Tail Feathers a good Indication?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Mkawa, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. Mkawa

    Mkawa New Egg

    Oct 24, 2014
    Hello everyone

    I always thought tail feather were a good indicator for telling the gender of your growing chickens however these two confuse me:



    They are both 11 weeks old. I don't know the breed but it's likely they have the same parents.

    As you can see one has long tail feathers, the other one has no tail feathers.

    Judging by comb and wattles I would say they're both roosters. Judging by their behaviour I would think rooster too (they like getting into fights).

    What do you think? What's your take on tail feathers being a good indicator or not?

    Thanks a lot in advance :)
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are a lot of different clues that a chick might or might not be a male, comb, wattles, body shape, posture, heavy legs, just so many things. Tail feathers certainly can be a clue. If they curl it should be a male.

    But with most of these clues it is a lot easier to say that a chick is male than to say it is female, at least to me. Generally if I think a chick is male, it is. But if I think a chick is female, it is less certain. I’m occasionally wrong. With many, male and female, it is obvious at five weeks but I’ve had some I wasn’t absolutely sure about until close to four months.

    At 11 weeks I think the top one is male. I’m going by comb and wattles size and color and the heavy legs. The general body shape, posture, and shape of the tail looks more female but it also looks like a few tail feathers may be starting to curl. With comb and wattles that bright red at 11 weeks it just about has to be a rooster.

    The bottom one leaves absolutely no doubt. It is a male.
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    I agree.
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Both look like cockerels to me.
  5. Mkawa

    Mkawa New Egg

    Oct 24, 2014
    Thanks a lot for your input, everyone!

    I never thought to look at the curl of the tail feathers as well, I only looked at length.

    Learnt something new again :)
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    May 14, 2014
    I agree.
  7. Urban Flock

    Urban Flock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2014
    Southern Oregon

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