Leg size and gender


10 Years
Jun 8, 2010
San Francisco
On a batch of vent sex chicks I had purchased at 7 almost 8 months ago (if you'll recall this was the batch of four that turned out to be two cockerels and two pullets),,,, my girlfriend had mentioned that her grandmother used to tell her that you could tell the sex of a chick by looking at the size of the legs. At the time when she told me that the one that I thought was a Cockerel which turned out to be cockrell did have a large leg structure and I also noticed that another of what I thought was a pullet at the time had a similarly structured like while the other two that turned out to be pullets had more slender legs.

Is there any truth to this in terms of reliability? It certainly was a hundred percent when I tried it ,in hindsight, but then again this is just anecdotal evidence so to speak.

Part of me thinks it would be logical since roosters eventually grow up to be bigger than hens so it would seem to make sense that the genetics would first make sure they had a good strong foundation of stout legs to support what would eventually be a larger body structure than the ones that turn out to be hens.

But for those of you that have watched chick after chick grow up is there any level of reliability to this type of sexing so to speak?


Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
California's Redwood Coast
But for those of you that have watched chick after chick grow up is there any level of reliability to this type of sexing so to speak?
At hatch, I think no. But at a certain age.. I think yes, possibly... it can be a good indicator.. depending on how much consistency the individual line may have bred into them. One issue is it only kinda counts if you have something for comparison.

I have not paid attention to which age I think leg thickness can be discerning factor.. but it IS something I ALWAYS take into consideration when making assessments on my juvenile birds, especially if the other clues are more vague.

Some boys are sex-able at hatch just by their behavior, even Silkies! Those are the cutest little cockerels. :p

My statement are likely less relative to hatchery bred chicks... as I find ZERO consistency among their birds for the most part. But it can definitely still be one of those good general clues that should be used to see the overall picture. :cool:

rocking chickens

Dec 2, 2018
I think that leg size would be a great indicator of sex however it would have to be a breed that has been bred true and has no messed up breeding skewering the leg size.

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