Can you tell the gender at 4 weeks by the tail feathers?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 31, 2010
Hi everyone, My baby chicks will be 4 weeks in a day or two. I have two mixed breed chicks (black autralorpe mixes). I got them from a farm, that obviously is not equipped for sexing.

They both have a great temperment from being hand raised since hatching. They look the same in every regard, with the exception of their tail feathers (and coloring). One of the birds already has tail feathers that are more developed and standing more upward than the other one. Not straight up all the time, but defintely more pronouced and vertical. I am not too sure if I am just stressed out about this, or if they really do start to show gender differences in their tail feathers this early. (?) Since they are mixed, I am not too sure if the one bird perhaps has genetics for more pronounced tail feathers. I am confused!!!
Please help!!!

We are not zoned for roosters, and I am so afraid I will have to give him back to the farm.
Tail feathers at 4 weeks should never be judged, especially on angle, for boy vs girl.

However, with the fact that they're Australorp crosses, that means they have a single comb - Which you CAN sex at 4 weeks old. If you'd like help, posting pics can let us sex them for you.
Often (not definitively) girls will feather out more quickly at that age. But you can't really stake anything on that.

If you have a boy, you will likely notice the difference pretty easily within the next 2 weeks or so.
Thanks for the replies! I feel a bit better now. I am so stressed about one (or both) of them possibly being a boy - we are already so attached to them; they are such wonderfull little chicks!!! They love their exercise time out of the brooder - especially perching on my son's head!!!

I am keeping my fingers crossed that they are both girls.
They are feathering out at the exact same time and fairly quickly. In fact, they are are almost feathered already, with the exception of their neck and head. Time will tell; in the meantime I guess I'll just wait patiently! Thanks once again!!!

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