do hens or roos feather first?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PurplePoppiPpl, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. PurplePoppiPpl

    PurplePoppiPpl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i recently got 2 blue laced red Wyandotte chicks i think are now about 2 weeks old. i thought they were the same age but i now see that one is significantly larger. The larger chick also has much more feathering the other chick only has started feathering around it's wings. does this mean the smaller chick is probably a hen?
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Any size differences between chicks of the same clutch and parents are due to genetics, not gender, up until the pullets are already laying and at their adult height, when the boys begin to get bigger because they keep growing, as a general rule of thumb. In my experience both genders keep growing at a slower rate after their first year, up for at least another year. I used to think two years to full adult size but some of my hens are still going, lol, they're all over two years old.

    All things being equal you still get runts, so that might be what's happening.

    Another general rule of thumb is that males feather slower, it applies to many breeds and also many mongrels/mutts. I don't know of any breed where they feather faster than females. There's a good chance your smaller chick is male.

    Some also have growth disorders so time will tell if that's what it is... But any setback, whether a chill or temporary illness or injury or stress, can set a chick back so its resources go from growing into recovering, which can put them behind their clutchmates developmentally.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. rc4u

    rc4u Chillin' With My Peeps

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    most always the hens get longer tail and wing feathers and roos short tail and wing feathers and this starts to notice at two to 4 weeks and up to 8 weeks......combs watlles and feet size make no difference at young weeks...jeff
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    While what Jeff said is generally true, how you raise them, what their genetics and diet are and so forth have a massive impact, I could sex some chooks even before they had hatched properly by crest development etc and there was often an easily sexed ratio from chicks under a week old due to precocious development. Sometimes you can tell, but probably with the majority, you can't, you need specialist sexing techniques like vent-sexing, breed-specific (i.e. feather growth or sex-linked colors or unique sex-linked traits) or similar.

    Best wishes.
     
  5. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know if this will help, but this young BLRW turned out to be a boy. We never intended in having a boy in the flock, but at about 22 weeks of age, he's really being good. Not aggressive (although I do get dirty looks when I'm messing with his girls), and doesn't crow TOO much.

    The give-away for us was how quickly his wattles grew and turned red.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  6. PurplePoppiPpl

    PurplePoppiPpl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the reason im worried is how one of them has more feathering than the chick in these pictures, and the other one only has a little wing feathers. also the more feathered one is a little bigger with thicker looking legs and head,
     
  7. Aronia

    Aronia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    roos
     

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