Question about Roo Feathers


8 Years
May 7, 2012
Bradenton, FL
Just a general question. I read that the hackle and saddle feathers com in around 3 to 4 months. Before the hackle and saddle feathers come in, which are pointed if I understand correctly, are the previous feathers rounded as in all hens?

I have a 14 week RIR that has some strange saddle feathers coming in however the are not pointed at all, just very jagged. These feathers are completely different than the other 3 RIR's I have. I just saw a pic on another post which shows similar feathers to these on a rooster. Here are a couple of shots for discussion.

This is a pic of the rooster I saw. (Thanks Bogtown Chick)

I am looking at the short feathers on the rear of his back.
Here is the comparison of my chick in question.

Currently there are no pointed saddle or hackle feathers so I am not sure what I have, but these feathers on the back are very similar. Also when should the comb and waddles become prominent. At this time they a just slightly larger that then other chicks(not by very much).Thanks for any help. I am trying to decide if this is a roo because I have a definate rooster that I can get, but I don't want 2! Thanks.
Can I see the comb on this bird?

I don't see any saddle feathers starting. I do see darkening in the shoulders, which is usually a male trait. Also, there are pointy hackles on the bird. Noticed them after posting this.


Here is a picture showing the names and the way the male feathers appear.

I don't usually notice these feathers until week 12 at least. At that age you have to separate the saddle feathers away and look for the start of them.

Hens will not get rooster feathers, but some roosters are henny feathered.
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Male chicks will have feathered backs and necks and look similar to the girls until their comb grows and the new, pointed feathers start to come in. I remember being confused by that as well. I noticed the glossy, skinny, pointy hackle feathers on mine before the saddles showed and I think that's typical. There is also a few weeks' range of normal so it's entirely possible you have a cockerel that is just starting to get pins in the saddle area and that's making the feathers look rough. If you can handle him, spread the feathers on the lower back and I believe you'll see the new feathers emerging. And yes, the neck feathers look pretty shiny to me...
I will check this afternoon to see if there are any new feathers coming in under the current feathers. I can also pist a puc of thr comb.
Here is a pic of the comb at about 13 weeks. Other reds are in the background. Tried look to see if any new feathers are coming in on the back and didn't see to much.
Here is a pic of the comb at about 13 weeks. Other reds are in the background.  Tried look to see if any new feathers are coming in on the back and didn't see to much. 
Not enough of a comb @ 13 weeks to have me answering definite boy. My boys are developed much earlier than that, but my girls aren't usually that developed either. I would watch this one just to be safe.

Can you take a picture with the tail feathers in the picture? I see sickle feathers.. Does anyone else see them?
I am leaning boy but only slightly. If I had not been fooled recently by a RIR rooster with the sweetest hen face &comb I would have probably said pullet. I do see some shine to the hackles feathers and some interesting tail feathers but nothing clear.
A complete profile shot including legs and tail would be great, but I'm also thinking roo. The darker shading on the wing, and it looks like sickle tail feathers. I'd like to see how thick the legs are also.

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