Chick sexing by behavior, accuracy?

impr3

Chirping
Sep 26, 2020
60
125
63
Lake County, CA
I have 10 three week old chicks, mostly barnyard mix. I know it's early to be able to sex them by appearance, particularly given they are all different mixes so I can't really compare one to another. However, they do have clear little personalities. I'm wondering how accurate behavior is for sexing chickens?

Of the ten, two are frequently getting into dominance fights with one another. They are also among the most outgoing and inquisitive. I'm thinking roos but could be dominant hens?

Two are submissive to a T. The chicks absolutely love lentil sprouts and will go crazy for them, but these two won't be at all pushy in going after them. Even if I deliberately hold the sprout where only Asa can reach it, (s)he will daintily porch at it at snail pace leaving the other chicks plenty of time to find a position they can steal it from... I'm guessing hens but could be super docile roosters?

So, how accurate is behavior for sexing chicks? Guessing accuracy increases with age? Any tips on particular behaviors to watch for? Thanks!
 

HappyClucker7

Crowing
Apr 28, 2016
3,519
10,754
482
New York
Sexing by behavior is very rarely accurate. I have two roosters, and neither of them acted like boys at all when they were younger.
 

FuzzyCritters

Songster
Mar 13, 2020
887
1,229
156
Kitsap county, WA
Behavior isn't very accurate. I had a bantam that I was 100% sure was a roo because she was aggressive and wanted to be dominant over all the other chicks in the brooder... she turned out to be a pullet. Same with an inquisitive, aggressive ameraucana that also turned out to be a pullet. One of my other ameraucanas was sweet and docile, and I was sure he was a pullet, but he turned out to be a roo (the ameraucanas were leg banded since they were chicks, so I know I did not mistake one for the other as they grew up).

That being said, my known rooster chicks were known to do dominance fights with each other, like what you're describing. Your two chicks that are frequently fighting could be roos. With the two docile chicks, there is no way to know until they are older. They could be pullets, or cockerels lower on the pecking order than the other cockerels.
 

AOrchard

Chirping
May 27, 2020
58
103
63
Wisconsin
I had a batch of chicks where it actually worked pretty well and another where it definitely didn't. I think of behavior like a stereotype, there are plenty that fulfill it and plenty that don't. I personally wouldn't use behavior to sex them and then make decisions (cull, sell, etc), but I would use behavior to make a guess and then begin planning (just as an example, after watching behavior, okay if about 10 roosters I'll probably want to keep the best one for breeding and then be prepared to process the rest, or if I'll have about 4 roosters I'll probably want to prep to get some more broilers to round it out).
 

impr3

Chirping
Sep 26, 2020
60
125
63
Lake County, CA
Thanks everyone. This is really helpful. I guess I'll stop fretting so much about who's who for now and wait a month or two before I can get a more certain read based on appearance.

One of the ones that always gets into dominance fights (the one that always loses :() is the friendliest of the chicks and the most willing to snuggle with me and watch TV, so I'm glad I don't have to resign myself to him/her going in the stockpot for sure.
 

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