What grows first on roos... the tail or the combs?


Mother Goose
10 Years
Apr 19, 2009
Central Ohio
I have several 3 week old chicks that could be roos (I ordered a male and female of each breed. The breeds are Australorp, Gold Phoenix, and Light Brown Leghorn.)

I'm starting to see some changes in them, but I'm confused because the chicks with the larger combs have the shorter tails! Especially with the Phoenix, I would think the longer tail would indicate a roo, but the one with the longer tail has the shorter comb on that one too!

So in general, do the combs or the tails grow first on the males?
The combs show up before any difference is noticable in the tail feathers. Bigger and pinker than the pullets of the same age. At least that's the way it's been in my flock.
This is something that might help you when your chicks are 4-6 weeks old. It worked for me.
According to UC Davis Veterinary Care Program.
2. Physical Characteristics (4-6 weeks of age)
a. Comb – The cockerels comb is medium size and pinkish, the pullets is small and yellowish.
b. Legs – The cockerel’s legs are sturdy and long, the pullets are finer and shorter.
c. Tail – The cockerel’s tail is stumpy and curved, the pullets is longer and straight.
d. Back – The cockerel has a thin line of stub feathers down the center of his back, the pullet has more advanced feathering along the center of her back.
e. Side of neck, flank and crop – The feathering in the cockerel in these areas is poorly advanced, the pullets feathering in these areas is well advanced.
f. Wing bows – In the cockerel the wing bows are bare, in pullets the wing bows are covered with small feathers.

Good luck!

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