The Difference Between Hens & Roosters

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Watch a naturalist from the Massachusetts Audubon Society's Drumlin Farm explain the difference between hens and roosters in this free online video.

Part of the Video Series: Understanding Chickens & Eggs
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Video Transcript

Okay how to tell the difference between a hen and a rooster. The first thing you have to do is start with the same variety or breed of chicken because they will have different characteristics depending on what breed. I have two of our own Theracane's and you can tell they both have the ear muffs, the both have the rosy kind of comb. But look at his comb. This is the rooster in my right hand and look at her comb. Her comb is very small compared to his. Now the other big characteristic is look at their feet. He has that large spur and she has no spur whatsoever. You can always tell a rooster because they will always have spurs no matter what breed they are. The other characteristic would be the crow. Hens don't crow. Roosters do and the last characteristic would be the tail. Look at her very small undistinguished tail and look at his. He has a long curly feather hanging out the back so he is obviously a rooster and she is obviously a hen. Again, the last characteristic and I forgot this one, is roosters will be quite shiny. They oil themselves up. They have an oil gland back there by their tails and they get them selfs nice and shiny where the hands usually are plainer and duller.

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