CHICK - LONGER Tail Feathers- Roo or Hen? PIX also...


12 Years
Mar 11, 2007
Near Gallup, New Mexico
If a Four Week old chick has longer tail-feathers than its siblings, does this indicate a Roo or Hen or nothing at all?

Three chicks are whitish colored, 1 is buff like the Momma. The Daddy is a Red Sex-Link, Momma is a Buff Orpington.

Pix are on a subsequent post here.


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In my Dels and Partridge Rocks - that's a girl. In my barred mixes it would depend on other feathering as well.
Since it can be both breed and line dependent, once you've CROSSED you're generally ...well, screwed...
The buff chick has longer tail-feathers than the others, and I need another Rooster, so I'm hoping that this one is a Roo. Apparently, ONLY TIME will "spill the truth".

I reckon I'll know by Christmas.......ha-ha!

That they stick up, like a hen-tail, or droop, like a roo-tail? Look at the feathers on the neck, too, and in the saddle area, just in front of the tail, and see if they're rounded or pointy. Roos have pointy feathers in those areas, but sometimes the points don't show up when they first feather out. It can take a little while sometimes, to see them.

Got pics? I've had a bugger of a time I.D.'ing gender in young birds, but I'm getting a lot better at it than I used to be. How old are these chicks?
Here are some PIX taken with my cheap, ole JamCam3. Not good quality pix, but it's what I can do digitally:




These chicks were hatch by their Momma, the broody Buff Orpington hen, Mopsy, Four Weeks ago.

In cochins, the chicks with the fuller tail feathering are pullets. The cockerels always take longer to feather out and go through a real gawky stage. Is gawky a word?

I think yours are old enough to use the comb method. A cockerels comb will redden early. A pullets won't until she's nearing laying age. The pics are a bit too grainy for me to see but maybe you can.

If I had to guess, I would say in the first pic, the white one closest to the camera and the red one are both cockerels. eta: then looking at the last pic, the red one looks like a pullet with the full tail and rounded saddle feathers ???
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