By George! I think she's got it! (Telling the boys from the gals)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 4H kids and mom, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Well, after a couple months of reading, posting, and all that, I'm starting to feel like a real chicken expert! [​IMG] And tonight I proved myself RIGHT!

    I went out to the coop for their bedtime check and lock down as I do every night. Now, as you all know, I've been wracking my brains trying to figure out the boys from the girls in our flock. Tonight I was feelin' bold, after all that happened earlier, and got an idea.

    I'd remembered reading someones post earlier about how the roos protect their ladies. So, I wondered just how early they would show this protective streak, and decided to try a little experiment of my own. [​IMG]

    Most of what we think/know are hens are fairly friendly, minus the odd few of them. One of them (we are SURE she is a hen) is REALLY skittish compared to everyone else. I walked about slowly in the coop and closed in on her. I cornered her so she had nowhere to run to. She darted this way and that, but couldnt get away from me. Then, reaching from above her eyeline, I grabbed her (gently of course). She SCREAMED!

    Next thing I knew I had FIVE of the "I thought you were a roo" boys at my feet jumping up at me, bumping my legs, and pecking hard at my pants! All of them had OBVIOUS roo posture....head held high and alert, neck feathers ruffled out, tail held high, chest puffed out....and all of them had their eye on me! I could just read their minds! They were sizing me up! "Is she a threat?" "Does she mean us harm?" I was shocked, but thought I'd try it again.

    So I set her down, and the roos were all over her, checking her out, one preened her. After all had settled down, I cornered another "I'm sure you're a hen" and repeated the process. I got the same responce! This time, I looked around to see the whole flock during this time. The "I think your hens" ran to the corners, huddled and watched from a distance. The "I think your roos" became alert, responsive, defensive, and bold. Their whole posture and attitude changed! It was amazing!

    We've now got it figured out. I know the boys from the gals. With only two "I'm still not quite sures". [​IMG] And, I've already found a possible cull. [​IMG] He's a healthy Easter Egger roo, but his comb is badly deformed and he is really a hodge-podge bird. Maybe, I can find him a home (anybody want him?) so I dont have to send him to the table, but, as we can only keep 2 roos and maybe 1 additional soley as a breeder, he will not be one of the ones we are keeping. [​IMG] I want to breed healthy peeps and all.... <<sigh>>
  2. pdavis7484

    pdavis7484 In the Brooder

    I think I must have a full flock of hen's if your theory is correct. All mine run into the corners when one of the ladies gives that " hey get away from me chirp" when ever I corner one of them. Nonetheless, I'm gonna give your test a shot in the morning. Maybe I'll get a challenge from a mighty 4 week old RIR roo.[​IMG]
  3. cookinmom

    cookinmom Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    So after the testing, what was the verdict on Chickenduck? Hen or roo?
  4. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Deffinately a roo. His comb is fuller and brighter red than anyone elses, and he was the first one to run over to me when he heard the hen scream. <<sigh>> I hope he'll stay a NICE kids are so fond of him. I'd hate to have to turn him into soup! [​IMG]
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I wish that worked for me! When I stir around the shavings in the nursery coop, I have two I know are pullets attacking the scooper and the roos run away in fear, LOL!
  6. pdavis7484

    pdavis7484 In the Brooder

    Geez...I still have no idea. I guess that is half the fun though.
  7. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    How old are your chicks? I'm puzzling over my flock and I wonder if a similar test might work with some of mine. Having five breeds makes it even harder, I think, because some of the breeds seem more bold, excitable, etc.

  8. djwingo

    djwingo In the Brooder

    Mar 11, 2007
    Kellyville, Oklahoma
    I went into our local co op today and yeah i know.....bought 2 of the leftover colored chicks they were on sale the old man there swore by the hold them around there neck if they lift their legs up they are roos and if they leave them hang they are pullets theory he said i have 2 hens but well see ........i think i will give ur theory a try in the morning wish me luck as i am kinda scared of my hubbys roo lmao he is only abt 5 weeks old trying to break myself of this habit of being skittish around him any advice??? thanks [​IMG]
  9. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    YOU have to show your roos that YOU are the boss, the Top Dog. When they run at you, they are challenging you and you should (gently) knock them down, or tap them (not a hard slap) until they get the picture and run off. You should also not allow them to challenge the other chicks in your pressence, or 'have their way' with the gals when you are around. I hear this is how you put them 'in their place' (with the more aggressive roos).

    Luckily for me, I havent had to do this yet, as my roos are only 5 weeks old, and they are quite docile. I believe that is due partly to their breed (Ameraucana) which is known to be docile and gentle by nature, and also due in part to the constant daily handling they have had since day one. In the beginning, half the chicks were friendly, and half were skittish. Now, they ALL come over to us when we enter the coop! The only advice I can give you is to hold them, hold them, hold them. Talk softly to them, give them snuggles and kisses, purr/cluck/chirp/cheep to them, and do it EVERYDAY.
  10. Carole AM

    Carole AM Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    Goshen, Indiana
    djwingo said :

    "the hold them around there neck if they lift their legs up they are roos and if they leave them hang they are pullets theory"

    I stopped at a Rural King store yesterday, and the girl said the same thing! I hope they aren't ALL sexing by this method! Needless to say, I didn't get any! Their water was filthy, and to me they ALL looked like lil roos (comb)​

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