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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by frankie5316, Mar 16, 2008.
what do i look for on my chicks that can tell me if theyre cockerels or pullets?
How old are they? From what I was told, I would have to wait until their secondary sex traits came in. I likened it to waiting til a boy started to grow whiskers.
Mine are 7 weeks old now and I think I have 2 cockerels, 3 pullets. One guy has really thick legs, big feet and the startings of a comb.
what breed are they? usually it can take up to 3 or 4 weeks to 3 or 4 months
Some breeds autosex by color.
Cockerals may have thicker legs and develop curved saddle feathers and pointy hackle feathers.
As they get a little older their wattles and comb become more pronounced.
Pullets tend to get tail feathers sooner.
In plymouth barred rock chicks the cockeral is lighter colored and the spot ontop of its head is larger.
The comb and wattles on cockerel chicks will turn dark pink/ reddish much much sooner than on pullets, except on breeds with black or very dark combs.
There are noticeable differences between the sexes in some specific breeds, most commonly the auto-sexing breeds and sex-link hybrids.
The auto-sexing breeds include the barred and cuckoo breeds. Those females feather in darker than the males. At hatch the females also have a smaller white spot on their head and the males have a larger one.
Sex linked birds are created when a genetically gold/red male is bred to a genetically silver female, then the female chicks have gold down and the male chicks are yellow.
Some breeds can be feather sexed. In that case, there is a difference in the wing feathers during the first week only.
A more subtle difference can sometimes be seen in their behavior. When startled, the pullets are more likely to duck for cover and the cockerels stand up tall and look to see where the threat is coming from. But this is by no means a sure fire test of sex. LOL