Sexing Chicken Questions? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Ordering all pullets from the hatchery gets expensive. I am ready to try my hand at egg hatching but one reason I have bought chicks in the past is that I just don't want to mess with roosters. I don't mind raising a few, but don't like the 1/2 and 1/2 senario. I would like to hatch and then give away the roosters and keep the pullets.

Somewhere, maybe in Countryside (??) I read that you can sex new chicks by holding them upside down by the legs. Girls will calm down right away, the boys will put up a struggle. Does any one know if this is just an old wives tale or does it work?

Any one out there with a fairly accurate way of sexing new chicks on your own?

How do the hatcheries do it?

-- Karen (, February 22, 2002


Good Luck Karen! We bought a straight run of 18. 4 were pullets and the rest were roosters. Two springs ago, we bought 12 pullet and only one turned out to be a rooster. Not even the experts are always right. We, too, do not want to mess with the roosters. Chicken bought from the store is still cheap and with some extra cleaning precautions, relatively safe for consumption. We raise our chickens for all the wonderful eggs; free of medications and unknown factors. We still need to find someone who has worked at a hatchery and can give some insight into how they do it. I've never heard of holding them upside down to tell. We could tell when the boys started chasing the girls and the girls started laying eggs. No roosters are necessary for egg production. Some roosters are tamer and more calm than others and you may want to keep them around.

Good Luck and I'll watch to see what other answers come up. Nita

-- Nita Holstine (, February 22, 2002.

I've also heard of that "hold them upside down" theory. i have no idea if it's credible, tho. The best way to tell the difference between your pullets & cockerals when you hatch them yourself is just by close observation & by knowing the breed's characteristics. after just a few hatches, i'm able to recognize if my little chicks are going to turn out to be boys by watching comb growth, & i'm usually right because i familar this particular cross. The cockerals can also attempt a most pathetic sounding crow as early as 4 wks old. if you catch them doing it, they stretch their little necks up & let out a hoarse, 1/2 whisper of a crow. it's hysterical!

Boy, & i understand about st runs & the excess roo dilemma! the hatcherys are able to sex the large breed chickens by a blood test. bantams are too tiny at a day old to sex using the needle method, so therefore are sold as st. run.

some ideas on getting rid of your roosters....a FFA kid might like it, or what about a nearby asian/spanish market? Some feed stores will trade for a bag of feed, but reluctantly.

Hope this helps!

-- Buk (, February 22, 2002.

This site has a book on Sexing Day Old Chicks, and states: With 100 chicks you would expect to get 50 cockerels and 50 pullets. A self taught person should be able to pick out 30 of these cockerels without too much difficulty. This book does teach you how to sex ducklings and emus, most people woud be able to achieve this from study of the techniques described here. From what I found out, there are at least 15 different structures that you need to be able to identify, due to difference in various chicken breeds and it pays very well for those that do this for a hatchery.

-- BC (, February 22, 2002.

Hi,I got this in a Country Woman Magazine March/April 1995,Issue. Holding the bird in my right hand( these are day old chicks)I examine its wing and see two rows of canes they look like tiny tubes from which feathers are beginning to emerge.If the feathers in the front row closest to the birds body are shorter than those in the back row its a pullet.If the rows are the same height or the front row is taller its a cockerel.This is from the interview with Fairview Farms Near Remington Indiana.Thanks ,Pam

-- Pam (, February 22, 2002.

i remember going to a hatchery with my mom who used the method of holding them upside down to pick out her chicks. she had very good luck although i cant remember statistics.

-- billie schneider (, February 23, 2002.

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