Brown Leghorn: Pullet or Roo?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by melalthia, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. melalthia

    melalthia Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2008
    Boulder Creek, CA.
    Hi everyone!
    I'm a new chicken owner and I'm really learning a lot from this forum. Two other families and myself are investing in chickens together and we acquired 10 lovely pullets from a organic farm. (They had a backyard chicken class that I took, since i will be the main responsible party for the babies.) 4 brown leghorns, 4 New Hampshire reds and 2 araucanas.

    The babies are 4 weeks old, and one of our leghorns is sporting a really fancy comb; much larger than the rest. What do you think? cockerel?
    In the 2nd photo you can see the subject in question standing next to another Leghorn for comparison.



    Thanks so much for your imput!
  2. Pine Grove

    Pine Grove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2007
    Lakeland, Ga
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Yeppers, that's a baby roo alright. [​IMG]
  4. Gloria

    Gloria Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have to second that, Roo.
  5. Poohbear

    Poohbear On a Time Out

    Nov 12, 2008
    Definately a rooster!
  6. melalthia

    melalthia Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2008
    Boulder Creek, CA.
    wow.. that was fast! Thanks guys...

    So is it just because he has an enlarged comb? Or are the other signs? In my class the teacher told us that you couldn't really judge by the combs because pullets have combs too. She said you had to wait until they started crowing.
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Oh, I love Brown Leghorns, the guys are so gorgeous with their classic Kellog's corn flake logo looks. Those golden heads & necks, the metallic greens in their tails & chests, the coppers & purples in their backs & wings. And then that proud upstanding red comb and the swaying wattles. I have one named Stetson who is a dandy, not real friendly as far as allowing himself to be petted or held, but not at all aggressive either.

    This kid in the pic sure looks like he wants to be a boy with that comb popping up already, and the other one in the pic looks like a hen. They get a rose-colored chest and gold stripes in the middle of their brown back feathers.
    [​IMG] and welcome to the delights of chicken keeping!
  8. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Color & patterning on the feathers can be a clue, it is especially obvious in "Brown" pattern as in these due to rather dramatic color differences between the sexes. The other one in picture is a female and already showing early signs of the classic adult female coloring(light hackles for one) and the guy is showing a much darker pattern that will eventually turn into the black and red pattern of Brown leghorn roosters. His hackle feathers are coming in dark and either now or soon, you will start to see dark feathers on the chest and breast.. while this area feathers out and stay light on females. Check out pictures of adult female Brown Leghorns (actually any Black Breasted breed in any breed.. for some reason they chose to call this pattern 'Brown' or 'Light Brown' in Leghorns)

    Comb size can be reliable, especially if it is comparing within same breed of the same age.. if you use it along with other clues it can be very helpful.

    However, it can get tricky by comparing a breed with big combs with breed with small comb or different comb type(such as pea). Leghorns tend to have large to extremely large combs especially on the roosters, so a leghorn female compared to say, an oprington female could fool you into thinking the Leghorn female was a male.

    Comb size is also genetic and can vary wildly in within the same breed though! Again in this case, the feather color pattern did help confirm his being a male.

    ETA: whoops, someone already responded to the color.. yes, the gold lacing on the girls!
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2008
  9. melalthia

    melalthia Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2008
    Boulder Creek, CA.
    Fantastic! Thanks for the information everyone!
    You sure know how to make a girl feel welcome...

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