This post contains affiliate links. For more information click here. Many of us who keep backyard chickens raise them from hatchlings or day old chicks. And, sometimes our curiosity gets the better of us and we wonder whether these fluffy little ones will grow up to be clucky hens or crowing roosters. As a backyard chicken keeper, you can learn to sex your chicks by simple observation, for the most part. The first and most versatile method for sexing the widest variety of chicken breeds is to note the occurrence of wing feather development.
O ne of the most popular questions from newcomers who have hatched chicks for the first time is how can I tell if they are male or female? Well in short, it is not easy to tell but there are some tell-tale signs to look out for. Autosexing breeds such as the Rhodebar or Cream Legbar produce chicks that have different down colour so can be sexed as day old chicks. The photo below shows the difference between male and female Cream Legbar chicks that I hatched. These are pure breeds of poultry, they breed true and are standardised. Autosexing Cream Legbar Chicks. Male and female can be identified at day old by the colour of their down.
A drop in temperature can change the sex of chickens
The cockerels have the definitely yellow shanks and toes typical of the breed, while the pullets show a grayish or blackish coloration on the shanks and toes, particularly on the front of the shanks and top of the toes. The degree of this darkish coloration will vary from pullet to pullet. The color difference between pullets and cockerels becomes less noticeable as the chicks mature. Roger and Carol Voter conducted a study, observing and labeling many chicks.
Chick sexing is the method of distinguishing the sex of chickens and other hatchlings, usually by a trained person called a chick sexer or chicken sexer. The females and a limited number of males kept for meat production are then put on different feeding programs appropriate for their commercial roles. Different segments of the poultry industry sex chickens for various reasons.