Should I or Shouldn't I?

microchick

Enabler
6 Years
Dec 31, 2014
9,622
42,762
1,157
NE Missouri
I have a different twist on the 'is it a boy or a girl' question.

Right now I have a dozen birds that are 9 weeks old and doing well. For the most part, I know their gender with the exception of one that has the body and feathers of a hen but the comb and wattle of a rooster. I'm hoping it will turn out to be a hen because I REALLY need extra hens right now as two of my chicks that were supposed to be hens turned out to be roos.

I was at the local feed store yesterday looking at their chicks that were left from their spring chick sales and saw that they had RIR chicks that looked to be 3-4 weeks old as they were more than 50% feathered out and quite healthy looking. They were only 2.97 apiece.
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The only thing that made me hesitate was that they were straight run and I've never sexed RIRs before so it would basically be a crap shoot for me. The last thing I need is more roosters, but these chicks looked to be half the age of our flock and would only need to be weaned off the heat lamp before they could join the rest of our birds.

Any experienced RIR folks out there who could give me some tips on sexing 3-4 week old chicks, I'd be grateful for the help.

Do you think I should just bite the bullet and try to pick out two or three pullets and if I do, how do I bend the odds in my favor so I choose pullets and not roos. Our boys are getting along really well at the moment and I don't want to rock the boat with a male RIR with more attitude than I need to deal with.
 

BayBay Peepers

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
5,156
1,126
338
Wisconsin
Being the chicken enabler I was born to be...I'd say wing it and buy some.

If they're roosters you could always eat them
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really I'm hoping someone comes along that does know the RIR breed well, but in the meantime I would make purchase plans
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microchick

Enabler
6 Years
Dec 31, 2014
9,622
42,762
1,157
NE Missouri
They are just so darned tempting.

I got down and was giving them a close look in their pen and they were nice looking little birds, even coming over to check me out through the wire. I teased the clerk a little asking him if they were going to the trouble of raising them so customers wouldn't have to bother and he just laughed and said he wished somebody would buy them as they were flying out of the brooder pen every chance they got and they were having to chase them all over the store.

Considering all the worry and care you have to give day olds at the same price I thought these guys were a good buy.

I just need to be discrete in picking out the birds and knowing what to look for in RIRs is part of the problem. My flock is mainly Buff Orps and Welsummers so I'm more familiar with sexing them than RIRs.

Right now I have four roosters and 8 hens and possibly one of the hens is a roo as it has a HUGE comb and wattles and has developed faster than even the other young roos has. So I NEED hens and would like to get them before these roosters start to fight over our sweet girls not to mention fighting one another.

So does anybody know....at 3-4 weeks what kind of wattle/comb combo can I expect to find on a RIR chick? Will the comb start to develop on them at that age or is it still a crap shoot with sexing them?
 

BantamLover21

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 24, 2013
23,660
1,553
426
At four weeks, you should be able to avoid any obvious cockerels, since they'll probably have larger, redder combs. It is still possible to end up with some slower developing roosters, though.
 

microchick

Enabler
6 Years
Dec 31, 2014
9,622
42,762
1,157
NE Missouri
At four weeks, you should be able to avoid any obvious cockerels, since they'll probably have larger, redder combs. It is still possible to end up with some slower developing roosters, though.

So do they develop along the same lines as our Buff O's have? Roos slower to feather out bigger feet and thicker legs, more upright posture, etc? Or do they dance to the beat of their own drummer?
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Rowsdower

Songster
7 Years
May 27, 2012
771
55
131
They are just so darned tempting.

I got down and was giving them a close look in their pen and they were nice looking little birds, even coming over to check me out through the wire. I teased the clerk a little asking him if they were going to the trouble of raising them so customers wouldn't have to bother and he just laughed and said he wished somebody would buy them as they were flying out of the brooder pen every chance they got and they were having to chase them all over the store.

Considering all the worry and care you have to give day olds at the same price I thought these guys were a good buy.

I just need to be discrete in picking out the birds and knowing what to look for in RIRs is part of the problem. My flock is mainly Buff Orps and Welsummers so I'm more familiar with sexing them than RIRs.

Right now I have four roosters and 8 hens and possibly one of the hens is a roo as it has a HUGE comb and wattles and has developed faster than even the other young roos has. So I NEED hens and would like to get them before these roosters start to fight over our sweet girls not to mention fighting one another.

So does anybody know....at 3-4 weeks what kind of wattle/comb combo can I expect to find on a RIR chick? Will the comb start to develop on them at that age or is it still a crap shoot with sexing them?

I bought sexed pullets at Rural King for $.75 each back in Feb.. They had simply gotten too large to keep in the brooder and they wanted to make room for new shipments. I'd call them and just ask if they'd give you a REALLY good deal on the lot.
 

microchick

Enabler
6 Years
Dec 31, 2014
9,622
42,762
1,157
NE Missouri
I asked one of the clerks when they were going to have their clearance sale on chicks and he said they were keeping them through May.The brooder pen had about 25 or more of these little guys in it. I don't think we have enough room to add that many young chicks to our pen and coop, unfortunately.
 

marque

Songster
Apr 1, 2015
119
179
116
5 minutes from Galveston Texas
I have the same problem. I've had chickens for over 2 yrs but they were 80% sexed except for 2 Ameracaunas that were so beautiful I rolled the dice on 2 of them and got 1 hen and 1 Roo. I decided to try to hatch my own so I can have some pretty, different breeds. My 1st bunch I got 6 Silver laced Polish, 6 white silkies, 2 Blue splash silky bantams and 1 "surprise " chick who is clearly a roo but I've been trying to figure out what he is. Possibly a Buff laced Polish??? My White Silkies all look mostly the same but different sizes. They ALL act the same too. My Silver L.Polish all act the same and are the same size except for a littler one with a crooked tail who's quite skittish. Their crests are all big, some a bit crazier than others but they all act like roo's to me.?? They're wild and crazy and funny, like a bunch of wild children. They're hilarious! I love them! All of these birds are a little over 2 months old but no one is crowing yet. There's occasional chest butting but I, don't know their sexes! I'm trying to name them and decide their placement if any but I thought I'd be able to tell by now. How do I sex these breeds? I can't seem to find leg bands locally so I can identify each one so I can take a picture to share for all of your expertise help to hopefully figure out what they are (~: .Any good ideas for home made identification leg bands???...I guess that's where I need to start.
 

Rowsdower

Songster
7 Years
May 27, 2012
771
55
131
Any good ideas for home made identification leg bands???...I guess that's where I need to start.

I use Zip-ties of various color. But make sure you give them plenty of room to grow and keep an eye on them.
 
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