How old and how do you tell if it's a rooster?


Feb 19, 2018

Have some 1-1/2 wk old chicks. 90% sexed, but there's always a chance a rooster is in there. My question is when will I know? And how will I know?

Yep, 6-8 weeks should tell the tale with most breeds...sometimes sooner.
Bigger and redder combs and wattles are often screamingly obvious.
Yup. I've got Rhode Island Reds. When they were about 6 weeks old the cockerels stood out. Their combs were a slightly different shade of red and bigger.
From what I've heard, at the hatchery, they sex the chicks by looking at the feather length on the leading edge of the wing-or something like that. But, no you can't tell the difference just by looking at the feathers. At least not with Rhode Island Reds.
Hatcheries use vent examining of the inside of the vent. The difference between masle and female is often minimal, causing the 5-15% error rate. Below is an illustration of why it is an art rather than a science
Left Cockerel Right Pullet.jpg

Wing feather s ecing is on applicable to chicks bred specifically for it by crossing fast and slow feathering patent lines, resulting in chicks with sex linked feathering rates thst can be read in the first three days of life.

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