Is my Delaware pullet a cockerel?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by coloradocoop, May 22, 2012.

  1. coloradocoop

    coloradocoop In the Brooder

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    May 20, 2012
    Fort Collins, CO
    I'm new to chickens and I'm afraid that my favorite pullet might be a cockerel. Gasp! She is a Delaware around 5 weeks old and it looks like her wattles are coming in awfully dark. She is solid white minus a few tail and wing feathers--no markings on her back. Is she an early bloomer or a cockerel? Let me know if you need more pics. Thanks!

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  2. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Songster

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    Oh my! What big legs HE has!
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Well, hard to say. For 5 weeks, seems sort of cockerel-like to me. Here is a Delaware pullet I used to own at 7 weeks for comparison:

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  4. coloradocoop

    coloradocoop In the Brooder

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    May 20, 2012
    Fort Collins, CO
    I purchased 6 pullet-sexed chicks--all different breeds. After some reading on BYC, I'm worried that a few of them might be cockerels. Eek! At what age can you be certain of their sex? I am wanting 6 chickens total, ideally all egg laying hens. One roo wouldn't be the end of the world, but 2 is out of the question since eggs are our goal. My question is... should I prepare in advance to have a few roos that I need to find homes for (ie. purchase 8 chicks to insure that 6 are hens)? Or do I wait it out and hope for the best? Sorry I am new to chickens and I didn't anticipate this issue. Thanks in advance for the advice.
     
  5. Ah, this is chicken math at it's finest. There is no easy answers. If one MUST have pullets, sex links gets you that. With almost everything else, the error rate, purported to be only 10% on hatchery sexed chicks is often more like 15-20% in reality. In some breeds, sexing is extremely difficult. Buying straight run chicks almost seems to assure an abundant crop of cockerels.
     
  6. coloradocoop,

    It is a bit early to tell. Soon, very soon, the cockerels will show themselves to be who they are. I agree that the legs are enormous.
     
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

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    Delawares can be difficult to sex, some pullets look roo-ish, and some cockerels look a lot like pullets. I would wait a while longer before getting worried.
     
  8. coloradocoop

    coloradocoop In the Brooder

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    May 20, 2012
    Fort Collins, CO
    Good to know! She is by far the sweetest of the flock--she sits in my lap unsolicited and follows my every move. If she is a roo I might have to keep her anyways. I will post more pics in another week or so. Will I know for sure in a couple weeks or months?
     
  9. Early precocious behavior is often a sign of a cockerel.

    Between 7-12 weeks, a cockerel sports secondary sex characteristics, comb, wattles, and the feathering becomes clearer. Sickle, saddle and tail feathers are useful in identifying a cockerel. Finally, there's just that peculiar walk that a budding rooster has. Oh, did I mention the attempts at crowing? [​IMG]
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Delawares, both male and female, are usually extremely friendly chicks. The males usually get lots of "smut" down the back between the shoulder blades, but not always. And some of the pullets have thicker legs than you'd expect, too. I'd say in a week or two, you'll have a better idea.

    Here was the last Delaware cockerel I hatched at 4 weeks of age-he had less color than I usually get on my Delaware males at this age, but you can see the comb and wattles, both size and color, were unmistakeable:
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