guessing male/female at an early age - what to look for?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by patandchickens, May 9, 2008.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Mine are only a little over a week, but just so I know, as things unfold...

    I assume (?) the ones with the larger combs, even early on, are likelier to be roos?

    What about how quickly the tails feather out, does that matter?

    Anything else to look for?

    (edited to add: and how early can one make a reasonable educated guess, even if not 100% correct?)

    I did try 'search' but couldn't come up with an intelligent word or phrase that didnt' return too mixed a bag of results, sorry. You can just point me at another thread if you want.

    I am *hoping* that the GC runt turns out to be a girl, since my son has already named it [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance,

    Last edited: May 9, 2008
  2. Gindee77

    Gindee77 Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    QCA, Illinois
    From what I've found out, about 4-6 weeks is the earliest you can really tell anything. Altho I had a 3 1/2 week old BR start getting a red comb. I've used this to determine which chicks I'm keeping...I can't have roos!

    Here's something I posted recently. It's from the University of California-Davis...this is an excerpt.

    I found this to be pretty good (so far...LOL) but there are always exceptions, unfortunately! [​IMG]

    2. Physical Characteristics (4-6 weeks of age)
    a. Comb – The cockerels comb is medium size and pinkish, the pullets is small and yellowish.
    b. Legs – The cockerel’s legs are sturdy and long, the pullets are finer and shorter.
    c. Tail – The cockerel’s tail is stumpy and curved, the pullets is longer and straight.
    d. Back – The cockerel has a thin line of stub feathers down the center of his back, the pullet has more advanced feathering along the center of her back.
    e. Side of neck, flank and crop – The feathering in the cockerel in these areas is poorly advanced, the pullets feathering in these areas is well advanced.
    f. Wing bows – In the cockerel the wing bows are bare, in pullets the wing bows are covered with small feathers.

    Hope this helps. [​IMG]
  3. plfreitag

    plfreitag In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2007
    wright city mo
    With some breeds it's easier to tell than with others. Some have specific color differences between males and females, particularly sex links and Cucloo Marans. Males tend (notice I said tend, not always) to have bigger legs in most standard breeds.

    Otherwise, by about 4 or 5 weeks you'll notice the comb getting larger and darker with males, depending on the breed of course.

    Trisha in MO
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Gindee, thank you!! Very clear and comprehensive! (And thank you Trisha too [​IMG]) This is a really stupid question, I'm sure, but what exactly are "wing bows"? [​IMG]


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