chick check: girls and boys

As mentioned in the last chick check, some of our birds came "unsexed", meaning they could be girls (pullets) or boys (cockerels) and it didn't really matter because of their end purpose. The others, however, are meant to be laying hens and so, for obvious reasons, we ordered pullet chicks of those only. Sexing day old chicks, however, isn't really an exact science and there is some room for error. Figuring out who is who takes time, so let's check in now at 7 weeks of age...

We'll start with Stu, the meat birds. Aside from a size difference, there are two key ways to differentiate the girls from the boys. For one, the boys are more colourful, with striking black accent feathers, while the girls, although still beautiful, are more blonde and uniform in colour. But of course the easiest way to tell them apart is by looking at their comb (on top of the head) and waddles (under the chin). Here are a couple of boys:

And here is Stu, the girl version...

Pretty easy, right? So, of the 9 Stu chickens we have, we are certain 4 are boys and 5 are girls, which is the 50/50 split we expected.

What about Willi? There's actually quite a bit of colour variation among the 5 Willi chickens, ranging from mostly black to distinctly gold and black. That Willi, she is a beaut!  And, a girl. 

This Willi too

and this one:

Yes, all five are girls! Perfect!

The remaining chickens are Layla, and although they are two different breeds, the two are difficult to distinguish. But this one is a girl, as expected...

And here's another. Yup, a girl.

To spare the tedium of 12 brown chicken portraits, here's a group shot. Girl, girl, girl -- this is getting boring -- girl, g.... wait....

Uh oh. Anyone of the Sesame Street generation is right now singing "one of these things is not like the others...."

Oh boy. The jury is out on this Layla. We'll be keeping an eye on "her" and her namesakes. Perhaps she's just an early bloomer. Or perhaps she too, has a "best before" date like Stu. Time will tell.


  1. Older Sister of Your Man11 September 2020 at 18:00

    They are all beauties, that's for sure. So photogenic! And I speak from recent experience!

  2. love the black and gold on Willi!

  3. Great photos! They really are just little dinosaurs aren't they? Very entertaining.

    1. Very entertaining! And somewhat challenging to photograph... Most shots are pretty blurry!


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