Sexing Chicks by Comb, Colour, Legs, and Feathering Reference

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by aoxa, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I have to admit, I am quite addicted to sexing chickens by appearances. I am not into feather sexing day olds, or vent sexing - as I breed my own birds and feather sexing is very precise. You have to keep two lines of chickens, using fast feathering males and slow feathering females. Since I have no idea how to determine if the birds I presently have are fast feathering or slow feathering, I'll stick with the visual sexing guides only ;)

    Also, vent sexing.. Just don't feel comfortable with it personally.

    Comb Sexing:
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    Single combs (note wattle buds in 3 week old male to the right) Males pink up early, where females often times stay peachy until they are older.

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    Leg Width:
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    Leg Width Sexing does not work for all breeds.. Naked Necks are especially easy to sex this way (at least my line).
    Colour Sexing
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    If you are buying birds over 12 weeks at a sale, check out these very clear differences between mature cockerels and pullets:

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    (Note: Not all hens will have 'small' combs, but they will always almost always be smaller than the rooster's.)

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    Sexing crested breeds such as Houdans and Polish can be done later on by their crests if you can not yet see the cockerel's pointy saddle/hackle feathers. By 12 weeks old the crest is noticeably different between the two sexes. Cockerels look like rock stars and pullets have a round afro. ;)

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    Silkie sexing.. One of the hardest breed to sex. Especially for those new to the breed. The roosters aren't always clear and sexing tips I have given you previously won't always apply. Often times males have very tiny combs. Not much larger than a pullet. Their hackles and saddles are longer - but not always obvious to someone buying a Silkie for the first time.

    The biggest give away that you have a cock bird is by their crest.. Males have whisps of feathers coming out of their crest. I find the males look like they have mullets - business in the front, party in the back.

    I hope this helps you in your sexing attempts.

    If anyone has any clear pictures of breeds that can be colour sexed that I have not already included in this post, and would like me to edit and share in this article, I'd be grateful. I would love to have a collection of images for others to reference back to when trying to sex their own birds, or trying to help others.

    Feel free to repost any of these images so long as they are not edited in any way.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
    4 people like this.
  2. MamaDoodle

    MamaDoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2013
    My Coop
    Very helpful! I am around so many adolescents, this will be a helpful reference. :)
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I'm happy to help :)
  4. Wishing4Wings

    Wishing4Wings Isn't it Amazing?

    May 7, 2012
    Sonoma County, CA
    This will be a great thread. I will refer people here who need help sexing birds. Do you have any tips for young Silkies or Polish?

    Here are two 3+ week old Seramas. The male was obvious very early.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I can do Houdans :) They are similar to polish. Silkies - they are more iffy. It really depends upon the strain of silkie honestly. I can sex my partridge at about 6-8 weeks, but the whites and blues take forever!
  6. Veer67

    Veer67 Chillin' With My Peeps

    How adorable, they are so tiny! [​IMG] I will show this thread to others as well, this would be a great thread for new BYCers and ones that are improving on their sexing skills.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I forgot to comment on how adorable they are. So tiny!! [​IMG]
  8. Aaisha

    Aaisha Chillin' With My Peeps

    very helpful wish i hadd found it before.
  9. aseelforsale

    aseelforsale Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2012
    Can you help in trying to sex this chick its a Aseel 2 months old
  10. jenifern

    jenifern Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2013
    I will comment about sexing silkies. The roosters will have little streakers coming out of their "muffy hairdo's". Longer strands of feathers. Hens tend to have a more compact rounded 'muff'
    This is a great thread. I have found it easier to sex chicks the more I do it but I do agree that looking at their combs and how thick their legs are is a good indicator.

    ETA, pictures:
    This is one of my silkie roos. You can see the 'streakers" coming out of his hair-do.


    One of my silkie hens below. She has a more compact and rounded muff.


    Another rooster below. You can see the streakers coming out of his head as well as his tail.

    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
    1 person likes this.

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