1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

How old to tell hen vs roo?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AlleysFarm, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. AlleysFarm

    AlleysFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    3
    81
    Dec 29, 2012
    Demotte, IN
    About how old can you tell a chick is going to be a roo? Having the worst luck with roo's vs hens (about 75%) when I buy unsexed chicks.. I think the blue copper maran's I have are going to be both roo's :(
     
  2. jenifern

    jenifern Chillin' With My Peeps

    145
    3
    73
    Mar 15, 2013
    Canada
    I feather sex as early as I can. About day two is the best time to do it, though it's not always right for some breeds. I have a barred cochin crossed with a wyandotte roo and he was born with a white spot on his head, which in most cases means rooster. His wing feathers say he's a rooster too. Of my most recent hatch I have half and half if the feather sexing is correct.

    As they age I find it's easiest to tell by the neck feathers which are typically pointed in a roo and rounded in a hen. And roosters usually have ugly big legs and feet, hens are more dainty. Those are just some of my own observations.
     
  3. AlleysFarm

    AlleysFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    3
    81
    Dec 29, 2012
    Demotte, IN
    Well if I go by the feathers then I have two roo's.. Just sucks as I got six chicks and 80% of them are roo's.. rotten luck :)
     
  4. LillianMae

    LillianMae Chillin' With My Peeps

    266
    8
    93
    Mar 15, 2013
    Oregon
    how do you feather sex?
     
  5. jenifern

    jenifern Chillin' With My Peeps

    145
    3
    73
    Mar 15, 2013
    Canada
    just google it, there are a few youtube video's. It basically has to be done from day one. You will likely feel confident by about day three. Much older than that and it gets too hard to tell. Basically when their feather tips first start to emerge from the shaft is when you can tell. Typically if they are all the same length then it's said it's a rooster, if the feathers appear staggered, some long and shorter ones in between then it's thought that means it's a pullet/hen. Some breeds can't be feather sexed though. Try this link: http://animalsciences.missouri.edu/reprod/ReproTech/Feathersex/index.htm
     
  6. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,734
    117
    188
    Nov 16, 2012
    I can only tell a chick's sex once it is fully feathered unless it is sexlinked...
    Once they are fully feathered the boys start getting red combs, while the girls faces don't redden til right before they start laying.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by