How early can you accurately sex Barred Rock chicks?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Cowgirl71, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    "Their plumage is black and white barred which is the result of the barred (B) gene. Because males are the homozygous sex, they have two barred alleles (BB) and are therefore lighter in color than the females, which are the heterogametic sex and have only one barred allele(B_)." - Ideal Hatchery

    How early can you accurately sex Barred Rocks?

    I'm just wondering because my family tried Cornish X meat birds for the first time this year. They are now three weeks old and are very high maitenance. You have to take away the food in the evening and put it back in the morning. You have to change their bedding every day, and even then, they're stinking up the house from the basement (they poop a LOT). And we know from research that this is just the beginning.

    Last year we tried RIR and BR roosters, and they were really tough, only good for dumplin's and soup. And they were REALLY mean to the pullets.

    So, we're thinking about caponizing dual purpose breed birds. To do that, you need to know the gender at three to five weeks old. And I'm not willing to buy sexed males from a hatchery, as they are way to pricey, if you ask me. I'd like to be able to hatch my own...
  2. cletus the rooster

    cletus the rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    the males are silver with black bars,the females are black with white bars[​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  3. Knight Hawk Ranch

    Knight Hawk Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2007
    Labelle, Florida
    The barred rock males will be much lighter in color when they start feathering up at around 2-3 weeks. Some can tell by looking earlier. The ones I hatched I could tell which were which easily by the second week. The barring on the males is a lot lighter in color.
  4. cletus the rooster

    cletus the rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    do you see the difference in that pic?at 3 weeks it is very easy to tell.i will have pics of a hatchling in about 2 weeks and you can see the difference right away.
  5. cletus the rooster

    cletus the rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    here is a 2 week old boy with the girl in the background see his wings? [​IMG] the 2nd pic shows a 2 day old girl.they have a more uniform white spot on their head.the boys spot tend to be irregular [​IMG]
  6. colby318

    colby318 got 'dottes?

    Jul 14, 2008
    Stamping Ground, KY
    Much to Tractor Supply's dismay, I was able to pick out the female barred rocks in the tub for other customers. They females "should" have a a very sharp white spot on the top of their heads. They day old males will have a blurry-blended smear. Now, these were hatchery chicks from Mt Healthy. I don't know how it will hold for SQ stock. I bought 15 of the females to resell for myself and only ended with one roo out of the bunch.

    I did a couple of google searches for sexing day old barred rocks - one from the University of Florida that stated that the male spot is larger and the female is more narrow.
    Hopes this helps and if this counters what someone else here has observed, let me know! I love messing with TSC. (They're always offering me a job!)
    Gawiseacres and windy acre farm like this.
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

  8. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Yup. I got 7 females out of 8 at the local so-op straight run bin. I'm hoping for 8 out of 8 next year. [​IMG]

    With the day olds, the females have a dot on their heads and are all over darker. The males have a white smudge on their heads and are more silvery looking over all. Once they start feathering out, the males are noticeably lighter in color. Plus, the one male I ended up with grew a red comb and wattles a lot faster than the girls.
  9. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    Thanks everyone! This is really neat! I'm starting to realize why Barred Rocks were (and still are) so popular. Excellent layer, good for meat, the ultimate blend-in color (for predators), AND sexable by color when young!

    Speckledhen: Does the leg color thing apply to Barred Rocks too?
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yes, for the most part, the girls will have a dark wash down the leg fronts. I'm told that some show lines are not that way, but generally, yes, you can go by that. Some males may have a bit of dark, but it won't be all the way down the leg like the girls.

    Here is an old document that backs up the other article with accuracy percentages.

    Historical Document
    Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station


    It had long been recognized that the size of the light head
    spots in Barred Plymouth Rocks varied in the two sexes. The
    males tend to have larger headspots and the females to have
    darker colored legs. However, this method has not been sufficiently
    accurate to be of much commercial value.
    Quinn and Knox (1939) attempted to separate the sexes of
    Barred Plymouth Rocks by means of the intensity of the black
    pigment in the down and legs. In different lots of chicks they
    report 83.5, 86.1 and 91.8 percent accuracy.

    Jerome (1939) describes a method of sex identification in
    Barred Plymouth Rocks based upon the regularity of the outline
    of the head spot rather than the size of the spot. Those chicks
    having headspots irregular in outline and scattered in appearance
    are males while the females tend to have headspots with
    more regular outlines. The author claimed an accuracy of 90
    percent or better when considering only the headspot and 95
    percent if the color of the legs was included in the consideration.

    The Canadian Department of Agriculture (Anonymous 1941)
    issues an excellently illustrated bulletin describing the method.
    It is stated in the bulletin that the method “is widely practiced
    in Barred Rock chicks by commercial chick sexers.” Sex identification
    is based upon outline of head spot, color of legs and
    shade of down color. There are several types of male and female
    head spots some of which are shown in Figure 1.​

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