Can you predict gender by behavior

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cochinfan, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. cochinfan

    cochinfan Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2009
    I am spending a lot of time watching my dozen bantams in the brooder. Several of them spar with each other like you see adult roosters do. Is that a good indication they are roosters? They are about 8 days old and just starting to get little feathers. Do hen chicks ever spar? I'm wondering if I'm on the right track to predict gender...
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    They all spar with each other at that age, they are establishing pecking order. But, it's fun to guess.
  3. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Speaking solely from personal experience, by no means am I any kind of expert, but the baby chicks I've had that were the most aggressive during that first week do, in fact, turn out to be roosters. Sure, almost all chicks play fight, but it's usually very fleeting and done in passing. My chicks that turned out to be roosters, by the time they were six or seven weeks old, were having semi-formal little cock fights, and it was purposeful and lasted longer than the other kind of play fight.

    In my current batch raised this summer, when they were six days old, I noticed one little guy who was rambunctious and aggressive. I thought he might be male, and I had ordered all pullets. When I examined him, his thicker legs and larger feet were a dead give-away. I took him back and exchanged him for another chick that they assured me was a pullet. They apologized and said he had gotten in with the pullets by mistake when some kids came into the store and handled all the chicks and put them down in the wrong pens.

    When I got Penny home and put her in with the others, first thing she did was run around giving everyone a peck on the head, sort of like she was tasting them. As they grew, Penny was lead chick in everything. This last week, I noticed Penny was getting much larger than the rest of her mates. Her legs were thick and long, and her feet huge. She began sporting green tail feathers. I posted her photo here and everyone assured me Penny was certainly a rooster. Her name is now Penrod. I still call him Penny.

    Again, this is my own opinion and experience. Mileage may vary.
  4. LivinNewDreamInND

    LivinNewDreamInND Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    From my meager one time raising chicks. I also think that you may be able to tell from behavior. I ordered all pullets and I had promised to name my smartest chick Tia after my sister in-law. I had one chick that stood out from all the rest, it would run up to my hand as soon as I opened the brooder, it always got the first treat and the most treats. That smart little pullet turned out to be my one and only rooster and he is a big mouthy show off now! I of course still call him Tia, lol. I think it helps keep his machismo in check [​IMG] .
  5. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    I've been able to pick out some less than week old little roos based on behavior alone. And, so far, I've been right every time.
  6. cochinfan

    cochinfan Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2009
    It is definitely entertaining to watch these tiny things. I am sure that I have identified two of my roosters. One of them spends a lot of time gazing at the top of the brooder. I have a horse tank in my tack room. He is definitely dreaming of escaping and establishing his domain. I suspect that if I don't move them to a bigger tank soon he will be out soon.

    I'm glad to hear they all spar a little. I have some that only once in awhile it occurs and I'm hoping those are pullets. These bantams are incredibly fun. So far it looks like I have two definite frizzles and one that is a maybe right now. I'm waiting for more feathers. I thought the bigger chicks were fun! I am even more smitten with these bantams.

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