Super worried that my baby could be a rooster

MaeM

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Dec 9, 2020
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Hi, I've recently got 2 baby chicks from a guy who owns an incubator. I specifically asked him to give me 2 pullets, but as I started to read specifically about Plymouth Rocks' sex differences, I became super worried that this baby could be a rooster in the future. I love roosters, but I can't have more hens and I'm afraid it could be dangerous for the other baby chick, who is supposedly a New Hampshire hen (and the Internet hasn't really made me doubt about her so far. But it really made me doubt about the Plymouth).

I wanted to know how accurate is Plymouth's sexing method that's about "spot on the head, color of the wings, color of the legs"? The chick is about 12 days old.

You can't see the legs in the picture I'll be posting but they're lighter than what I saw on the web for females... Still he/she has some black spots on them so IDK. It's really driving me crazy because I can't keep him if he's a rooster... :'(
 

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Pyxis

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What was the sexing method that the seller was using to sell you only pullets? The only real way to sex chicks that aren't a sexually dimorphic color is vent sexing, and even that is only 90% accurate when done by the experts that do it for hatcheries.

That said, barring IS a sexually dimorphic color, so sexing by coloration is fairly accurate. Female chicks tend to have a nice, condensed head spot and dark wash down the legs. Males have a less defined head spot and a lighter wash.

But that's not 100% accurate either. There's always the chance you find a pullet that has lighter wash on her legs or a messier head spot.

Once the feathers start to come in, you can tell. Males have lighter and wider barring than females.
 

Ebony Rose

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I may be reading more into what you've said than what you meant.
What I think you've said is that you have an existing flock of older birds, and bought two chicks, expecting them to both grow into hens.
You're afraid that one may be a cockerel instead.
You're worried about integrating a single chick to your existing flock (assuming you plan on rehoming the suspected cockerel).

If this is what you were meaning to say, have you considered introducing the two chicks to the mature flock together as you would have done if they were both pullets?
I understand that you cannot have a rooster, but... he's (if it is a he) isn't a rooster 'til he crows.
You can always find a new home, or freezer space for a cockerel after the integration process has progressed to the point that these two young birds are well established and not needing to run from the adult birds. There's strength in numbers when introducing new birds to an existing flock, and if it turns out that you only got one pullet chick, she'll need her buddy to ease the integration process.
 

Hei 20

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Oct 8, 2020
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Hi, I've recently got 2 baby chicks from a guy who owns an incubator. I specifically asked him to give me 2 pullets, but as I started to read specifically about Plymouth Rocks' sex differences, I became super worried that this baby could be a rooster in the future. I love roosters, but I can't have more hens and I'm afraid it could be dangerous for the other baby chick, who is supposedly a New Hampshire hen (and the Internet hasn't really made me doubt about her so far. But it really made me doubt about the Plymouth).

I wanted to know how accurate is Plymouth's sexing method that's about "spot on the head, color of the wings, color of the legs"? The chick is about 12 days old.

You can't see the legs in the picture I'll be posting but they're lighter than what I saw on the web for females... Still he/she has some black spots on them so IDK. It's really driving me crazy because I can't keep him if he's a rooster... :'(
20201204_10372515.jpg
 

JedJackson

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I suspect the guy who sold them to you has no idea whether these chicks are male or female. Only vent sexing would work at that age, and that takes an expert. And even that is not 100% accurate.

As far as the head spot thing goes, it only works if the barred rocks are from a strain bred for that quality, and most are not.

I think you will need to wait a while to know the sexes of both chicks.

If and when you know you have a male, don't panic. There are many ways to deal with that issue, and we can help you.
 

EmmaRainboe

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I suspect the guy who sold them to you has no idea whether these chicks are male or female. Only vent sexing would work at that age, and that takes an expert. And even that is not 100% accurate.

As far as the head spot thing goes, it only works if the barred rocks are from a strain bred for that quality, and most are not.

I think you will need to wait a while to know the sexes of both chicks.

If and when you know you have a male, don't panic. There are many ways to deal with that issue, and we can help you.
x3
 

MaeM

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Dec 9, 2020
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Thanks for your replies!

What was the sexing method that the seller was using to sell you only pullets? The only real way to sex chicks that aren't a sexually dimorphic color is vent sexing, and even that is only 90% accurate when done by the experts that do it for hatcheries.

The guy didn't tell me a lot about his sexing method. He's an experienced man who incubates chickens for a living. I assumed he went for the vent method, but I was too excited to ask too much —my mistake. I trusted him. But as JedJackson says, he could have lied.

I may be reading more into what you've said than what you meant.
What I think you've said is that you have an existing flock of older birds, and bought two chicks, expecting them to both grow into hens.
You're afraid that one may be a cockerel instead.
You're worried about integrating a single chick to your existing flock (assuming you plan on rehoming the suspected cockerel).

No, I only have these 2 chicks. I've had 6 in the past, but after they died, I didn't want to have more chickens until now. And I started with only 2. The problem is that I currently can't have 8-10 hens for 1 rooster as recommended. And I know by experience it's risky to have only an heterosexual (lol) couple of rooster and hen.

Now that you talk about integration, however, I'm wondering... In case I exchange the rooster (if he's a rooster) for a new hen... how problematic would it be to integrate her with the previous hen? Could there be trouble if they weren't raised together?


:welcome
How did he sex them?


Do you have other roos? How many other hens?

I'm not sure about how he sexed them. I don't have other roos, but I only have 1 other baby chick that's supposed to be a hen. But I've been told and read everywhere that you should have 8-10 hens for 1 rooster, which it's not possible for me right now. That's why I'm so worried.

If and when you know you have a male, don't panic. There are many ways to deal with that issue, and we can help you.

Thanks for the support! To deal with that issue, the only way I can think of is keeping the hen separated from the rooster, so that he won't hurt her or stress her, but I have a huge backyard with grass and I'd really like them to enjoy it freely... that's why I asked for 2 females. I had a very bad experience in the past in which a rooster pecked a hen's eye out and killed her... :'(
 

SulkyBantam

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I had a very bad experience in the past in which a rooster pecked a hen's eye out and killed her... :'(

I'm so sorry that happened to you.
But most roos are not like that, please don't hold it against them.

So don't be culling him until he's old enough to be sure he's a roo. 'He' could still be female.

If 'he' is a he, what will you do?
 

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