Friday, January 27, 2012

will it lay or will it crow?

These little chicks of ours are certainly keeping us guessing. At almost two months old they have proper feathers and are showing a lovely range of colourings. But which are roosters and which are hens?

Some seem obvious but others not so much. According to my Google research, the only way you'll know 100% for sure is when it lays, or crows!

Any opinions - based on experience, gut feel or wild guesswork - very welcome.

I'm fairly sure this pretty yellowish one is a girl, and I want to keep her.

that looks like a rooster tail to me, but he(?) doesn't have a lot of comb yet

possibly a girl, and rather lovely feathers

this one has the most obvious rooster-style comb and wattle development, yet no prominent tail

a girl, I think

fairly sure this is a girl - pretty much no comb or wattle development

here's the little rooster again showing off his beautiful blue-laced gold wyandotte colouring (certainly the best colouring of all the chicks)

girl? have we already looked at this one? they run about so much it's very hard to get good photos

a bit of comb and wattle... who knows
We may have found a home in the hills for one rooster. We're not allowed to keep any here in the 'burbs. The other boys are destined for the table at maybe five to six months of age. Of course we had to be prepared to do that before we decided to hatch the eggs.

We'll keep one or two hens as layers and any others will be bound for the chookyards of friends. I really hope we have a few girls to give away.

The two mother hens who did the hatching are about to start laying again any day now. They're making the right noises. Come on ladies, you can do it. It seems so crazy to have 13 chickens at home and have to buy eggs.

Next spring, maybe one of these babies will be hatching another clutch of eggs for us. We're definitely keen to do it all again.

- Jane x


  1. They really are very handsome--there's a sort of Japanese pattern mixing going on there!

  2. Hi Jane,
    Beautiful chickies! I am guessing you have quite a few girls in that mix. Is there a bit of other breed in there too? That long tail is quite something and I've not seen one quite like that before on any of my chicks. I think you're right about the blue laced gold one being a male - he is beautiful! Isn't it fun seeing how they all turn out. I have some blue Australorps running around the front yard and I am not sure which of those if any are roosters...? Only time will tell.

    1. Hi Harriet, lovely to hear from you! That's interesting to hear about the tail. I'm not too sure about the breed. They sure are quite a mix aren't they. I will send some photos to the lady we bought the eggs from since she was keen to see what they turned out like when they had their feathers. She did have a couple of different breeds, she might recognise that maybe a different rooster was romancing some of the wyandotte hens?! I'm glad you think that a few really look like girls. We do want to eat some but I'd rather it not be the majority.
      Blue Australorps... sound lovely :)

  3. I have no idea, but love the idea of not having to buy eggs. My kids would love them. Cx

  4. I think you need to set up some sort of a pool :) Nothing like betting on chicken genders!

  5. They are really cute, but honestly, their big chicken-y feet freak me out a little bit. :)

  6. We have lots of chooks and sometimes it is really obvious if they are roosters or chooks but sometimes we get it so wrong. I have sworn a chicken was female until I saw it um doing it( and I had never heard it crow ) and then another time my husband killed a rooster except it was a hen - I still feel incredibly bad about this - well I feel bad about killing roosters too but you can`t have heaps of roosters - it just doesn`t work and no=one really wants them. We currently have two roosters and the younger doesn`t have a good time of it=the more dominant rooster is always chasing him if he gets too close to the females.

    1. Thanks for your comment - glad it's not just me having a hard time of telling them apart! I am now only sure that three out of ten are girls. There are two certain roosters (have crowed now) and the others... I'm still not sure! There's a fair bit of rooster-like sparring going on... two facing standing very upright and kicking out at each other. I was hoping we could wait until about 5 months before, er, harvesting but it looks like it will need to be sooner!


Hey, I would really love to know what you think. Go on!

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