How to Determine The Sex of Chicks

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Unless a person does this for a living, they probably won't get overly proficient at sexing chicks. But it is a rewarding skill that you can learn with some accuracy.

Things You'll Need

  • chicks
  • fertilized chicken eggs.

First way of sexing chicks is to sex them while they are still in the egg. According to my grandmother (who claimed 80% accuracy using this method) you look at the egg. The rounder the egg is, the more likely it is to be a pullet. The more elongated the egg is, the more likely it is to be an egg that contains a cockerel.

A second way is to wait until the chicks are hatched. Turn them over and look at their vents. If the vent is elongated, it's probably a pullet, if it's round, it's probably a cockerel. Independent Professional Chicken sexers use this method. This is a skill that requires weeks of training under the watchful eye of a master chicken sexer.

A third way is to buy chicks that are what is called sex linked chicks. You can buy these chicks from a hatchery. One way is that the pullets will be one color and the cockerels another. Another way that they tell the pattern the feathers are in on the wings. The feathers on the pullets are shaped one way and the feathers on the cockerels another. This how hybrid chickens are sexed.

A fourth way to determine the sex of your chicks is to buy them from the hatchery in the sex you want them. If you want hens to lay eggs, buy pullets. If you want roosters to butcher, order cockerels. If you want a mix of both order as hatched.

A fifth way is to wait until the chicks are between 4-6 weeks old. The roosters will be larger with larger combs and beginning to develop waddles (that dangly part) under their beaks.

The sixth way to sex your chicks is to wait until they are fully grown. If they crow they are roosters. If they lay eggs, they are hens.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful if trying to sex chicks by looking at their vents. Improper handling can cause injury to the chicks.

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