Need expert help sexing barred rocks; I can't read my headspots - PICS


Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs
14 Years
Dec 8, 2008
Glendale, AZ
I'm pretty good at sexing older barred rock chicks, but it's the tiny babies that I can't get. I know females are darker, have a darker leg wash, but I can't figure out the headspots.

I don't want to wait till they're older to find out the sex - if I accidently picked out a roo, I'd like to know as soon as possible so I can return it for another the same size (we aren't allowed roos here). The feed store I purchased these chicks at only sells chicks sexed chicks (at least they try).

This first chick is the one I'm most questioning. It's about 1-1/2 weeks old. While at the feed shop, I tried picking out the darkest, but they all seemed the same color to me and I couldn't remember the headspot rule. Even after looking it up, I can't figure out where this faint spot fits in. Also, this chick has a light colored tummy that I didn't notice at first - the younger chick is all black.

Very faint head spot/line:


With a flash:


Same chick without the flash;


Close-up of legs:


Chick #2's head spot -- less than 1 week old:




Chick #2 has dark legs - darker than chick #1. It's also blacker in color, but maybe that's because it hasn't started barring yet?
I've seen the info - I know about the legs, color, & headspot, but I still don't know what mine is. Chick #2 is dark, with very dark legs (almost all grey), but has a large headspot. Chick #1 has some dark wash, but not as much as the other - it doesn't have but a faint line for a headspot. Does a fine line fall under 'small, defined' or 'large'? It doesn't seem to match either the roo or pullet headspot description, so I was hoping someone who raised & sexed their own barred rocks successfully could help me.
Not real sure about sexing them that early but I know that the cockerel's will feather out a lot lighter than the pullets and the down will start to get a gray look to it and the pullets will stay darker

Just what I have noticed
Thanks. I was hoping to sex them early so that I can exchange them if they are roos. If I wait a few weeks before figuring out their sex and then take the chick/s back, the feed store will only have tiny ones again (I don't want to bring one 1-week old chick back home).

I'm pretty sure the second chick is female, even though she has a large, undefined headspot because she has dark legs & some dark on her beak. The other one barely has a headspot at all and less dark on the legs, so I don't know where she falls on the scale.
I would guess both pullets, the first one for sure (well, lol 99.9%). The second one could be iffy but I would guess a pullet from what you say about the legs. My first BR had a very large but very splotchy head spot and pure yellow legs. He was a roo and I knew it from almost day one actually. He was very roo-acting! My second one, which is a pullet, had a very tiny head spot and legs like your first one. She didn't follow the feathering color. She was light gray from the beginning and still is. Hope this helps!
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If they are both the same age, I would guess #1 is pullet and #2 is roo - based on the rate of feathering. My BR pullets got wing feathers quicker than the roos did.
Oops. I forgot to mention that #1 is about 1 1/2 weeks old and #2 is a few days old (one was this week's shipment and one was last week's shipment).

ZooMummy - That's encouraging - I hope you're right. It helps knowing that you have experience in this area.
Face it, out of every batch of so called sexed chicks, some will be Sunday dinners. If you are buying at the same feed store we buy at, one out of four will be a rooster. That is the way it always works out for us.

Given the tail in the first chick, despite the leg color, probably a girl.

The age of the second chick makes it harder but the darker legs is a good sign.

Since they're two different ages, from two completely different lines and hatches, comparing them closely would suck as a guestimator. They could have come from farms states apart.

You stand at least a decent chance of having two pullets there, and the second ones color goes well down the toes, also a good sign.

Everyone ends up growing out some roos, if you keep trading in, you'll go insane and nothing will get grown out.

Buy two or three more than you need, grow them out, give away or sell the boys...

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