Sexing Chickens (not chicks)

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Pwatersb, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Pwatersb

    Pwatersb New Egg

    Jul 18, 2009
    Okay, we are fairly new to chickens. We bought our first St. Run package this Spring. We have given away most of the Roos except 2 and then we have 2 we are not sure of what they are Male/female they are Russian Orloff. However we cannot tell what they are. I am not even sure I kept all hens, I know when they began to crow I gave them away or if I thought they were growing spurs, now I am not so sure.

    Is there any tell tale signs of Roosters vs. Hens?

  2. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    A rooster will grow long pointy feathers much like a saddle in front of his tail. The hen's feathers will be rounded and blend in with rest of her body feathers. Only exception is the seabrights where males do not have these.
  3. mychookschick

    mychookschick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2009
    Ok... If you post some pics I can try to help and then tell you what gave them away..... How old are they??

    Please note that I have ZERO experience with Russian Orloffs but, a lot of breeds are similar... [​IMG]

    My Chooks Chick
  4. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    I'm not familiar with that breed, but with many breeds, you can check the following- Obviously bigger red combs and wattles can mean roo, but some hens will get biiger combs and wattles in the absence of a roo, so once in a great while, you cant count on that.

    How I check is to look at the neck (hackle feathers) feathers- if they are more pointy at the ends and kinda longer than the confirmed hens, you have a roo.
    Also, check the feathers that are on the back, right before the tail starts (the saddle feathers) if they are pointy at the ends and longer than those same feathers on confirmed hens, that usually confirms roo.

    I have heard of some breeds (roos) being whats called 'hen feathered' and i dont know if your breed is one of them, so you may have to do more research on that. Try looking up (search) pictures of roos, or google the words 'hackle fathers' and 'saddle feathers', you may find enough pics to help you be better able to distinguish the differences in feathers.

    It can take awhile to see those feathers, they arent obvious till the bird gets a bit older, but they are usually there before the crowing starts.

    Good luck!

    Oh, can you post any picks of the head, side and neck of those birds? It would help us to be able to see the birds to make a more informed opinion! [​IMG]
  5. akcountrygrrl

    akcountrygrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2010
    Nenana, AK
    As previously said, saddle and hackle feathers are a very accurate way of sexing chickens unless it is a breed where the roosters are "hen feathered". Hen feathered means that the roo's saddle and hackle feathers are rounded just like the hen's. Spurs are not an indication of sex. I've had hens develop 1 1/2" long, sharp pointed spurs just like a roo. Comb and wattle growth early on may be an indication of sex for some breeds but is very difficult on others due to comb type or other breed characteristics.

    But, the BEST way to determine who is a roo and who is a hen... find out who's laying the eggs... [​IMG]

    Seriously though, I don't believe Orloffs are hen feathered so you should be able to see a difference in the saddle and hackle feathers. Just remember, we always love to see pics and would be happy to help out.
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia

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