Barred Rock chicks sexing/new to chickens


8 Years
Aug 19, 2011
Amery, WI WI/MN border
Hi! New to raising chickens and when trying to research how to tell Barred Rock pullets from cockerals I am finding the same infomation posted, (small symetric head spot, darker in color and black on legs)-sometimes stating this is charcteristic of pullets other posting show this is a characteristic of cockerals. Help!
I have 5 BR (4 that are 4 days old and 1 that is 2 wks old), 2 cochins (2 wks old) and 1 Polish top hat mix (2 wks old). What personality characteristics and appearance should I look for when hoping I chose females? Also, if I end up with multiple roo's, is it safe to have multiple roosters in the same coop/pasture if I have enough hens? We are converting (almost done!) part of our mini horse barn into a coop (aprox 12 x 22 ft) and creating a fenced run outside for them as well (870 sq ft). So I have enough space to add adult hens to even out the hen/roo population if needed. (I wanted to start with a dozen for now while I learn, and add in the spring as I came across breeds/hens of interest). Also, living in the country, hoping to discover if I've been a safe enough "fortress" from all the wild life (racoons, bald eagles, hawks, fox, badgers, bear, coyotes, snakes, hunting dog, barn cats-ugh-can I ever keep them safge?) before adding to the population.
Any advice or help would be appreciated.
I can't help you with the BR questions but do know something about predators. Dogs will dig under and chew through wire that is too light gauge. Raccoons will climb any wire fence, chew through light gauge, dig under and pull wire loose where it isn't very securely attached. Hawks are a problem also if the run isn't covered. Snakes will get in and eat chicks. Even rats can be a problem and the list goes on! Hope that helps some and your flock is blessed! Welcome to BYC! Hope you find out the BR stuff!
BR female chicks are black on their bodies. BR male chicks have a silvery sheen to the black. If you have a large group of them kind of squint when you look at them. The lighter ones are male. It is easier to tell once they start feathering in. BR males will have a wider stripe of white than the females. Again, as they start putting out feathers the lighter colored ones are male.
I have a hard time telling with the head dot truthfully. Some of them are confusing. Same with leg color. Once you figure out what you are looking at with feather color though it is unmistakable.
PeepBlessed: Argh! So what I'm thinking at this point is: keep them in the coop except when Im around to be outside with them. I know this isnt the best for them, but at least they will be alive? And over time with me out there I can start pin pointing the dangers and ways to fix them. What I dont understand is, how do people free range their chicks and not lose all of them?
CityGirlintheCountry: First off-love your nic LOL that SO describes me! Grew up a small town girl, move to Cali for 18 yrs and now back to small town/country life......takes some adjusting.
Thanks for the advice on my babies: Maybe I can post pictures soon? The 4 lil ones I have...are almost tri color, in that they have black on head and wings, silver on body? One of the lil ones has the beginning of feathers and already has white tips on them? While my 2 wk old had black feathers come in and is just now showing some of the white barring? Is this typical to have such deviation?
Also, I swear, one of them is SUCH a lil fluff ball I questioned the breeder several times if it was a pure BR...she assured me it was......Looks like a fluffy penguin! Is the amount of fluff on them any indicator? IF I had to guessfrom what Ive read-the lil fluff ball has yellow legs and larger spot on head...and kinda lighter over all :-( I am crossing my figners they are all girls
Almost everyone locks them in a night when the coons come out. Some people run a couple of agressive roosters with the flock. They will really attack a stray dog (unfortunately they can be dangerous for small children) and are very watchful for hawks (the chickens will run for cover if there are trees near by (as in my case). I have had dogs attack when I was right there in the yard yelling and screaming! Coyotes (if you're not around) also will come right up to the house in broad daylight and they are quick killers. At least they only take one. A raccoon will kill the entire flock.

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