Get Straight Run chicks--at what age can you tell if they're Roos?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sarahandbray, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Songster

    Aug 12, 2014
    My husband is designing the chicken coop for about 20 hens. We're getting straight run chicks this week. I was hoping to have culled the males before it was time to let them out in their permanent coop & enclosure since in am trying very hard to make sure they all have adequate space.
    Will I know who are the hens/Roos before it is time to let them out in their coop?

    Thanks! Can't wait to have you guys help me guess their breeds!

  2. DanEP

    DanEP Songster

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    It will depend a lot on what breed your getting, some you can tell right away some not for quite awhile. If you can tell us what breed or breeds your getting we can give you a better answer on the timing.
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    With sex-linked birds, you can tell the males from the females at hatch. However, with most breeds the roosters only become apparent at 6-8 weeks of age, when they start developing larger combs/wattles and even crowing. There are some exceptions, though. For example, Silkies are so hard to sex by appearance that sometimes you don't know until they crow or lay an egg.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Unsolicited advice........I'm not understanding why you're getting straight run birds if you're going to cull the males this young. This time of year, chicks don't stay in the brooder very long at all, some just go straight to the coop. Is there a reason you're not getting sexed pullets, and do you have a plan for how to cull the cockerels? Also, 20 hens is a lot of space! How large is the coop and run you're planning? Minimum, depending on your area/climate, would be 80 square feet for the coop and 200 for the run, to house that many grown birds.

    Okay, to actually answer your question...depends on the breed. Most breeds, by 6 weeks you can tell by comb development, feather color and leg thickness, although you have to take the whole bird into consideration, not just a single characteristic.
  5. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Songster

    Aug 12, 2014
    Straight run seems to be how they were offered in the special lot price through McMurray, and also the breeds I was looking for through chickenscratchpoultry seemd to only come as straight-run day old chicks as well :(

    We go through a lot of eggs in our family in a given we live next to in-laws, uncle, cousins and my husband's siblings. That alone would probably keep quite a few chickens busy, but since we have a popular farm stand, we're hoping to sell some as well in front of my house as my youngest son's "business." (11-year-old daughter sells veggies and floral bouquets from our garden, middle son sells used golf balls from my parents' property on a golf course, but our youngest wanted a business plan, too! Trying to instill entrepreneurial spirit in them at a young age!)

    We are starting a coop, fenced run, and paddock area from scratch. Collectively, between the three families, we probably have 5 acres, so we should be good on space. We plan to pasture the chickens predominately while we're home and then will have them in a run when we aren't. I don't think free range will work with three dogs, neighborhood cats and hawks/coyotes in the area.

    I guess my question was that we were hoping to set up adequate space for the hens long term but don't want to overcrowd either in the short-term. I'm very aware that we need lots of space both inside the coop and outside in order to keep the peace. I was wondering how long ALL the chicks would be in the coop before knowing if they're hens/Roos.

    Upstate, NY....they will be 6 weeks in the beginning of October. Can they move outside then, assuming they have their feathers?


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