This definitely is a little bit late, considering that their almost all grown up (except of course for our rooster – Gimpy) but I guess it’s better late than never! I want to share with you the exciting process of our little chicks growing up, and what we found as good indicators to determine the sexes of them (luck be had, we were right about all of them!) I like to believe that it was these observations – and really not just only luck – that led us to gain the sexes that we wanted, 7 hens and 1 rooster.
Gimpy got his name because when we first had him as a baby, my dad thought he looked ill and was dying despite my reassurances, so when Tim got home he nicknamed him Gimpy and it stuck!
We went by three indicators to determine Gimpy’s sex, of course time was the best to confirm it in the end but here they are:
- A larger comb than any of the others. Gimpy had at least double than most of the girls from the very beginning and it grew much faster, with more colour from the start. Also, his wattles developed way sooner.
- Large, thick legs. Gimpy had massive feet in comparison to the others, all in prep work to be able to support his larger body later on.
- His feather growth. Roosters have slower feather growth then pullets do, and much patchier looking. Typically by my understanding, they develop their back, tail and wing feathers in a slower rate than pullets do; Of course making them look rather ratty for quite some time!
Amber is a pretty girl, being very distinct from the start. She doesn’t have the proper bay coloured eyes a French Maran should have as well as the excessive amber leaking into her feathers on her chest, back and wings isa no-no, but my is she pretty! We are hoping for darker brown eggs from her, but really an egg of any colour would do. We were guessing her to be pullet from the start because of the fullness of her feather growth, skinny legs and small, tight pale coloured comb.
This is Lynx, she definitely threw us a loop with her more pronounced comb, but over time the lack of colouring, size and feathers all indicated pullet to us.
This is Maggie, one of our barnyard mix girls, she was pretty obvious from the start basing on our tell-tale signs. She grew a bit faster than some of the others and had a bit of a bully streak until we provided more room and entertainment. Plus the others catching up to her size helped quite a bit too.
As a note, we did buy our chicks at around 4-5 weeks of age give or take a week or two. Our sexing is based on this time of age and up.