How old?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by kidfarmer, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. kidfarmer

    kidfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2015
    I have 4 australorp and 4 Rhode Island red chicks that are 2 weeks today! When will I be able to tell which gender they are? Or what characteristics will they have?
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    May 14, 2014
    Both those breeds are too young to sex with a high degree of accuracy at 2 weeks. I would post their pics on this section in 3-4 weeks. By then their gender should be pretty obvious. Good luck in getting pullets.
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    You should have a pretty good idea with the RIR's by 4 weeks. The boys telecast pretty early with larger, red combs than the girls (who can get substantial comb, but stays yellow until POL).

    I've not had Australorps, but I believe them to be an average maturing bird, so again you should tell by the comb size about 4 to 6 weeks of age.

    Comb is the best indicator for roo's vs. pullets. Compare chicks of the same breed rather than your RIR to your Australorp.

    Roo's tend to feather in slower than the girls, the girls will get their back, wing, and tail feathers sooner than the boys...who lag behind looking quite scraggly for several more weeks.

    Roo's also tend to have a cockier attitude, chest bumping and running around like crazy little birds, but a number of pullets can act pretty snotty too.

    Roo's tend to have heavier legs, but some pullets I've had were Amazons in leg size too.

    So overall, the best indicator is the comb size, and the best way to do that is compare chicks of the same age and breed (like siblings). Sometimes chicks purchased from the same hatchery batch can mature differently because they come from different parents, but the line generally develops similarly.

    I agree post again with photos at about 4 weeks or so. Give us a good side profile (without holding the bird) and a head shot showing comb.

  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Usually, you can tell gender for sure with many single combed breeds (like Australorps and Rhode Island Reds) when they're 6-8 weeks old. Often times, you can start guessing earlier than that, though.
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013

    With my single combed breeds, I usually know around 4 weeks. But, I have to wait until at least 8 weeks generally for my Wyandottes (who have rose combs).
  6. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Yes, I agree 6 to 8 weeks is a safer time to to be sexing the chicks...I forget that others don't broody hatch, and that skews my timeline as hatchlings in natural conditions mature faster than heat lamp brooded chicks.

    You should have a good indication by 6 weeks of age, and I think a suspicion at 4 weeks espeically with the RIR's, but by 8 weeks you should pretty well know with most of them. Some breeds, especially Silkies or Orpingtons, can leave you guessing until they lay or crow.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by