I can't tell the difference between boys and girls!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cindy65, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. cindy65

    cindy65 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 10, 2009
    Tacoma Washington
    I am new to raising chickens and I have two flocks, one about 2 mos old and newly hatched chicks about one week old. We bought the older ones from a farm and were told most were girls but about half of them have been growing combs for about six weeks.
    Please help!
  2. beak

    beak On vacation

    Dec 12, 2008
    Kiowa, Colorado
    Here I was going to offer some advice. It's a chicken thing. When they start crowing is the best indication. Until then you can tell by the size of their combs. Boys have larger combs than the girls and it gets red sooner. The girls have smaller combs and usually don't turn red till they start laying. How they tell at the hatchery is beyond me.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  3. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 31, 2008
    pics? thats makes it easier
  4. cindy65

    cindy65 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 10, 2009
    Tacoma Washington
    Remember me, I'm new...
    What's a pullet???
    What are saddle feathers???
  5. muell112

    muell112 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bangor, ME
    A pullet is a hen (cockerel is a rooster) and the saddle feathers on a rooster will come off the back in a droop down into points. You can also start to look for spurs on their legs (they'll get bigger as the get older)
  6. noitulover

    noitulover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2009
    Central Virginia
    try googling for definitions or rooster and hens or "cockerels" (a young rooster before maturation) and "pullets (a young hen before she starts laying)

    also [​IMG]

    the best way to learn stuff about chickens is to either google, check out other backyardchickens forum questions and their answers, or buy a book!

    hens or "pullets" will grow combs also. their combs normally start growing later than a cockerels and will be less pronounced. however, chickens often break their own rules, so listen for crows and look for eggs! (posting pics in the breed and gender section of this message board will also help... most people can spot cockerels/pullets after they reach a certain age)
  7. HBuehler

    HBuehler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2009
    Lebanon TN
    And to confuse you more. All Mediterranean breeds have very large combs even the "girls" so you may think you have a roo when you don't.Oh those are the white egg layers for the most part and have white ears.
    Combs tend to get redder quicker on Roos than pullets
    Then there are peacomb breeds and those will leave you scratching your head even more than you are now.
    Baby Chicks-pullets tend to feather faster than roos in many breeds but not all

    Did I mention the word tend and usually that's because there is an exception for every chicken thought out there.
    It crows=rooster
    Lays eggs=pullet
    Some of us have roosters that have never crowed and hens that make a crowing sound but Roosters never lay an egg
    Oh WELCOME to the Chicken Addiction you will love it [​IMG]
  8. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    There’s a relatively easy way to tell the difference between male and female chickens at about three to four months of age (sometimes earlier, sometimes not.)

    Sit or stand with a young bird facing your stomach. Look down at the area which on a human would be the lower back (this is called the saddle), just before the tail. Saddle feathers on a young male bird will be glossy and have pointed tips. Saddle feathers on a young female will be rounded and less glossy.

    Of course, you can also look at comb size and length, as well as wattles (males get bigger redder combs and wattles than females.) As well, males tend to stand taller, have longer and thicker legs, and become more alert during potential danger, while females tend to be shorter, rounder, and crouch down during potential danger.

    Hope this helps…
  9. shay20

    shay20 Shay's Flock of Fun

    Jul 31, 2008
    in the wild, Mass
    First let me say [​IMG]

    And those pics are the best to go by.

    Here is something else, when they are 1 day old.
    open there wing look at the the first set feathers, if they look nice straight across same lenght straight acroos- male
    if they are uneven-girl

    Also what breeds do you have?

    ok here it goes=

    Pullet= girl that is under 12 months old
    Hen= girl that is 12 months and up
    cockerel= boy that is under 12 months old
    rooster= boy that is 12 months and up
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  10. nyseman

    nyseman Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2009
    This is how I can tell the difference. When the chick is about a week old, pick it up gently. Get a firm grip on its legs ( so you dont drop it). Slowly turn it upside down. If it's a cockerel it will want to right itself. If it's a pullet it will just hang there, head down. So far, this has worked for me. My cousin told me about this and he has been using this technique for years. It tried it with my 5 birds starting at one week and a couple more times (just to make sure) It was 100 percent 2 cockerels and 3 pullets. It's worth a try. I never tried it under a week old.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009

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