sex determination of 4 week old Barred Rock chicks

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by megaen, May 12, 2008.

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  1. megaen

    megaen New Egg

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    May 12, 2008
    Hello, I'm a first time chick mommy. I have three chicks, and the man I got them from told me that they are likely to be females because of black coloring on their legs and a white spot on their heads.

    They are about 4 weeks old, and I'm pretty confident that one is a pullet. She has mostly black feathers with a little white, and her comb and waddles haven't developed at all yet. The other two I'm worried about. Their feathers are both lighter grey with more white than the other one. Both are starting to grow combs and waddles that are pretty red. I've heard that cockerels combs and waddles develop faster...but I don't know if this is too early to tell.

    Thanks for your help!

    Meg
     
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    If their combs are getting redder at 4 weeks they're probably roos. The roos are also lighter colored too.
     
  3. mmajw

    mmajw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2008
    Maine
    [​IMG]

    I am not sure who you bought them from but you can not tell the sex by the color of their legs or from a spot on their head. Sounds like he wanted to make sure he had a sale.

    Can you post a pic of them?

    When they feather out a Roo will have a lighter coloring. Don't be too quick to give away or sell the Roos until you know for sure that is really what they are. Unless of course you wants some Roosters they are great to have.
     
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Actually on BRs the little pullets are more likely to have a dark wash down the front of their legs and the little roos have a bigger white spot on their heads....not 100% of the time, but most of the time.
     
  5. megaen

    megaen New Egg

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    May 12, 2008
    I know I can't have two roosters (all I have are three chickens and a small backyard). I will wait a bit longer certainly. I will try to post pictures tonight. My husband does not want to keep a rooster. I have a good place for at least one of them to go (where they won't be eaten either!).

    Does anyone know where I could get only a couple pullets at a time? I live in Pittsburgh, and we're allowed up to five chickens in a backyard flock. The minimum orders I've found online are higher than that.
     
  6. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    Hello, Meg, and [​IMG] [​IMG] I'm waiting to see if one of my BRs is a roo. They're 3 weeks and one is much lighter feathered tan the other two. The combs seem to be about the same though. Good luck with yours!

    Susan

    Edit for spelling
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2008
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Actually, the size and shape of the headspots and the leg color has been used for sexing Barred Rocks for years. Here is the documentation:

    Historical Document
    Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station

    SEX IDENTIFICATION IN PUREBREDS
    BARRED PLYMOUTH ROCKS

    It had long been recognized that the size of the light head
    spots in Barred Plymouth Rocks varied in the two sexes. The
    males tend to have larger headspots and the females to have
    darker colored legs. However, this method has not been sufficiently
    accurate to be of much commercial value.
    Quinn and Knox (1939) attempted to separate the sexes of
    Barred Plymouth Rocks by means of the intensity of the black
    pigment in the down and legs. In different lots of chicks they
    report 83.5, 86.1 and 91.8 percent accuracy.
    Jerome (1939) describes a method of sex identification in
    Barred Plymouth Rocks based upon the regularity of the outline
    of the head spot rather than the size of the spot. Those chicks
    having headspots irregular in outline and scattered in appearance
    are males while the females tend to have headspots with
    more regular outlines. The author claimed an accuracy of 90
    percent or better when considering only the headspot and 95
    percent if the color of the legs was included in the consideration.
    The Canadian Department of Agriculture (Anonymous 1941)
    issues an excellently illustrated bulletin describing the method.
    It is stated in the bulletin that the method “is widely practiced
    in Barred Rock chicks by commercial chick​
     
  8. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    Yup, mine's a roo alright! Thanks, Cyn!
     
  9. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    I ordered a bunch of barred rocks a while back and 1 barred rooster and 1 dominique rooster... it was driving me crazy trying to figure out the rooster until I read about their legs being lighter color by their feet, and sure enough, I picked the rooster right away and the comb different in the dominique!!
     
  10. mmajw

    mmajw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2008
    Maine
    I was told the leg thing was an old wives tale????
     
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