How to tell by visual cues what is male or female?


5 Years
Jun 17, 2014
Mesa, AZ
I am on the hunt to expand my flock of chickens, But I am finding that I do not want to just trust people when they say they have all hens, as I went to one house and from what i saw they all had combs like my Buff Roo. Are the combs on some hens big and dark red like roos? I also notice my roo has big hanging red flaps under his chin that my hens don't have. So now I am looking to expand into different breeds of chicken, I have all buffs, one white amerucana and one chicken I don't even know the breed.(Picture of her, kinda blurry) she was a rescue and is in rough shape, but getting better.

I know this is probably covered on this forum somewhere, I just can't figure out where! Please, any help to educate me more or point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated!

Michael OShay

5 Years
May 14, 2014
Your rescued chicken is an Easter Egger hen. The greenish legs are a dead giveaway. When sexing most young birds (there are always exceptions like Sebrights in which both sexes are hen feathered), the best, most reliable method is to look at the saddle feathers in front of the tail when the bird is about 3 months old. By that age, cockerels will have long and pointy saddle feathers, while a hen's will be rounded. This will indicate for sure whether you have a cockerel or a pullet in every breed most breeds. You will also be able to see long, curving sickle feathers in the tail of the rooster as he gets a little older. Crowing is normally good indicator, although there are rare cases where hens crow (usually old hens who have assumed the rooster's role in a roosterless flock). Usually you will be able to tell by feathers much earlier than that anyway, since roosters don't usually begin to crow until they are 4 or 5 months old. However, some roosters will wait until a little later, and others will begin a little sooner, too. In addition, cockerels will generally cockerels develop comb and wattles much faster than pullets, and spurs on the back of the leg will appear as small bumps by the age of six months. Of course the easiest way to sex your chickens is to purchase Black or Red Sex Link chicks as they can be sexed by color from hatching. BSL male chicks are black with a white spot on top of their heads at hatching, and as they mature, they develop the barred pattern of their barred mother. BSL female chicks are solid black at hatching, and as they mature, they develop reddish or copper colored feathers around the neck are. RSL male chicks are whitish at hatching, and as they mature, they will usually develop some reddish feathering in the saddle area. RSL female chicks are reddish at hatching, and as they mature, they develop white underfluff and some white feathering in the tails. Hopefully this helps. Good luck.

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