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


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 15, 2011
I have the same problem. I have 2 wyndottes and 3 RIR and I believe that I have one roo RIR they look like your suspect roos. The other 2 RIR have much shorter combs. I am going to wait and see. I am thinking of getting a couple more at the feed store just in case so I can be sure and have 5-6layers.


9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
N/E of Richmond, VA
Quote:I recommend trying swaps or breeders if there are any in your area. That way, you can get a good look at older chicks; old enough to get a better idea of if they are layers or crowers. When 9 of my original 11 straight run chicks started looking like roos, I went to a swap and bought ten chickens that were older than mine and had these tiny little combs and skinny little legs. I call it rooster math; buying pullets to improve the hen/rooster ratio!


8 Years
Jan 27, 2011
Vancouver Island
Quote:Haha, thanks.
I think my very first post on this board was me asking why my new chick was having a seizure in her shavings. Luckily, everyone knew exactly what I was talking about and set my mind at ease pretty quickly.

For the people with suspected RIR roos, here's mine at 9 weeks old. Compared to my other RIR, his comb his huge and red, he has shiny feathers, and I'm pretty sure a RIR pullet wouldn't get green in her tail. At about two weeks, the female already had very developed wing feathers and a tail, whereas the cockerel had very little. As they grew, his comb turned red pretty early (4-5 weeks I believe), and now her comb is still tiny and yellow compared to his. A lot of what was on gritsar's list held true for these guys. My Welsummer's aren't quite as obvious, but going by gritsar's list there is definitely one of each (which is what I suspected). And yeah, I realize it's not actually gritsar's list.

And my Wyandotte at 7 or 8 weeks I believe. It's not obvious in the picture but his (her?) comb is quite red, and that with the very developed wattles (which he/she had before 4 weeks) made me suspect roo:

However, 4 weeks later and no further signs of a boy, I'm beginning to think it's actually a pullet. Compared to my other chick that age who is almost definitely a roo (different breed though, so hard to compare), this one's feathers are round, no shiny ones, and also his/her personality is very meek and mild compared to any of my birds I suspect might be roos.


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
Quote:The best way I know to describe wing bows is as shoulders. When you look down at a chick holding it's wings in the normal position, you will notice at the top of the wing a rounded area, much like the bow of an archer. Those are the wing bows.

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