Guessing the genders of our chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MichiganWoods, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
    We have been wondering when we could really tell what gender birds we have. Well, for some of these guys, we're on week 4 and it's becoming obvious. These are the 7 guys that hatched around election day.

    We saw reference to UC Davis Veterinary Care Program, and found their page that gives the following info:

    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.

    According to this, we can determine the following.

    Rhode Island White Roos (2)
    Combs - Much larger than the hens and beginning to turn pinkish
    Backs - Thin line of stub feathers
    Wing bows - Bare

    Rhode Island White Hen (1)
    Comb - Way smaller than other two RIWs
    Back - Fully feathered
    Wing Bows - Covered in small feathers

    Easter Egger Hens (4)
    Back - Fully feathered
    Wing Bows - Covered in small feathers

    I'd bet on the RIWs being right, but the EE's are a little harder to tell. There is just 1 that I think could possibly end up a roo, but hey, if they are all hens? I'm happy!

    I already know I got 8 EE hens from Ideal, and 6 EE roos.

    That would bring a total of 13 hens and 8 roos. Then I have the 5 fridge-babies. I have a feeling at least 2 if not 3 of those are going to turn out to be roos. Keeping my fingers crossed for more hens! [​IMG]
     
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Whoa. You did a lot of research! We just wait until they either crow or lay an egg.
     
  3. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

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    DC Region
    Debi is right. Until it lays an egg or really whollops out a good set of crows. You don't know. Can ya guess? Maybe close? Maybe. There's always the odd bird or the odd line.

    That said I've about half and half pullets to roos - with three no guesses at this point 6-7 weeks. Some apparent males - have pretty much reddish combs now and wattles. Some apparent pullets have only yellow brown combs which are very small. Coloring is beginning to differentiate as well.

    And my lap Roo, Tuchus, has a bunch of wannabe black tail feather stubbs that are itchy and I should scratch it. He says so. [​IMG]

    The largest roos are beginning to show some arch to a few feathers, and all the cock spats are entertaining.

    Of the outsider flock, the buff orp roo who thought he was a big deal in the house is a small buff mouse in the coop. The battle of the midget roos was getting on my nerves in the house, so they got to go outside today and learn their manners. Nothing like TEN older larger Roo boys to show them they're not such a big ol thing.

    I'm quite pleased to be able to add the heated kennel pad to the brooder area of the coop floor. I rest a lot easier knowing there's heat coming from above on one side and below on the other, and they can choose. I put a shelf above the light with straw on it and now some sleep up above in the warmth coming up to the perch area.

    Now I can stop defending the house from pine shavings. Yay. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    They're all roos until they lay an egg. Period. Stay suspicious. Keep notes. As you actually develop a line, it is easier. Take photos. Eventually you'll have a good guess pretty early but it takes time.
     
  4. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
    I'm a bit of a science geek, I admit. Duly noted that guessing is just that; guessing! I always liked a good guessing game. [​IMG] But seriously I am anxious to see eggs and hear crowing. One of our neighbors roosters has been crowing a lot lately and I am actually looking forward to hearing that in my back yard. I must be crazy. [​IMG]

    Here's what I think the roos are/look like.

    [​IMG]

    The feathering on this guy matches the other one I think is a roo, and both of their combs are larger than the speculative hen. Neither of the "boys" are as feathered overall as the "girl".

    And here's the one that looks like a hen.

    [​IMG]

    See how her comb is all rather uniform and quite yellow, while the guy in the first picture has some of the little nubbins that are beginning to bulge out and turn pink? I also noticed that her tail feathers were a lot longer and straighter than the other two.

    A lap roo? I've a feeling we're going to end up with one of those too. [​IMG] The little guys we hatched are a lot more tolerant of us petting them. The guys from the hatchery like to walk up and stare at me, or peck at my boots, but hands freak them out. They don't mind my camera and/or flash though! In fact, until I pull my camera out, they are walking around all nervous-like, wondering why the heck I'm in there. It's quite funny.

    I've got two brooder lamps and a heat unit (with tilt=auto turn off, over heat=auto turn off, power surge=auto turn off features). I've got the heat unit secured on a small shelf I bolted firmly to the wall, then enclosed with hardware cloth so the chickens couldn't get at it to knock it over and what not. I dust it at least once every other day to keep that from sparking any fires (I'm very paranoid about that). The two brooder lamps are hung securely over a 2x4 I've got that runs from wall to wall near the wall/roof seam. I dust off the brooder lights at least once a week, though I'm going to start doing it more often. I decided that it was either move the chicks outside or say goodbye to the carpet around my doors. My cats REALLY wanted to say hello to the chicks when we had them in the brooder in our walk-in closet.

    I'm taking pictures and notes! Aaaagh... gotta wait until it's nearly spring to find out for sure. [​IMG]
     
  5. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
    Well, it's nearly two weeks later. I'm 99.99% sure now that it's two Rhode Island White roos and 1 hen. I'm going to give the better bodied RIW roo the RIW hen and a few EEs to nestle down with in the playhouse coop come the spring. I want to hatch out some more purebred RIWs.

    Here's some pictures of some of our EEs as of yesterday/today. I named the files according to what my guess was for the gender, but please feel free to jot down your gender guesses! I'd like to hear them. [​IMG]


    #1 [​IMG]

    #2 [​IMG]

    #3 [​IMG]

    #4 [​IMG]

    #5 [​IMG]

    #6 [​IMG]

    #7 [​IMG]

    #8 [​IMG]

    #10 [​IMG]

    #11 [​IMG]

    #12 [​IMG]

    #13 [​IMG]

    #14 [​IMG]

    #15 [​IMG]
     
  6. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    I agree with all of your guesses.
     
  7. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    #13 looks like a roo.
     
  8. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    Quote:That's what its labeled as.
     
  9. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    6,076
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    263
    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    Quote:That's what its labeled as.

    Oh sorry, my bad.
     

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