What are the main things you look for in determining sex?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Redangler, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Redangler

    Redangler Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2012
    Bradenton, FL
    First time flock owner here and I am having a great time reading the posts on this page. All of you have much more experience than me in all facets of chickens and ownership. I am just wondering what are the main things you look for in determining the sex? Thanks for your help.
  2. SweetSilver

    SweetSilver Chillin' With My Peeps

    Depends on the breed and type, partly.

    In some breeds and types the males develop different coloring and patterning from the females. Usually this can be determined at a few weeks in age, other breeds are identifiable at birth. Another definitive sign of a cockerel is the pointed hackle and saddle feathers that start to grow in at approximately 12 (?) weeks, though the timing of the development of those feathers varies wildly. Pullets develop more-or-less rounded feathers at these points.

    Less dependable signs: In some individual chicks, fast growth and comb development make ID obvious at a young age. Compared to other chicks of the same breed, they are large, their legs are large, and they just seem more robust in general. This is undependable because some cockerels grow at a similar rate to the pullets. Intense sparring, grabbing the back of necks of the pullet chicks, practice crowing. These are undependable because some dominant pullets can have similar behaviors.

    Adult roosters will have spurs. Cockerels and pullets alike will have a bump where the spur will grow. In my birds, sexing is pretty obvious long before these spurs start to develop.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  3. akcountrygrrl

    akcountrygrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2010
    Nenana, AK
    Hens can grow spurs too.

    In some breeds, pullets will feather in faster or will have a different body shape than cockerels. And we can't forget crowing vs egg laying. :-D

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