Oh great and might OZ......How can you tell??

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by mrsferg, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. mrsferg

    mrsferg Hatching

    Feb 26, 2015
    Southern Illinois
    So the big question...How can you tell what gender?
    I have been told
    by the comb - spike cockerel, smooth pullet,
    by the feet - Cockerel; you can see the spur - Pullet it is a nub
    by spreading the wings apart - Cockerel; feathers alternate length, pullet; feathers are all same length

    or do you just wait and see who wakes you up first????

  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    The feather thing works if the bird has been bred for feather sexing. Otherwise, that is a no-go. That only works for day old chicks anyway. The spur thing is false too, some hens get spurs, although they are must less likely to have spurs than a rooster is. Hens can also get really big combs - see the leghorn breed - and spikey or not is not an indication. You are most likely thinking of a single comb, and males and females of breeds with single combs have the spikes, not just the males. There are many different comb types too. Even crowing's not foolproof; some hens will crow in a hen-only flock. However, a surefire dead giveaway to tell if a bird is male is by looking at the saddle and hackle feathers when they are four or five months old. By this point, males will most likely have developed long, shiny, skinny, pointed saddle and hackle feathers, which hens will not have.

    With most breeds, though, it's easier to tell earlier than this because a male bird's comb will grow in faster and get red much sooner than a female's will. This is usually the first tell.
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    x2...and I would add an egg is a sure sign of what gender you have as well. [​IMG]

    Pullets will begin the egg squat just before they start laying (it is their stance to mate).

    I agree it is best to watch the combs as most males will show bigger and true red early on while the gals lag behind until their hormones hit for egg laying at 4 to 6 months, then they too will turn red but won't have the size the males get nor the saddle feathers nor curled long tail feather.

  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Some breeds/hybrids of chickens are sex-linked in color, which means the males hatch out one color and females hatch out a different color. However, sex-linked chickens are in the minority; other chicks are a little more tricky to sex.

    Experienced sexers at hatcheries can sex chicks through vent sexing, but that isn't practical for most chicken raisers. More reliable signs of roosters are larger, redder combs (usually obvious in 6-8 week old birds) or certain color patterns. For example, with "wild-type" color patterns, like Black Breasted Red, the males develop black breasts at a young age while the females have reddish breasts and lighter hackle color. Cockerels also tend to feather in slower than pullets (though not always), and they often have thicker legs.

    As roosters mature further, only they will develop longer, thinner, pointed saddle (lower back) and hackle (neck) feathers. Pullets always have rounded feathers throughout their body, though they may sometimes look pointed at first glance due to feather patterns.

    Of course, at some age, all roosters begin crowing. That can happen as early as 4 weeks, but I find that crowing is most common in birds that are about 7-8 weeks old.

    Both cockerels and pullets have spur nubs throughout their lives. The spurs get much larger on roosters, though.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  5. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Songster

    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    Really, it comes down to experience. You spend enough time around specific breeds and you get a pretty good handle on the "tells" for that breed. You spend enough time around a lot of breeds, and you develop an more advanced eye for generalizations. For most breeds, comb and wattle development is a good indicator. Often stance and attitude are, too (this is really where experience comes into play). Other breeds seem to be a mystery to almost everyone (silkies for example). When I first joined the forum, I was amazed at how some people could just spot a cockerel, even among very young chicks. Now I know that ability is a learned skill. I'm getting pretty good with Orpingtons and related breeds, but I don't have the experience with many others to have developed an "eye" for sexing them. But I love this section!
  6. mrsferg

    mrsferg Hatching

    Feb 26, 2015
    Southern Illinois
    think I will go with this one!!
    lol.... just wait and see who lays the eggs!

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