Eelantha

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Mar 11, 2018
318
441
187
Quebec (Qc)
It's my first time with the Speckled Sussex breed. I had another SS chick the same age as this one whose traits definitely marked him as a male at six weeks old, so I gave that one away quickly, but this chicken pictured below keeps confusing me.

IMG_1574.JPG


At first glance, the curved tail feathers say it's a male, while the small, slow-growing crest and neck feathers hint at a pullet. However I've also seen some full grown hen pictures with curved tail feathers while browsing the web a few months back, so despite my growing conviction that this chick is a guy, he could, for all I know, be a girl. He/she has yet to crow, which would be a definitive answer to the question, so right now this chick's prolonged silence is leaving me a bit disturbed. And here's why.

Three years ago, my beginner's luck had me hatch a pullet that laid eggs for a full season before turning into a rooster next spring (stopped laying entirely, grew spears, started crowing and bossing her flockmates around, reigning rooster included), but I've yet to see a possible rooster that could potentially turn into an egg-layer. However with my luck that could also be possible. So now, faced with this three-way dilemma, I'm calling for some experienced folk to clear this up. With all the clues I've laid above, do I have a pullet, a cockerel, or a potentially androgynous chicken on my hands, guys??
 

Eelantha

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Mar 11, 2018
318
441
187
Quebec (Qc)
Thank you, everyone! I'll make sure to find him a nice new home, as I already have my chosen cockerel for the coop. Alot of the SS chick's back feathers got plucked out due to some integration issues between my two current flocks, so unless the Speckled Sussex are middle to slow growers, then the saddle feathers are coming out late. That's why I'm relying on the size of his comb to tell me whether this guy is male or female. It's lack of growth in the last month is why I've posted this thread - I know what full grown roosters look like, and my cockerel's comb looks small in comparison. I'm not sure if it's a breed flaw though, as he still has room to grow - I've no pictures to take cues from at that age. Do you guys know where I could find pictures of 14 week old pullets and cockerels, for visual reference and comparison?
 
Nov 28, 2017
2,871
4,399
416
UK
Thank you, everyone! I'll make sure to find him a nice new home, as I already have my chosen cockerel for the coop. Alot of the SS chick's back feathers got plucked out due to some integration issues between my two current flocks, so unless the Speckled Sussex are middle to slow growers, then the saddle feathers are coming out late. That's why I'm relying on the size of his comb to tell me whether this guy is male or female. It's lack of growth in the last month is why I've posted this thread - I know what full grown roosters look like, and my cockerel's comb looks small in comparison. I'm not sure if it's a breed flaw though, as he still has room to grow - I've no pictures to take cues from at that age. Do you guys know where I could find pictures of 14 week old pullets and cockerels, for visual reference and comparison?

If I need pictures I Google what I’m looking for and usually threads on BYC come up, with the pictures I’m looking for.

His saddle feathers are actually coming in at the right time. 13 weeks is the average age for them to start growing in.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,393
602
Idaho
It's my first time with the Speckled Sussex breed. I had another SS chick the same age as this one whose traits definitely marked him as a male at six weeks old, so I gave that one away quickly, but this chicken pictured below keeps confusing me.

View attachment 1914108

At first glance, the curved tail feathers say it's a male, while the small, slow-growing crest and neck feathers hint at a pullet. However I've also seen some full grown hen pictures with curved tail feathers while browsing the web a few months back, so despite my growing conviction that this chick is a guy, he could, for all I know, be a girl. He/she has yet to crow, which would be a definitive answer to the question, so right now this chick's prolonged silence is leaving me a bit disturbed. And here's why.

Three years ago, my beginner's luck had me hatch a pullet that laid eggs for a full season before turning into a rooster next spring (stopped laying entirely, grew spears, started crowing and bossing her flockmates around, reigning rooster included), but I've yet to see a possible rooster that could potentially turn into an egg-layer. However with my luck that could also be possible. So now, faced with this three-way dilemma, I'm calling for some experienced folk to clear this up. With all the clues I've laid above, do I have a pullet, a cockerel, or a potentially androgynous chicken on my hands, guys??
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wow, where do you get your chickens from so I never get any from there, this is first time I've hear of a chicken changing genders, making you wonder and be back and forth on pullet or cockerel but never a hen laying eggs suddenly quits and becomes a rooster
 
Nov 28, 2017
2,871
4,399
416
UK
-
wow, where do you get your chickens from so I never get any from there, this is first time I've hear of a chicken changing genders, making you wonder and be back and forth on pullet or cockerel but never a hen laying eggs suddenly quits and becomes a rooster

I’m not OP, but it is possible. But only in hens. I think it happens when the reproductive system is damaged. They moult and grow in male feathers, grow a larger comb, stop laying, start crowing and they’ll try and mate but they are infertile. Roosters cannot change sex. But I read they do act like hens once caponised.
 

MANNA-PRO

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