks for pullets or cockerels? I've heard of counting the rows of their pea-combs, and I've seen people say once they're pretty much fully feathered that broken-patterning is a sign of a cockerel and even-patterning is a sign of a pullet in EEs. If anyone could elaborate on this, correct anything, or share any informative sources/links that'd be appreciated!
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,714
19,135
726
USA
they started feathering at like three days old and faster than all our other bantam chicks, all three easter eggers feathered at the same speed so I feel like I never got a chance to attempt wing feather/tail feather sexing.
The feather sexing wouldn't have helped anyway, because it does not work unless someone deliberately crosses the correct pattern of rooster and hen to get sexable chicks. If they had bothered to do that, they would be selling sexed chicks at a higher price.

What indications should I be looking out for in the next few weeks for pullets or cockerels? I've heard of counting the rows of their pea-combs, and I've seen people say once they're pretty much fully feathered that broken-patterning is a sign of a cockerel and even-patterning is a sign of a pullet in EEs. If anyone could elaborate on this, correct anything, or share any informative sources/links that'd be appreciated!
It could be months before you are certain of pullets.
But it's easy to be certain of some males from an early age.

At first, watch for redder combs & wattles (males). I usually find it easier to see red in the wattles before I notice it in the combs, but some other people find it easier to look at the combs. Comparing one to another is often helpful--unless you end up with 3 of the same gender, in which case it doesn't help.

I've never had much luck counting rows of "peas" in the combs, but apparently it works for some people.

Listen for crowing. I've heard plenty of cockerels start crowing before they are two months old. Yes, of course there are also some cockerels that wait 6 months or more before crowing--they like to keep us guessing :rolleyes:

When they're about 2-3 months old, take a good look for saddle feathers. They grow just in front of the tail, and on a male they grow long and narrow with pointy tips, and they hang down on each side of the tail. ("Pointy" is the shape of the actual feather. Some pullets have pointy markings inside their rounded feathers.) Saddle feathers are a very clear indication of a male. Normal hens NEVER grow those pointy saddle feathers.

There are certain arrangements of colors that are found only on males or only on females. Look for photographs of Welsummers, or Brown Leghorns, or Silver Duckwing chickens for good examples. The black breast on a multi-colored bird is a male-only trait. The female coloring is also sex-specific, although it's less obvious than the male form. Because Easter Eggers can come in so many different colors and patterns, you will probably not be able to sex them all by color--but even knowing what one bird is can help a little.

You're right that even or patchy patterning can also indicate gender, but I'm not good at recognizing it, so I can't help you there.

When they've got a good amount of feathers, you can post pictures and some people here will offer gender suggestions. When we all agree, we're usually right. (Of course when we disagree with each other, then some of us must be wrong :lol: )

A frustrating thing is that cockerels mature at different rates. So some males are obvious before they're a month old, others keep people guessing until they're almost a year old, and most are somewhere in between.
 

cloverhs

In the Brooder
Sep 24, 2020
17
20
34
Spring, Texas
The feather sexing wouldn't have helped anyway, because it does not work unless someone deliberately crosses the correct pattern of rooster and hen to get sexable chicks. If they had bothered to do that, they would be selling sexed chicks at a higher price.


It could be months before you are certain of pullets.
But it's easy to be certain of some males from an early age.

At first, watch for redder combs & wattles (males). I usually find it easier to see red in the wattles before I notice it in the combs, but some other people find it easier to look at the combs. Comparing one to another is often helpful--unless you end up with 3 of the same gender, in which case it doesn't help.

I've never had much luck counting rows of "peas" in the combs, but apparently it works for some people.

Listen for crowing. I've heard plenty of cockerels start crowing before they are two months old. Yes, of course there are also some cockerels that wait 6 months or more before crowing--they like to keep us guessing :rolleyes:

When they're about 2-3 months old, take a good look for saddle feathers. They grow just in front of the tail, and on a male they grow long and narrow with pointy tips, and they hang down on each side of the tail. ("Pointy" is the shape of the actual feather. Some pullets have pointy markings inside their rounded feathers.) Saddle feathers are a very clear indication of a male. Normal hens NEVER grow those pointy saddle feathers.

There are certain arrangements of colors that are found only on males or only on females. Look for photographs of Welsummers, or Brown Leghorns, or Silver Duckwing chickens for good examples. The black breast on a multi-colored bird is a male-only trait. The female coloring is also sex-specific, although it's less obvious than the male form. Because Easter Eggers can come in so many different colors and patterns, you will probably not be able to sex them all by color--but even knowing what one bird is can help a little.

You're right that even or patchy patterning can also indicate gender, but I'm not good at recognizing it, so I can't help you there.

When they've got a good amount of feathers, you can post pictures and some people here will offer gender suggestions. When we all agree, we're usually right. (Of course when we disagree with each other, then some of us must be wrong :lol: )

A frustrating thing is that cockerels mature at different rates. So some males are obvious before they're a month old, others keep people guessing until they're almost a year old, and most are somewhere in between.
Sooo helpful! Thanks so much for your time and effort.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,378
42,896
1,156
southern Michigan
As @NatJ already said, feather sexing wouldn't help with these chicks. I look at combs and wattles, for brighter red and slightly larger in some chicks; again, if you have all of one sex, not so useful. Cockerels will have color in their combs and wattles early, while pullets won't. Saddle feathers come in later than hackle feathers, and pointed hackle feathers (at the back of the neck) are only present in males.
Sometimes coloring helps, but not always.
Our first EE chicks were difficult for us to sex, but over time, we got better at it, and it's generally not so hard now. Experience!
Love our bantam EEs!!! Ours are from Cackle, and some hatched here, and more coming from Cackle in April. I've been keeping the birds with slate rather than green legs, just because...
Mary
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom