Gender confused orpington? (17 weeks)

Eika

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 1, 2013
37
1
34
Hi all,

Well in all honesty the chicken itself is probably not confused - but I am!

We have 4 orpingtons born new years day this year (17 week old).
One black one is a definite rooster, he's about twice the size of the others and has a gorgeous big wattle (is that the right word? I mean the red thing on top of his head, new to this LOL)
Another 2 are definite hens, they are quite small with not-so-developed wattles.
And the last one I thought was a roo, as his wattle developed at the same speed as the big boy. However he's only about as big as the hens. Is this normal? I wonder if he's remained so small as the black one is dominant or something like that? They have 3 acres to free range and are fed daily so it's not a nutritional issue, he's just quite small. Is it possible he's a hen with an unusually developed wattle, or is he indeed just a small roo? If it helps, I've seen him fighting occasionally with the big roo, as in jumping up and kicking at each other. I assume hens don't do this, so it again suggests he is a boy. I'm quite new to this and before these guys only had pol pullets before.

Advice appreciated! I'll try to put some pics up too :)
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
117,730
330,728
1,957
New Jersey
Wattles hang down beneath the face. The 'red thing' on top of their heads is called a comb. Hens as well as cockerels will spar and play fight. Does the bird in question have pointed saddle and hackle feathers? If so it too is a cockerel.
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,557
6,887
516
middle TN
At 17 weeks, the hackle (neck) and saddle (lower back) areas usually look notably different between male and female. Males will have long, skinny, shiny feathers there that females never have. A patterned female can give the look of pointed feathers around the neck but inspecting a single feather will make the difference easier to see.
 

Eika

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 1, 2013
37
1
34
Thank you! He is indeed a rooster - shame as I was looking forward to keeping 'her'.
Useful diagram that! :)

Eika
 

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