what traits do you use to tell hen or roo?

xrainxbowx

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 6, 2012
30
0
32
Eden, NC
so i have this chicken that is definately a hen. i think speckled sussex. shes laying eggs. but my uninformed guess at looking at her in comparison to my other hens is that this is a roo. can you guys let me know how you could tell this is a hen?

 

akcountrygrrl

Songster
9 Years
Apr 3, 2010
2,024
27
173
Nenana, AK
That one is all hen. By this age she would have pointed hackle and saddle feathers as well as longer sickle feathers on the tail.
 

xrainxbowx

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 6, 2012
30
0
32
Eden, NC
like i said, i know it is a hen now because it lays eggs. but i am trying to figure out how do you know it is a hen by just looking at it, i thought her comb was way to big to be a she based on pictures i saw online. her tail feathers did look more like a hen than a roos, but some pictures seemed a little vague and i thought she might be borderline. thank you akcountrygrrl. i looked up the feathers that you mentioned and it makes a little more sense. i still have so much to learn.
 

texas75563

Songster
8 Years
7 Years
Jan 24, 2012
437
33
151
Linden, Texas
You already have the best way. When they lay eggs, they are hens! Thats the 1 sure way to know. The Roos tail feathers eventually extend further then the hens. At which time they will curl. Look for spurs to grow longer quicker on the roos. Wattles are usually bigger on the roos. This is true on for the combs on some of the breeds. These are general rules and some won't apply until the birds are older.
For any rule, there are always exceptions.

For several breeds on the younger birds, you would have better odds of picking the sexes by flipping a coin.
 

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