Silkies - trying to sex by behaviour

Steph n Kel

In the Brooder
Nov 14, 2015
Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, Canada
Hi there,

My question is, do (or can) hens splay their hackle feathers when they are "bumping chests" and establishing the pecking order? I'm not worried about their behaviour - I understand it's normal - but I have noticed that some of the birds will "bump", run at , or peck another bird but they never have the definite splaying of the hackle feathers while 3 others do. The difference is very obvious. On the white bird you can even see her black skin when she does this. Does this mean these 3 are cockerels/roosters?

Thanks in advance!

S & K.


Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
May 3, 2009
New Jersey
Pullets/hens will flare their hackles when fighting/mock fighting - generally not as long as cockerels or roosters.

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