Jo-Jo the Androgynous Chicken: Sex my Black Australorp

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Elise, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Elise

    Elise In the Brooder

    Feb 12, 2008
    This is Josephine.


    Josephine is a 16-week-old Black Australorp that we always thought was a pullet, but now we don't know WHAT she is. Very early, she asserted herself as Head Chicken over our other five girls and began developing a large comb and wattles. She also has striking bright green iridescence on her very roosterly tail feathers.


    The problem is that while she doesn't seem 100% ladylike, she also doesn't show any signs that definitively point towards roosterhood. She has absolutely no spurs developing, and my husband has read in some places that by this age they should be very visible. Then again, I've heard that they may start developing later.


    She also doesn't seem to be learning to crow at all, although we've heard that that may be something that comes later, too. BUT there were a few afternoons where she would suddenly stand up, flap her wings around and yell HAAAW! That was a couple weeks ago and not a peep from her since. Her vent also looks feminine, although as you can tell, we are new to this.


    I don't know how Black Australorps are sexed as chicks, but here she is as a baby:


    And here she is at four weeks old:


    Please, chicken experts, help us! We'd really like to know what we're dealing with here because we don't particularly want a rooster. I'm so confused because she doesn't look that different from pictures of mature BA hens I've seen, but then I see pictures of pullets her same age, like in this thread, and don't know what to think.

    At least her name is easily changed to Joseph [​IMG]
  2. Chickndaddy

    Chickndaddy Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    East Texas
    Definitely rooster. You can see the saddle feathers in the first two pics.
  3. Elise

    Elise In the Brooder

    Feb 12, 2008
    Oh great. Not what I wanted to hear, but I knew I would probably hear it anyway. Please humor a newbie and explain what saddle feathers are? I've never heard of them.
  4. mangled

    mangled Songster

    I second the Joseph vote.

    Saddle feathers are the long, thin feathers you see on his back, right at the base of his tail.

  5. Elise

    Elise In the Brooder

    Feb 12, 2008
    Thank you, Em. I looked around for a description of saddle feathers and I'm gathering that they are much shorter and more rounded on hens, right?

    Now I'm wondering how he was mis-sexed because he was in with a bunch of other pullets when we got him. Are BAs difficult to sex? And can anyone explain the total absence of spurs? Will he develop them later?
  6. Dustin Biery

    Dustin Biery Songster

    Feb 4, 2007
    Mulberry, Arkansas
    The saddle feathers scream rooster, as well as the sickle feathers are starting to curle downwards.
  7. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Is a boy. [​IMG] He may lack the spurs and large comb/wattle development, but he does have the tale-tale pointy saddle & hackle feathers and long curvy tail feathers.

    For the crowing, do you have another rooster around that does crow? Often that's how they learn, is by hearing other males crow. Otherwise it will take him awhile to get the urge to try it.
  8. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Definately rooster! Enjoy him!
  9. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    i'm so glad you posted this - I have the exact same austrlorp in my back yard too... bought out of the 'asst pullet' bin at TSC about 3.5 months ago.

    Has very suspicious looknig red combs and wattles and saddle feathers too. Been trying to 'deny' that it's a roo myself...
  10. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Sorry but I have to agree.
    Here's our Australorp hen, Olympia, at 19 weeks:

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