What Are Different Ways To Sex Baby Chicks

Lizzy733

Crowing
Nov 13, 2018
1,010
1,774
251
New Zealand
With very young chicks, the supposed tells are size, leg thickness, tail feather development, friendliness, down coloration, in some breeds... and some people say you can tell by their beak shape.

I find it's always the charmers out of the bunch that tend to be roosters. They're more adventurous and less likely to be fussed by being picked up, where a girl will be more jittery and anxious; more likely to trill nervously when you touch their backs, or hover a hand over them to scoop them up.

I have 7 in the brooder, just 3 days old and I am suspecting 4 boys 3 girls. There are 4 Campines in the bunch and I'm convinced I have a 2/2 split on them based on size and personality. The larger ones are quite chill. With the orpingtons, it's more guesswork at this stage and am solely going on personality and size.

None of these are foolproof though; I have a small one, with thin legs, feathering in very quickly(just started her tail today), which very much loves to be picked up and cuddled, but is jittery about it, so thinking girl... But that may still be wrong.

Campines are supposed to red up around 3 weeks and they do seem to be developing quickly, so will know if my theories are correct.

Typically, you should have a good idea by 6 weeks. Your boys will have some wattle development, may have reddened up, they may even have a feather sheen starting to show.

It's easier to tell when you have others of the same breed to compare them to. Silkies are a real wildcard. One silkie by itself will have you paranoid it's a roo all the way up to point of lay.
 

-Flash-

Crowing
Sep 15, 2021
1,253
3,191
326
NSW, Australia
With very young chicks, the supposed tells are size, leg thickness, tail feather development, friendliness, down coloration, in some breeds... and some people say you can tell by their beak shape.

I find it's always the charmers out of the bunch that tend to be roosters. They're more adventurous and less likely to be fussed by being picked up, where a girl will be more jittery and anxious; more likely to trill nervously when you touch their backs, or hover a hand over them to scoop them up.

I have 7 in the brooder, just 3 days old and I am suspecting 4 boys 3 girls. There are 4 Campines in the bunch and I'm convinced I have a 2/2 split on them based on size and personality. The larger ones are quite chill. With the orpingtons, it's more guesswork at this stage and am solely going on personality and size.

None of these are foolproof though; I have a small one, with thin legs, feathering in very quickly(just started her tail today), which very much loves to be picked up and cuddled, but is jittery about it, so thinking girl... But that may still be wrong.

Campines are supposed to red up around 3 weeks and they do seem to be developing quickly, so will know if my theories are correct.

Typically, you should have a good idea by 6 weeks. Your boys will have some wattle development, may have reddened up, they may even have a feather sheen starting to show.

It's easier to tell when you have others of the same breed to compare them to. Silkies are a real wildcard. One silkie by itself will have you paranoid it's a roo all the way up to point of lay.
Thanks! Of cause I have Silkies! :barnie:)
 

mamabear6810

Songster
May 23, 2021
292
303
128
I use a safety oin on a string. It doeant work well on new chicks but around 4 weeks seems to be when it gets most accurate.
Also i always picked the chicks at TSC with longer wings and biggest tails. When doing that i got all females. This has been the best method for me.
When observing my youngsters, i see stance as a huge indicator. They also tend to be the ones to start fights. Just moved a jap vantam who i wasnt quite sure about, to rhe male coop, bc he grabbed the neck feathers of another chick and drug it around!!!! It was crazy and i only had one other roo do that and it was a TSC silkie.
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
28,260
56,782
1,141
East, Tawas Michigan
Feather sexing really only works for specific crosses so I don’t know how you’d attempt to do it.
@MysteryChicken, I’m still not a believer, but you feather sex birds and claim it works so…
Hanging upside down - don’t do it. It’s like pinching a baby to see if it’ll cry, and then deciding it’s gender based on that.
Personality- just observe them. Many young cockerels are very outgoing and bold.
Lynching by the neck to tell gender of a chick isn't a good idea either, & it doesn't work.

Pullets can have very outgoing personalities too, & I don't sex based on observation due to that.
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
28,260
56,782
1,141
East, Tawas Michigan
I use a safety oin on a string. It doeant work well on new chicks but around 4 weeks seems to be when it gets most accurate.
Also i always picked the chicks at TSC with longer wings and biggest tails. When doing that i got all females. This has been the best method for me.
When observing my youngsters, i see stance as a huge indicator. They also tend to be the ones to start fights. Just moved a jap vantam who i wasnt quite sure about, to rhe male coop, bc he grabbed the neck feathers of another chick and drug it around!!!! It was crazy and i only had one other roo do that and it was a TSC silkie.
Same as the Coin on a string method which is wives tale, & doesn't work.

Stance isn't always a good indicator of gender with silkies, I've had both males, & females stand tall. Same with other breeds I have.

Females will start fights too. It's not a gender specific trait.

Tail feather length I've only seen work best on Orpingtons, which were my first birds I started experimenting with. Males also had the slow feathering gene, which also resulted in an even row of coverts.
 

RoostersAreAwesome

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
May 21, 2017
11,954
30,603
1,012
I use a safety oin on a string. It doeant work well on new chicks but around 4 weeks seems to be when it gets most accurate.
Also i always picked the chicks at TSC with longer wings and biggest tails. When doing that i got all females. This has been the best method for me.
When observing my youngsters, i see stance as a huge indicator. They also tend to be the ones to start fights. Just moved a jap vantam who i wasnt quite sure about, to rhe male coop, bc he grabbed the neck feathers of another chick and drug it around!!!! It was crazy and i only had one other roo do that and it was a TSC silkie.
At 4 weeks there are other signs of gender, so you may be unconsciously moving the string based on what you think the chicks may be.
When you got chicks with longer wings and tails, were these from a straight run bin? How many did you get? That rate of accuracy is impressive.
 

PippinTheChicken

ʇɔıpp∀ uǝʞɔıɥƆ
Premium Feather Member
Mar 19, 2021
6,217
18,527
586
UK
My Coop
My Coop
Pippin's easy guide to silkie sexing

Pippin's easy guide to silkie sexing

Hello there! When I hatched my own silkies, I studied and studied about how to sex them. I read that it was almost impossible to sex them, and that you had to wait for a crow or an egg. Raising and watching them helped me pick out certain traits that only belong to roosters or hens. These...
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom