First time with new chicks


12 Years
Feb 22, 2007
Belleville, WI
I just placed my very first ever chick orders. I ordered some from McMurray and a few from Ideal. This may have been a newby mistake, but I ordered one of these, one of those, two of that one, etc. etc. What I'm reading here is that most people don't really know who's who until the kids start to grow up. Is that the case? I ordered an assortment of heavy cockerels for meat in addition to the pullets and a couple of roosters that I want to keep. Will I be able to tell them apart by the time I'd want to butcher the meat birds? I'd hate to accidentally get rid of the wrong birds. With the exception of the meat assortment, I ordered pretty distinctive breeds (standard cochins and such, but not all feather-footed). I guess my question boils down to how soon can you really tell sex and breed, not being an expert?
You can get a pretty good indication of boys/vs girls and breeds by 8 weeks in most standard breeds. By that time the combs and wattles will usually be a lot redder and more developed in the boys, and they will be most fully feathered to determine breeds.

Have fun with your chickies!
Hi- I am by far an expert.........others on here will advise you further, but it is my understanding that yes, you will be able to tell them apart by the time they are makin their way to the stew pot!!!

So there will be no mistake as to who is stew!!

Good luck
You should have no problem telling the birds apart, especially by the time they are ready for butchering. Keep the McMurray catalogue handy because they have some pretty nice pictures of the different chicks. You be able to tell most of the breeds just by looking at those pictures. However, gender may be a little more difficult, but I doubt it will be an issue. These birds will be quite a few months old by the time they are even remotely large enough for the stew pot!

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