how do you know if chicks are boys or girls?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by MollyBlane1, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. MollyBlane1

    MollyBlane1 Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Feb 7, 2012
    I have ten 8-week-old chicks. They are really starting to look like real, full-grown chicks, so I am hopeful to tell gender soon. I would really like to get rid of any roosters if I have any because I have heard it is hard to get rid of them.
    One chick seems to be the dominant one, kind of bossing everyone else around. Could this mean "it" is a rooster? If not, do my other birds like being bossed around? I know it is probably natural to have Alpha, but I want them all to be happy.
     
  2. ramirezframing

    ramirezframing Overrun With Chickens

    9,119
    302
    298
    Mar 2, 2011
    Knee Deep
    bigger redding combs and wattles for roos, or you can put pics up and we can help you. But there will be an alpha in the group no matter what
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,136
    3,343
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It depends some on breed and sometimes individual chicks can sometimes be pretty hard to sex even at that age. At 8 weeks, you should be able to tell with most of them but there could easily be some that are still undecided. We occasionally get some twice that age where we can't reach agreement looking at photos.

    One big thing to look at is comb and wattles. A rooster's comb and wattles will turn red faster than a pullet's. The wattles will usually develop quit a bit faster. The comb too, but how much the comb developing depends some on what type of comb they have. This is not always a sure thing, but wattle development and color are real big clues.

    A rooster will often have heavier thicker legs. That's a big clue for me.

    Roosters will develop pointy saddle and hackle feathers while the pullets saddle and hackle feathers are more rounded. For me this is usually not evident by 8 weeks, but happens a little older. But once you can see that, it is a real strong sign. Pretty much a dead giveaway.

    Do not look at the spur buds. Pullets can have those and the spurs don't grow until much later anyway. I don't go by behavior until they start to sexually mature. By then there are other things that will tell you.

    I can't describe it, but once you see it for yourself, you'll understand. Roosters and hens have different postures and conformation. Their bodies are put together differently. Roosters normally have a more upright posture, longer legs, and thicker necks. This is one for me that you develop a feel for.

    Usually by 4 to 5 weeks I have a real good feel for which of mine are roosters and which are pullets. Usually, if I think one is a rooster, it is. Pullets can be a little harder to be sure of because some roosters are slower to develop. At 8 weeks, I'm practically always sure, although I occasionally have a question mark.

    You need a few more posts to be able to post photos, a total of 10 I believe. Go greet some new people or get some more posts, then show us some photos. A good shot of the head is important, but a full body shot showing legs really helps too.
     
  4. MollyBlane1

    MollyBlane1 Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Feb 7, 2012
    [​IMG]
    White-y is the alpha bird, the one I was originally worried about being a rooster.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  5. MollyBlane1

    MollyBlane1 Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Feb 7, 2012
    [​IMG]
     
  6. MollyBlane1

    MollyBlane1 Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Feb 7, 2012
    [​IMG]
     
  7. MollyBlane1

    MollyBlane1 Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Feb 7, 2012
    [​IMG]
     
  8. MollyBlane1

    MollyBlane1 Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Feb 7, 2012
    [​IMG]
     
  9. MollyBlane1

    MollyBlane1 Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Feb 7, 2012
    [​IMG]
     
  10. MollyBlane1

    MollyBlane1 Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Feb 7, 2012
    [​IMG]
    I have two of these little ones, but I apparently did not get a photo of both. They both look a lot like this and have much more pronounced combs than the others - any chance that is their breed?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by