Sexing chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Yard full o' rocks, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. I am expecting 14 Buff Orp chicks on 4/27 (just candled yesterday and all 14 have wiggly little peeps inside...thanks be to God). Anyway, I have 8 buff hens that I purchased and one rooster. Since this is my first hatch, I would like to keep a few of the chicks (maybe 3-4). Anyone have any insight on how I might best guess the sex of the chicks? I'm afraid Big Daddy (my rooster) won't be too happy with a young lad around.[​IMG] Thanks

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Time will tell....[​IMG]
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I don't know your plans for the chicks. If you keep them until they feather out and grow, as Mahonri said, you will be able to tell. There is a way to look at the vent and tell, but even professionals are not perfect trying that.

    While one rooster should be enough for 12 hens, don't be too quick to assume you can't keep two. There will be dominance issues for sure, but normally one will be dominant and have his choice of the hens but the other becomes his able assistant, will get his share of the hens, and the two will form a team to protect the flock. You'll have to be careful how you introduce them, but it usually can be done. An advantage of having two roosters is that you have a spare if something bad happens.

    Occasionally, if the two roosters are very close in spirit, they will both reject the assistant position and will fight to the death to be dominant. I would not expect that to happen with Orpingtons, but you would have to be prepared for that eventuality. Don't know if you want to risk it.

    Another potential problem is, if the hen to rooster ratio gets too low, the roosters can actually damage the hens if they mate too much, especially their favorite hens. With Orpingtons, 2 roosters and 12 hens is probably somewhere in that may or may not happen range. I'm confident you will find people on here that have been on both sides of that.

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