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How can I tell if these Australorp chicks are hens or roosters?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Toodles, May 24, 2016.

  1. Toodles

    Toodles Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2014
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    I have five seven week old Australorp chicks that I got at the local farm store; all were supposed to all be pullets. Three developed tail feathers the first week, two barely have tail feathers at seven weeks old. These two also have developed pink to red combs and wattles that are much larger and more developed than the three pullets. The pullets have small, yellow combs and no wattle development yet.

    The attached pictures are of the suspected roosters.

    If these are roosters and they breed with my hens, will the hens hatch and raise the baby chicks without intervention on my part? I also have 11 RIR and Barred Rock hens that are 2 years old, will Australorp roosters also breed with these hens? The only experience I have with roosters is once again buying pullets and getting a rooster in the bunch. He was extremely aggressive and was culled before he was a year old. Not a good experience, not sure I want anything to do with a rooster again.

    My hens are free ranged on the days I don't work during the warm months of the year so would a rooster be helpful in protecting them in this situation? I keep hens for the eggs and the only advantage I see in having a rooster is possibly growing the flock without having to raise baby chicks inside the house!


    Any advice and answers to my questions is appreciated!

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  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    These are both cockerels. If your hens go broody, yes, they will hatch and raise chicks once these two are old enough to breed with them. They won't discriminate, so they will mate with your RIRs and BRs too. Also, any eggs hatched from your barred rocks will be sex links - chicks that hatch with a white dot on their head will be male and those without one will be female. This is 100% accurate so you'll know the gender of those chicks from hatch :)

    They will help protect your flock, that's one of a rooster's main jobs. He'll look out for danger and alert the hens if he sees any.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  3. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps


    Barred Rocks are sex links? :confused:
     
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    No, but chicks that are a cross between an australorp rooster and barred rocks are, which is what the chicks would be.
     
  5. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps


    Oh.... ok. I thought it was a RIR rooster and BR hen that made the sexlinks... with the males having a spot on the head and the girls not having the spot...? Or is that wrong?
     
  6. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Yes, those are also sex links. It's not just RIR males over barred rock hens that do this. It's any male that's not white and not barred.
     
  7. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps


    Oh ok.... so only black males? I'm wondering about Buff Orpingtons? I have 24 straight run, so I imagine I'll keep one of those roosters. But I'll have 3 BR hens. :D
     
  8. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Buff orp males work too. Any male at all works over a barred hen to make black sex links as long as the male isn't barred, which of course would ruin it because he would be passing the barring on as well as the hen, or white, which masks the barring and makes it so you can't see it, not to mention the male could be carrying barred in the white and you wouldn't know.

    So, any male of any breed, as long as the male is not barred and not white in color.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  9. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps


    Awesome. I love learning about all this. :D So what color would the chicks be? From a BO rooster and a BR hen? Is it only BR hens that you can do this with?
     
  10. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Likely the hens will be black with maybe some color leakage and the roosters will be black barred, again maybe with color leakage. I've never done that particular cross myself so I'm not 100% sure.

    And actually any barred hen works. So barred rocks, crested cream legbars, dominiques, cuckoo marans, etc etc. Any of them will work.
     

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