How much does an early comb mean for gender?


Jun 10, 2022
This is more of a general question because taking pictures of all the angles, of these crazy chickens can be a real workout. 😅 We have 11 almost 9 week old chicks. 5 lavender orpingtons, 4 black copper marans, and 2 crested cream legbars. The 2 legbars are auto sexed, but their markings weren't very good. The breeder said she was pretty sure they were girls, just with not so great markings. So far, they both seem like girls! But, as the professionals, you know, the orpingtons and BCM take time. I only have 1 that has the red comb and waddled so far out of all of them. We named him "rooster." Orginal, I know. 😅

But this is the only thing I really know to go off of. Is an early comb like this a pretty for sure way to look for gender? I will post some pics below, but not looking for anyone to search and gender them all. But as you can see, all of them have pretty small combs, except one. Hoping Rooster may be our only rooster. 😅

Btw... I heard it's always great to have one Rooster, but I really didn't want one at first.

But, I kid you not. That Rooster is my favorite. 😅 He runs to us and is always so excited to see us! Rooster may be the best chicken surprise ever. ❤️


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The Legbars are for sure females. I think only the one Orpington is male. The pure black Marans is a little questionable. Probably a pullet but it bears watching. The rest look like pullets. Not a bad haul!

To answer your question, comb size and color plus wattle size and color are the main things to look at when sexing birds under 11 or 12 weeks old. So they are very important.
I prefer comb color and leg size, rather than just comb size on its own. I've got pretty good at telling sex from comb color when the littles are 3-4 weeks old.
Rooster is definitely a cockerel! The rest look like pullets from what I can see, except the blackest one might be a cockerel.
Oh man! You guys are so fast and helpful! I don't know what took me so long to jump in and make an account. ;) Thank you so much!!
11 week update. All the others, I believe, are girls... but here is the one in question that you all said could be a rooster! ❤️ It is the darkest of the marans, with no copper. I put a picture of others from the same hatching group to compare. Thank you all so much!


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13 week update. All black one is the one in question. The one with more copper is one from the same group to compare. The black ones comb hasn't changed much 🤔


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Also, one with our for sure rooster of the same age. But an orpington.


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