gender question - combs, waddles and spurs

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by snowlyf, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. snowlyf

    snowlyf New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2010
    Orange County, CA
    I'm sure this has been answered before (probably many times) but I couldn't find a thread about it, so I'm asking again.

    I have 7 chicks that will be 5 weeks old this coming Monday. The eggs came from a local feed and tack store and I'm sure all the chicks are mutts. The feed store will take back any chicks, but they like them to be around 4 weeks old max. I'm hoping to return just the roosters. I posted some pictures a week ago and got some opinions on genders. I'm trying to be as sure as possible because I'd hate to give up the wrong chickens :)

    2 of my 4 white chickens have very large combs. One has pinkish red waddles (is that the name?) on the sides of his mouth that look like they are beginning to droop. The other (roo?) also has these, but they aren't quite as large yet. The other 2 (guessing they are pullets) have yellowish, VERY small combs. None of the believed to be roos have spurs yet. When do these develop? Are combs, waddles and spurs the best way to distinguish using secondary sex characteristics, or is there something better? Someone mentioned the shape of neck feathers, but I honestly can't see any difference among any of the 7.

    Thanks in advance for any help on this. I haven't raised chickens since high school and so I'm having to re-learn everything. All help is appreciated for this newbie ;-)
     
  2. JMPE

    JMPE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 1, 2009
    Western Wisconsin
    At 4 to 5 weeks the combs and wattles will be your best tool for guessing. It's tough without a breed because some develope more rapidly than others, but I would guess that any with well developed combs and wattles or those who are turning red at this age are most likely roos. Spurs come in later (both sexes will have bumps early on) and the feathering will not be clear for weeks (pointed tail, saddle and hackles are ways to ID roos that are older).
     
  3. aschassberger

    aschassberger Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 4, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Thank you! I was wondering the answers to these questions as well. :)
     
  4. snowlyf

    snowlyf New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2010
    Orange County, CA
    Yes, thank you! That was very helpful [​IMG]
     
  5. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Spurs are not 100% accurate for judging gender, anyway. I have a bantam cochin roo who will be 2yrs in October whose spurs are about 1/2" long. I have a polish roo, turned 2yrs in June, whose spurs are over 2" long. I have a couple welsummer HENS, 1yr this past March, whose spurs are nearly an inch. I also have a polish HEN, 2yrs, whose spurs are over an inch. I also have hamburg HENS, 2yrs, with 1" spurs.

    I agree, red in the combs and wattles at this age is usually fairly accurate for sexing.
     

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