Friday, October 10, 2008

How Do I Know If My Chicks Are Hens or Roosters?

Young Hens

Young Rooster

It's quite difficult to determine which chicks are roosters and which are hens until about eight weeks of age. And even then, it still may be hard to determine the sex of the chick until full maturation at about 5-6 months. There are some characteristics and behaviors you can look for, beginning at about three to five weeks. I was sure that one of my Rhode Island Reds was a rooster because of the larger comb, the feathers, the loud clucking that sounded like an attempt to crow, and the aggressive, independent behavior, but alas, he turned out to be a she!

Here are some ways to help you identify which of your baby chicks are hens (pullets) and which are roosters (cockerels):

1. Combs and Wattles
At about five weeks of age, your chicks will begin to develop red wattles and combs. The roosters will develop larger wattles and combs that are colored more brightly red.

2. Back and Tail Feathers
By eight weeks of age, your chicks will begin to develop more pronounced feathers. The roosters will have feathers that are more pointed looking on their backs and sides as well as longer tail feathers that include long sickles. The hens will have rounder looking feathers and their tails will be considerably shorter and rounder.

3. Crowing
By eight weeks of age, the roosters will begin to crow. At first their crows will sound pathetic and screechy, but as they practice, you will begin to recognize the familiar crowing sound, cock-a-doodle-do. If you have more than one rooster you will also soon realize that each rooster has a very distinctive crow.

4. Aggression and Sexual Behavior
Between five and eight weeks of age, you will notice that roosters will be acting more aggressively than hens. They will establish themselves at the top of the pecking order through their bullying, aggressive behavior. They will also strut around the yard with their bodies much more upright than those of the hens. The roosters will also begin to show sexual interest in the hens and will try to mate.

Good Luck!
And don't be too surprised if Butch lays an egg and Daisy begins to crow!
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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Chicken Coop on Wheels (Portable Chicken Tractor)

Originally Uploaded by Artisan Designs

Here's a great innovative, portable coop on wheels. A coop like this is also known as a Chicken Tractor as it can be moved around the yard to allow chickens to graze. This is the perfect size for a small flock of backyard or urban chickens. The design looks sturdy and weather proof and I am sure there are some great, little nesting boxes inside.

Links to other Chicken Breeds on this blog:
Ameraucana / Easter Egger
Australorp / Black Australorp
Bantam (What exactly is a Bantam or Banty?)
Barred Rock / Plymouth Rock
Belgian D'Uccle / Belgian Bantam / Mille Fleur (True Bantam)
Light Brahma
Dark Brahma / Buff Brahma
Campine / Silver and Golden
Cochin / Cochin Bantam
Frizzle (What is a Frizzle?)
Jersey Giant / Black Jersey Giant
Leghorn / White Leghorn
Maran / Cuckoo Maran / Chocolate Egger
New Hampshire Red
Orpington / Buff Orpington
Polish Crested
Rhode Island Red
Sebright: Silver and Golden (True Bantam)
Sussex / Speckled Sussex
Wyandotte / Silver Laced Wyandotte, Golden Laced Wyandotte

Poultry, Backyard Flock, Backyard Chickens, Urban Chickens, Chicken Breeds, Chicken Coop Photos, Chicken Images, Chicken Coop, Chicken Coops, Chicken Coop pics, Chicken Coop Ideas, Chicken Coop Designs, Chicken Coop pictures, Hatchery, Hen, Rooster, Chick, Raising Chickens, Chicken pics.

Belgian D'Uccle / Belgian Bantam / Mille Fleur (True Bantam)

Belgian Bantam (Mille Fleur) Chicks

Belgian Bantam (Mille Fleur) Hen

Belgian Bantam (Mille Fleur) Rooster

Belgian D'Uccles (also known as Belgian Bantams, Belgian Bearded D'Uccles, Belgian Bearded Bantams, and Mille Fleurs) originated in the town of Uccle, just outside Brussels, Belgium. Belgian Bantams are considered True Bantams (chickens that are one fourth to one third the size of regular chickens) because they do not have a large counterpart. To learn more about Bantams, click here. The Begian D'Uccle breed has several varities, with the speckled Mille Fleurs (pictured above) being the most common. The other varieties include: Porcelain, Black, Buff, White, Blue, and Golden Neck. These Bantams are characterized by their beard and their beautiful feathered feet and legs. The Belgian D'Uccle hen makes a wonderful brooder and mother and lays very small white eggs (it takes two to three Bantam eggs to equal one regular chicken egg). Belgian D'Uccles have a very mild temperament and are quite friendly (the roosters are rarely aggressive) and make an excellent chicken for children to raise. This breed is generally hardy, but does not always do well in wet, muddy conditions because of the feathered feet.

Links to other Chicken Breeds on this blog:
Ameraucana / Easter Egger
Belgian Bantam, Belgian Bearded Bantam, Belgain Feather Footed Bantam, Banty, Belgian D'Uccle, Belgian Bearded D'Uccle, Belgain D'Uccles, Belgian Bantam photo, Belgian D'Uccle picture, Mille Fleur, Mille Fleurs, Mille Fleur photo, Mille Fleur temperament, Belgian Bantam Temperament, Belgian Bantam Personality, Belgian D'Uccle Pics, Belgium Duccle, Belgium Bantam, Belgium Bearded Bantam, Belgian Banty, Bantey, Duckle, Duckel, Mill Fler, Mil Flur, Poultry, Backyard Flock, Backyard Chickens, Chicken Breeds, Chicken Photos, Chicken Images, Chicken Coop, Hatchery, Hen, Rooster, Chick, Raising Chickens, Chicken pics, urban chickens, pet chickens, pictures of chicken breeds.