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When can you tell hens from roosters?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by johnnalei, May 19, 2009.

  1. johnnalei

    johnnalei Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2009
    I'm hatching some eggs and have no idea when I will be able to tell what they are. They are not sex links (I'm hatching both salmon faverolles and blue ameraucanas). When approximately can I expect to visually tell the difference between them? Also, what differences am I looking for?? Thanks so much!!
  2. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    My salmon favorelle rooster is very dark in color and my hens are very light colored. It's my first batch of them but it think thats the way it is with SF's. As far as the americanas i think you have to wait either for an egg or a crow. LOL. Good Luck I'm sure someone else will come along and be more helpful.
  3. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    You may be able to tell in the first couple of weeks. A male chick may be someone stand-offish when you put your hand into the brooder. They will emerge from the group, and stick their chest out as if to say "you want some of this?". This is by no means a sure thing, but I've found it to be pretty reliable. At about 3-4 weeks, you will notice the males to have larger combs. You may also be able to see a small bump on their leg where the spur is starting to grow.
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    The first signs are larger &/or darker pink or reddish combs on the boys, starting at 3-4 weeks. Some even earlier, some later. The boys also may show little pink wattles under their chins, they remind me of young teen boys growing their first beard hairs.

    Both boys & girls get those little bumps on their legs, rooster spurs don't really start growing for several months or more.

    At around 9-10 weeks the cockerels will begin to sprout their pointy man-feathers around their necks (hackles) and in front of their tails (saddles). If you part the feathers there you may see them begin to sprout.

    Some chicks will keep you guessing for a long time, until they either crow or lay an egg.
  5. cariboujaguar

    cariboujaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2009
    at 8 weeks if a RIR has 2 black feathers in his tail that means he's a roo right?
  6. johnnalei

    johnnalei Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2009
    When do roosters generally start to crow?
  7. Rockpile99

    Rockpile99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2009
    I have a Cuckoo Marans that just started crowing last week (8 weeks old) on my birthday no less. That was a nice birthday wakeup call! [​IMG]
    It wasn't very loud (pre-adolescent rooster call - how funny) and at first I wasn't sure I actualy heard it or if it was part of a dream. My DH confirmed he heard it too, since then I've been able to catch him in the act.

    Soo much for my brown eggs. [​IMG]
  8. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    You can see if feather sexing works for you. Most hatcheries do it on day of hatch. Males wing feathers are even and females wing are eneven at the wing tip edge. There is a few Youtube videos that show it so you know what you are looking for or at.
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    At 8 weeks a RIR roo should have a noticeable red comb & wattles, I haven't paid attention to differences in tail feathers. Crowing can start from 8-12 weeks.

    I believe that only certain breeds can be feather-sexed, and I don't know exactly which are the ones who can. I think it's a production breed, maybe Leghorns? If all breeds could be reliably feather-sexed, why would anyone bother with vent sexing?

    I've seen some chicks that almost seem to strut right out of their eggs, they act so masculine right from the start. And others that keep you guessing up to 15 weeks.

    The important thing is to know your plans for all roosters you might get, no matter where/how you obtain your chicks. Few methods are 100% accurate, so decide now what you'll do with any roos, especially if you don't want them or cannot keep them.
  10. sherrydeanne

    sherrydeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Fav's can be sexed at about 2 weeks -- males get dark wing feathers.

    True Americaunas can usually be sexed by 6 weeks or so, by comb.

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