Sight Sexing Barred Plymouth Rock Chicks at Hatch

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by aoxa, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    I notice a lot of misconceptions about sexing Barred Plymouth Rocks, and I wanted to make a post on just that. They can be sexed at hatch by a combination of down colour, head spot, and leg pigment.

    It's not just one of these things, but a combination of them. However, once chicks are feathered out they are relatively easy to sex based on overall colour unless you have the Stukel or Good Shepherd line of Barred Plymouth Rocks (you most likely do not have this line, so these tips are valid for you).

    Example of fully feathered colour difference before any other sex characteristics are shown:

    Photo Credit

    Pullets are overall darker than Cockerels due to having only one copy of the barring gene. Cockerels have two copies and this provides them with more white in between the black bars, giving them the appearance of being a shade lighter.

    Hens pass down a copy of the barring gene to their son ONLY. The Cock passes down a gene to both his sons, and his daughters.

    Let's give you some pointers on sexing these chicks once they are hatched and dried off. I came across a really helpful article dated February 1941 - so this is not a new trick. It is tried and true. I have successfully sexed my chicks based on this method:

    Examples above are different male head spots

    Above are examples of different types of female head spots.

    See bellow pictures of day olds in colour.
    Above Males

    Above Females

    Leg pigment colour difference: Females darker, males lighter

    Now take into consideration that this works best for common Barred Plymouth Rocks. Exhibition Rocks are much trickier to sex at hatch.

    It's not about the SIZE of the head spot, but rather the definition of the head dot.

    An example of one of my MALE chicks at hatch. Small head dot, but not defined. Half circle of cream was visible on head.
  2. Tricoglossus

    Tricoglossus Songster

    Mar 15, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    This is great. Aoxa, you really know your stuff!
    Brahmachicken240 likes this.
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    Thanks :)

    I have roughly 30 of these guys hatching today and throughout the weekend (supposed to be Sunday but first chick hatched yesterday!) so I will be sexing them and marking the males to see how well this works with my new line of BPRs.
    Brahmachicken240 likes this.
  4. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

    Dec 16, 2011
    Wow, awesome! I learned a lot from this. I am convinced you know everything, aoxa.
    Brahmachicken240 likes this.
  5. jk9chicks

    jk9chicks In the Brooder

    Jun 12, 2013
    [​IMG]one week
    [​IMG]two weeks
    [​IMG]three weeks
    So this would be a cockerel...
    the head dot seems pretty defined...BUT the legs are lighter and the feathers that are coming in have more white?
    I only have one barred I can't do a side by side comparison.
    This is Rocky! (a member of our first brood of 9)
    Brahmachicken240 and lillihen77 like this.
  6. Cockerel

    Brahmachicken240 likes this.
  7. jk9chicks

    jk9chicks In the Brooder

    Jun 12, 2013
    Thanks!!! That's what I thought...we will see as he continues to grow!
    He is beautiful, but acts very cockerel. Hence his name is Rocky!
    He is a little fussy and jumpy...doesn't like to be held without a buddy nearby. But with a buddy he is just fine :)
    Maybe I should re-name his friend Penelope to Adrian? (ROCKY show)
    Penelope is another chick in my brood, not a barred rock...I think she is a Black star sex-linked- but I am very new to all this).
    Thanks again for the info!

    Here are my other chicks, if interested:
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  8. adamsclan301

    adamsclan301 In the Brooder

    Jun 27, 2013
    Southern California
    this is great info! (wish I had it when I started my first flock 3 months ago!)
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    Glad I could help :) Fred is right, that is a boy.

    You can see the head dot has extended down his neck a bit as a chick. Similar to the last picture I posted.

    I can already spot a few males in the incubator now. Most are still not dried off. I will have to figure out a good way to mark them.
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    So we hatched out quite a few barred plymouth rocks this weekend. I haven't really done a count.. Over 20 for sure. Thinking around 25 chicks..

    Anyway... Some very clear girls and boys.






    I seriously need to tag them.. It's been so busy @[email protected]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: