Brahama - when can you tell if they are hens? What am I looking for?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Montana-Hens, May 7, 2008.

  1. Montana-Hens

    Montana-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    320
    5
    143
    Feb 20, 2008
    Buxton, Montana
    I am a first time chick raiser. I have a small collection (4) of what was bought as pullets, one of them a buff brahama. I am only at week 3 which I know is early.

    But I am constantly looking a them for signs. What signs are there that will let me know I have a little lady?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    7,505
    19
    301
    Jan 30, 2007
    WV
    Brahmas are hard to sex til they reach around 4 or 5 weeks if that...I raise Lights...a cockeral will usually get a good thick peacomb of orange/red, and his wattles will start....pullets have a thin pale peacomb, no signs of wattles early on....Sometimes you can miss til they are older...
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    124
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Gindee77 posted a list from some state university awhile back that listed several ways to tell pullets from cockerels at an early age. I've been using it and comparing it to my brahma chicks, esp. the two Ideal marked as cockerels. The one thing I've noticed with mine is the bare "shoulders" (wing bows) on the males; whereas the girls are more feathered in that area. Mine are 4 weeks old today. Also, and this could be my imagination, my roos have longer necks.
     
  4. Mrs. Foghorn Leghorn

    Mrs. Foghorn Leghorn Out Of The Brooder

    68
    7
    41
    Mar 26, 2008
    East Central FL
    Since you have already called upon some wisdom of Brahama folks here, might I add some pictures of mine? One of you said you had 4 wk olds. Mine will be 4 wks on Wed the 14th.

    I have one that I'm guessing to be roo and 2 girls.

    Secondly, I have found some mixed messages on googling them. Could I keep the hens for eggs or are they strictly for meat only?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The above two may be the same chick. They're pretty close in resemblance. Below is Lucky. I think Lucky may be hen.
    [​IMG]

    Quote:
     
  5. coloradochick

    coloradochick Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,503
    11
    213
    Dec 19, 2007
    Brighton, CO
    Tuff, is there a chance that the pullet will look almost identical to the cockerel? I've got 2 Buff Brahma Banties and they look just alike but the slightly bigger one is crowing, being aggressive and the smaller one is more layed back and not crowing. They are going on 13 weeks. Sorry to hi-jack Ms Montana but I've been wondering the same thing myself.

    C
     
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    7,505
    19
    301
    Jan 30, 2007
    WV
    The pullets will look identical to the cockerals except for the comb and wattles..a pullet tho will be smaller ...cockeral comb will be orange/red and thick width wise..pullets pale and thin...they mature very slow and they are wonderful layers especially in winter...I would not use one for a meat bird unless its a cockeral and remember they won't lay until around 6 months old....

    Mrs. Foghorn Leghorn, nice looking Brahma chicks....
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2008
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    124
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Mrs. Foghorn Leghorn, I hate to steer you wrong, but...
    the pics you posted look like hens to me. My little cockerels have much redder and larger combs than that. Also, I can't see their legs real well in those pics, but the legs look kinda thin to me? Again, my baby roos have thicker, longer legs. If yours will be 4 weeks old this week, I'm sure in another week the comb will tell the story. Wattle development in mine is almost even, with the roos having wattles that are only slightly more developed.
    Also, keeping your hens for eggs? Of course you can! That's what their for, ain't it? Brahmas are considered dual purpose birds, but being so slow to mature aren't really all that great for meat. Mine will be 5 weeks old on Wednesday, the 14th. Ever single day that passes it becomes easier to tell the roos from the hens at just a glance.
    Coloradochick, the hardest ones for me to tell apart at this age is my buff brahmas.
    Edited to add this pic of Zeus when he was 4 weeks old, for comparison to yours.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2008
  8. Mrs. Foghorn Leghorn

    Mrs. Foghorn Leghorn Out Of The Brooder

    68
    7
    41
    Mar 26, 2008
    East Central FL
    Quote:First, I love your farm joke..... pun intended or not. [​IMG]

    Secondly, thank you for your advice. No wonder the info is conflicting on the internet. I'll probably keep them for eggs. I don't want to eat my babies. :eek:
     
  9. coloradochick

    coloradochick Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,503
    11
    213
    Dec 19, 2007
    Brighton, CO
    Heya Gritsar,

    That's who I'm having my problem with (Buff Brahma Banties). They look exactly alike except for a teeny size difference, the smaller one has slightly (but noticeable) smaller wattles, and the smaller one has a tamer disposition. I'm leaning towards girl on the smaller. The bigger one started crowing at 6 weeks (all my banty roos did) and he is just a poop head to everyone. I'm really wanting to know what he/she is because I'm thinking HE needs to go. [​IMG]
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    124
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I'll try to post pics of my buff brahmas later today, although mine are standards, not banties. Today is my sleep day, after a 24 hr. shift and it's looking to be about naptime #2. I'll post em in this category for ya coloradochick, but under a seperate thread. Didn't mean to hijack your thread Montana-Hens, sorry. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by