Orpington chicks advice (gender and brooding)

Tdoten

In the Brooder
Aug 6, 2019
11
2
21
Corpus Christi, TX
hi! I’m a first time chicken owner living in a neighborhood with close neighbors. After a lot of research we ordered some buff Orpington ladies from cackle hatchery for their gentle and quiet nature as pets/egg layers. They’re about 2 weeks old at this point. I’m looking for some advice on 2 things.

1) ways to confirm all 5 of our girls are girls as early as possible. (We are VERY close to our neighbors and do not want to turn them off to our flock by a surprise rooster making all kinds of noise. Also we aren’t allowed to own a rooster within the city limits.)

2) when to put our flock outside in the coop? (From what I’ve read we may not be able to know for sure the sex for up to 3 months and have considered keeping them indoors in a brooder type situation until we know for certain so that a surprise noisy fella won’t disturb our surrounding neighbors. Advice on how long and best way to keep them indoors so we don’t disturb others)
 

Frazzemrat1

Free Ranging
May 8, 2017
7,393
13,221
607
Eastern Connecticut
As for how long you should keep them inside... pretty much as soon as they feather they can go outside. Start them on heat and slowly wean them off of it. My last group of chicks were outside by 6 weeks.
Judging gender isn't usually reliable until 6 weeks at the absolute earliest, sometimes later.
 

TwoChicksChix

Songster
May 29, 2019
372
673
136
West Palm Beach Florida
I agree, gender is best determined at 8 weeks old, but don't worry because if you do have a rooster, they won't start crowing until around 4 months or later. I have never had early crowers, just late bloomers.

As soon as the chicks are fully feathered at six weeks, and as long as the temperature stays above 70 degrees, then they can start to go outside.
 

cstephens1987

Crowing
Apr 25, 2019
2,175
2,425
252
Carroll county, Maryland
Unfortunately buff orpington can be a bit more difficult to sex (as are most self colored chickens). The obvious and early cockerel will usually be really easy to tell after 6-8 weeks because they'll have a red comb and none of the girls will. The hard part will be as they age a bit and the girls start to pink up and you have that awkward period where late blooming cocks and early blooming pullets can be mistaken for one another. If you know what to look for featherwise this is still not a problem but on self colored birds it becomes a bit harder. Share pics as they age and we'll be more than happy to help you out though
 

Tdoten

In the Brooder
Aug 6, 2019
11
2
21
Corpus Christi, TX
I agree, gender is best determined at 8 weeks old, but don't worry because if you do have a rooster, they won't start crowing until around 4 months or later. I have never had early crowers, just late bloomers.

As soon as the chicks are fully feathered at six weeks, and as long as the temperature stays above 70 degrees, then they can start to go outside.
Thank you for this advice. I didn’t realize that it’s likely we would be able to tell the gender from their appearance before they begin to crow. That’s the main reason we were considering keeping them indoors for an extended time. This makes me feel a lot better about putting them in their coop which will probably be the best place for them sooner. Once they get closer to that age I will post some pictures for help!
 
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