How will I know if I have a rooster?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Bokbok, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. Bokbok

    Bokbok In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2007
    I have been told that even though I ordered all female chicks, there is a good chance that a couple will be male. How will I know which ones are boys? Someone said that they could tell by the feathers, but what feathers should I look for?
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    As they will notice the combs on top are larger, and the waddles...under the chin are longer. Takes a while....Im not sure of the feather thing...saw it once on TV..."dirtiest jobs" but cant remember. Just watch them grow, and will notice the difference if there is a Roo.
  3. TheBigWRanch

    TheBigWRanch Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    Wenatchee, Washington
    Take them into the sun and look for the feather to be shiny, and the tips to be pointed. Hens will be more round. I'm not sure what age they have to be to tell, usually a month or older. Some mature faster, others very slowly. On the dirties jobs that I saw, they were sexing day old chicks by looking at the length of the wing feathers. This method will not work on all breeds, because if I remember correctly, they were breed to be that way, it doesn't happen naturally on all breeds.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2007
  4. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Feather sexing can be accurate some of the time. The problem is each breed has different characteristics. Generally the females will develop wing and tail feathers sooner than the males and I am talking about the first week. At about 5 to 6 weeks am many breeds, you will see definate comb development on the roosters. It starts to turn red very young while the females will stay yellow. As they get older around 2-3 months you will see the hackle feathers developing on the males. They will start to get longer and will be more pointed. Then of course there is the Crow. Some little boys just can't wait to let us know who is the king of the coop. With Silkies, all bets are off.
  5. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Bokbok, keep an eye on the tail feathers, pullets will grow a tail before the cockerals, if you notice all the peeps getting tails except the ones that seem a little bigger and have more in the crop area thats a sure sign.

  6. eggsellent

    eggsellent In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2010
    South Central Indiana
    Is this a universal thing with the tail feathers? I have 9 golden comets/amber link (not sure which) hens and 2 australorps that are unsexed. Mine are about a week old, and one of my goldens is getting feathers faster and is a naughty little thing! Jumping around, getting stuck in the food dish, very brave! Do you think temperament at this age could help identify sex? She is supposed to be a hen, but I am wondering!
  7. KBlaix

    KBlaix In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2010
    I'm new to chicks, but I will tell you that I've been watching for all the "signs" just to see how well they work. I have 8 chicks, but only my 4 cochins were straight run. Cochins are supposed to be one of the breeds you can feather sex. Those 4 are rebels though and determined to not let the "rules" apply to them. The "rule" about the wing feathers would have indicated that I had 2 girls (we'll call them A & B) and two boys (C & D). The tail feathers on A & B came in much faster than C & D's too. But when they were 4 weeks old chick B's comb started getting bigger and red and "she" started getting nice red wattles. A, C, & D's were all still small and yellow. Now they're 6.5 weeks old and chick B's comb and wattles are getting bigger and more red while the other 3 still have nice small yellow combs and no signs of wattles. So now I'm just playing the waiting game, it's fun to watch them each develop and change from day to day and week to week. As of now though I do suspect I have 1 boy and 3 girls (plus my other 5 non-cochin girls).

    Good luck with your babies! Know that while some of the signs and rules may help indicate what sex you babies are, none of them are 100% guarantee.
  8. eggsellent

    eggsellent In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2010
    South Central Indiana
    Quote:Thanks! I am totally obsessing! I really want at least one of my australorps to be a roo! Its amazing how fast they grow! Everyday they are bigger! Good luck on your bunch!
  9. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Sexlinks are almost 100% female unless they are snow white. Astrolorps are another story. Like the other poster, watch for signs. Gloria Jean
  10. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Songster

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    I hatched 6 Arecanas (?) and we noticed one had speckles on its head. My son immediately said "that's a roo" and he was right. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: