What do you look for to tell if your chick is a roo?

Anianna

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
959
15
143
N/E of Richmond, VA
Quote:I'm not all that experienced, either, but I'm getting more so every day I observe what I have.


No, the RIRs I suspect are roos were straight run. Only the last picture is of one that was sold to me as a pullet and she is older than my suspected roos. I posted her picture as a comparison to show why I am almost positive the younger ones are roos.

We're practical backyard farmers working towards self-sufficiency. We bought dual purpose birds so that we could have layers and some meat birds. In other words, we will keep a couple of roos for future breeding and any roos beyond that will be on dinner plates when they're bigger. We won't have any problem keeping roos until they're big enough for eating.
 

SoORchick73

Songster
8 Years
May 9, 2011
223
7
118
WOW very informative! Thank you everyone! I need to put up some pics because if the reddened comb is a signed then both of my silver laced wyandottes are looking like roos, oh no. I will be sad if any of them are roos (cant have roos here). Thanks again everyone!!!
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
286
421
SW Arkansas
It helps when you have more than one of the same breed to compare. You can't compare apples to oranges. I can pick a baby brahma roo out of a pile of brahma pullets in a heartbeat. Same goes for a turken cockerel in a pile of turkens.

The ones that are giving me trouble are my mixed chicks. When the comb is neither a single (turken) or a pea (brahma) things get pretty interesting.

The tips I posted are from the UC Davis Veterinary Care Program, not something I made up. I'm just putting it out there as something that has worked for me in distinquishing between cockerel and pullet in a flock of the same breed.
 

epeloquin

Songster
8 Years
Mar 11, 2011
626
21
141
Western Massachusetts
The tips I posted are from the UC Davis Veterinary Care Program, not something I made up. I'm just putting it out there as something that has worked for me in distinquishing between cockerel and pullet in a flock of the same breed.

That is exactly what I was getting at. If you have a flock of all one breed then those tips, I am sure, are helpful. Unfortunately, many of not most backyard chicken owners have a variety which would make sexing using the UC Davis info difficult.

Good info though.​
 

SoORchick73

Songster
8 Years
May 9, 2011
223
7
118
So I just tried to take pictures...with an excited 3 year old boy next to me who sending off his energy to 6 chicks lol didnt go over so well! How on earth do you all photograph your birds??? All 17 pictures I took were blurry LOL...its like trying to photograph a car going down the interstate at 70 mph lol

So, I noticed that my SLW (I dont know if thats the correct abbrev for silver laced wyandottes) both have tails, stockier legs andmore tail feathers, and orangey combs as compared to the BO, red sex links and the mystery chicken.

I dont see any spiky or funny feathers on any of them. My BO girlis not nearly as feathered as everyone else, but size wise shes bigger than the red sex links...they are the smallest.

Thanks for all the great info, you are all so helpful.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
286
421
SW Arkansas
Quote:I'm rushing through the forum tonight, so I may have missed it, but did you say how old your chicks were?

A general thing I've noticed with all the breeds I have, regardless of comb type, is that around 4 weeks old the males start looking like poster children for the bald chicken society. They just don't feather out as well or as quickly as the pullets.

I have one 3 1/2 week old chick right now that I'm daring to be a roo. All HE has is wing feathers and some fuzz on his head. All the other chicks same age are feathering in nicely. His back and wing bows are nearly bald. They sure make up for it when they grow up to be such handsome roos, but IMO, there's not many things uglier than a baby roo.

And yes, SLW = silver laced wyandotte
 

ranchhand

Rest in Peace 1956-2011
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
13,295
70
291
SC
Quote:I'm rushing through the forum tonight, so I may have missed it, but did you say how old your chicks were?

A general thing I've noticed with all the breeds I have, regardless of comb type, is that around 4 weeks old the males start looking like poster children for the bald chicken society. They just don't feather out as well or as quickly as the pullets.

I have one 3 1/2 week old chick right now that I'm daring to be a roo. All HE has is wing feathers and some fuzz on his head. All the other chicks same age are feathering in nicely. His back and wing bows are nearly bald. They sure make up for it when they grow up to be such handsome roos, but IMO, there's not many things uglier than a baby roo.

And yes, SLW = silver laced wyandotte

Yes, my cockerals, no matter what breed, tend to feather out more slowly and irregularly than the pullets, g r i t s a r.
 

BlueBetween

Songster
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
252
3
113
Near Seattle
we went to a new farm/feed store today and they had chicks of all ages there, and it was very obvious which ones were roosters even at the 2 to 3 week age range. We were so relieved, as first time chicken owners, we've been waiting for a cock-a-doodle-doo, but the red comb on those little guys sure looked more obvious than anything... I'm 99% sure all of ours are hens now
 

miraclz5

Songster
8 Years
Feb 5, 2011
245
5
111
Southeastern Ohio
From my experience with the first round of chicks we have....the signs described are pretty true to form. It also helps to have an 11 yr old chicken crazy daughter who seems to be the next "chicken whisperer" She is on the "verge" as she put it to calling one of our week and half old chicks a hen. I will let you know in a few weeks if she is right! LOL
 

N&MSchroeder

Songster
9 Years
Feb 4, 2011
1,032
26
176
SE Idaho
Quote:Don't rush to make the girl/boy call with the SLWs. They are notoriously difficult to sex based on their combs, which can turn pink quite early.
and
 

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