Rooster traits in young birds? Confusing info on line...

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by SeaChick, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    We've read conflicting information on line and it's confusing. Read that roosters are later to feather in than pullets... Also read that they are more outgoing and friendly. Also read that their tails are generally shorter as chicks. If that's true, at what age do they start getting the longer, rooster-y tails?

    We're helping a friend decipher her chicks, and one is a mystery. She is a RIR that was always a "big girl" as a chick. She started feathering in many days before the other girls. Now, at 5 weeks old she's still larger than the other chicks (although she's the only RIR so maybe they are just a larger breed??? others are Wyandotte, sex link, australorp, barred rock) and she has a much longer tail!!

    What do you think? Does the early feathering and long tail preclude rooster, even though the other signs (size, friendliness, not as "dainty" as the others) point to it?
  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    My BLRW roo had a little tail right from the get go and my pullets didn't! So, some of the signs are correct but not always written in stone.
    Other signs to look for include- color of waddle and comb (roos will have a bigger and redder comb earlier), boldness (my baby roos always seem to act like leaders and are more curious), and overall interaction (Do they act like a roo?).
    I've noticed that my young roos will act differently than the young pullets. They will keep an eye on me and whatever else is around, they stand tall and proud, they seem to be selfless, i.e. they will let the others eat first, etc.
    And just a weird thing that I've noticed is that the roos, when they jump off something high, will jump with a "thud", whereas the hens seem to flap down to the ground. [​IMG]
  3. Royal Oaks Ranch

    Royal Oaks Ranch In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2007
    Northern Calif
    The feathering in slower trait is only good if there is a slow feathering gene present. So no not all roos feather in slower than pullets.
    Watch the comb and wattles.. They will start turning red and be more pronounced than the pullet whose comb and wattles wont turn red or get much bigger until she gets ready to lay.
    Watch for spurs. though some hens will get spurs. I have welsummers with spurs LOL.
    Watch the neck feathers, saddle and tail. THe feathers on a roo are pointy. Hen feathers are rounded. (UNless you have a breed such as campines that the roos are "Hen feathered". ) The tail and saddle feathers will arch downward towards the ground while a hens will go back or up depending on which your looking at.
    If your talking about silkies... HA forget it.. You pretty much hav eto wait til they are mature.. Ive had hens that turned roo and what I thought was roo lay an egg.. Silkies are a bugger to sex.. Hatchery stock are alot easier though...
  4. yearofthedog

    yearofthedog Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    Quote:That is a very interesting observation...I have to take note of that!!
  5. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Maybe these photos will help...they are of my 4 week old RIR male. They were dyed Easter chicks, he is the red one, the others are Leghorn.



  6. alex

    alex Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    dont dyed chicks die??
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    No, dyed chicks can live, it depeneds on how they are taken care of after they are dyed. Often dyed chicks die because people who buy them don't know how to properly care for them and thus they die of neglect.
  8. yearofthedog

    yearofthedog Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    Cute babies, but that first picture SCARED me!!![​IMG]

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