A straight run of chicks will be approximately 50% male (cockerels) and 50% female (pullets). If you had the ability to test a chick’s chromosomes you would be able to know the gender for sure. Since that’s not the case, you will likely have to rely on a little “art” and a little “science” to make an educated guess.
If you need to determine the sex of your chicks within the first week or two, you will need to get advice from experts and you will need to practice a lot. Even the professionals are not accurate 100% of the time.
After the second week though, even an amateur can usually determine the sex of a chick. You may not be 100% correct even at this point, but here are a few guidelines to help out:
- Cockerels may display small combs poking upward from their heads sooner than pullets
- Cockerels may display pink waddles under their beaks sooner than pullets
- Cockerels may grow bigger and faster than pullets
- Eventually, cockerels will developed pointed backs while pullets develop rounded backs
- Eventually, cockerels will develop longer tail feathers
- Some breeds can be color sexed based on feather color, presence of spots, etc.
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