What is happening!? Cockerels everywhere?

Jmash

Chirping
Sep 11, 2018
54
79
96
SF Bay Area
I have some questions about cockerel signs and behaviors. I’ve raised 7 chicks (all supposed to be females) and of those 7, 4 are either confirmed or suspected cockerels!! Feeling pretty frustrated as we can’t keep cockerels and this statistic is way off the 90% we were quoted.

1) a red comb before maturity: is this a sure sign of a cockerel- or can I still hope against hope?

2) I have two (one 13 weeks and one 10 weeks) that are going up to each other, rising up their chests and heads and flapping at each other as if they are sizing each other up for a fight. Is this a sure sign they are both cockerels?

A history: our first 4 chicks, one of the Easter Eggers was definitely a cockerel and at 15 weeks went to go live on a farm. Two weeks prior our other EE was killed by a Raccoon, but before it died at 13 weeks, it’s comb was red. Those two EE’s were presenting to each other like the two we have now are doing.

Of our second 3 chicks, the older one (now 13 weeks) has a clearly reddening comb, but other features aren’t as obvious (this one is a Lavender Orp). The younger is 10 weeks (a welsummer) and at times I think the waddles are red. My suspicion is part on that and now on the behavior I’m seeing between it and the LO.

Have we really received 4 males out of 7 chicks (all sexes female). The chances of this are 1/10,000. Are we really so unlucky?

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WunnySharbit

Chirping
Nov 23, 2018
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I had a chicken 4-her tell me of a way to sex chickens: hold them upside down by their feet (gently!). If they try to right themselves immediately, they are female. Males just stay inverted.

It worked for me, but.......I don't raise enough birds to really check it out. Has anyone else heard of this or is it an old farmer's tale?
 

Folly's place

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Post photos!!! Full side views, and heads. Maybe we can help here, if you don't already have pictures up elsewhere.
Just curious; where are these chicks from? The hatcheries I've used have done much better than this, and are willing to make things right if there's been an error. It sounds like you have straight run, not pullets only.
Pullets will spar with each other too, so that's not a sure sign of their sex.
Mary
 
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Wyorp Rock

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1) a red comb before maturity: is this a sure sign of a cockerel- or can I still hope against hope?

2) I have two (one 13 weeks and one 10 weeks) that are going up to each other, rising up their chests and heads and flapping at each other as if they are sizing each other up for a fight. Is this a sure sign they are both cockerels?
Can you post some photos of each bird?
Show the whole body.

Depends on breed, some girls may have early reddish comb/wattles.
It's not unusual for girls to chest bump, flare up at each other, so I don't normally associate that behavior exclusively to cockerels.
 

rosemarythyme

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Definitely post photos. If these were all sexed by a reputable hatchery, that'd be an incredible run of bad luck. If these came from a farm where someone claimed they have this "secret technique!" to sexing birds, then actually the numbers would be about right, since they likely grabbed random birds.

The two birds sizing each other up could be male or female. My 2 EE pullets have been doing that forever but both are girls.

With the Welsummer at least you should be able to tell just by feather color. Salmon breast feathers = female, black = male.
 

Jmash

Chirping
Sep 11, 2018
54
79
96
SF Bay Area
Post photos!!! Full side views, and heads. Maybe we can help here, if you don't already have pictures up elsewhere.
Just curious; where are these chicks from? The hatcheries I've used have done much better than this, and are willing to make things right if there's been an error. It sounds like you have straight run, not pullets only.
Pullets will spar with each other too, so that's not a sure sign of their sex.
Mary

I actually got them from two different places. The origina
Post photos!!! Full side views, and heads. Maybe we can help here, if you don't already have pictures up elsewhere.
Just curious; where are these chicks from? The hatcheries I've used have done much better than this, and are willing to make things right if there's been an error. It sounds like you have straight run, not pullets only.
Pullets will spar with each other too, so that's not a sure sign of their sex.
Mary

Thanks! I added images to the OP.
I actually got them from different places. The first set were from mypetchicken.com - I didn’t order straight run, but females. Someone told me EE are tricky to sex though.

The second set (and the current ones in question) are from a local lady who orders from a hatchery (unsure which one). She said she only gets females (90% accuracy), but I’m questioning if they sent her straight run (or males…). I sometimes wonder if my BLRW is male also since that chick has always been the largest and has thick shanks. That chicken (13 weeks and is in one of the photos) has pretty red waddles too.
 

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Jmash

Chirping
Sep 11, 2018
54
79
96
SF Bay Area
Definitely post photos. If these were all sexed by a reputable hatchery, that'd be an incredible run of bad luck. If these came from a farm where someone claimed they have this "secret technique!" to sexing birds, then actually the numbers would be about right, since they likely grabbed random birds.

The two birds sizing each other up could be male or female. My 2 EE pullets have been doing that forever but both are girls.

With the Welsummer at least you should be able to tell just by feather color. Salmon breast feathers = female, black = male.
Just posted photos in the Original post. LMK what you think!
 

Jmash

Chirping
Sep 11, 2018
54
79
96
SF Bay Area
Can you post some photos of each bird?
Show the whole body.

Depends on breed, some girls may have early reddish comb/wattles.
It's not unusual for girls to chest bump, flare up at each other, so I don't normally associate that behavior exclusively to cockerels.
Just posted photos in the Original post. LMK what you think!
 

MANNA-PRO

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