As many know and perhaps even more have learnt, sexing certain breeds of chicken can be a challenge. Some breeds such as Pekins or Leghorns can be easily identified as male or female when they are only a few weeks old, but others such as the Araucana can prove a challenge, and if you only have the one growing chick it can be teenaged in terms of weeks before it gives away its gender.
This day old chick gives absolutely no indication of what sex it is likely to be and as a bit of fun I photographed this bird as it developed.
By 4 weeks of age theres perhaps an indication that it might be male, but how much of that is anthropomorphising the cheeky look its eye and scruffy “only a mother could love it” look? The Buff Orpington in the background is female, still thinking its male?
By 9 weeks the bird is now pretty well feathered but the jury is out on the sex of the bird still. The absence of tail plumes could be an inidicator of its male-ness but with only one bird of this breed growing and little to compare it with, it’s still a bit of guessing game.
At the 10 week marker the birds feathering is further developed but still theres no real indication in terms of male feathering or head gear growth… that though is soon to change
Within a period of around 10 days the birds feathering changed completely, sickles started to sprout from a more upright tail and the feathers at the base of the tail, and across the saddle had become pointed. This was a male Araucana, and was confirmed with a rather teenage cock-a-doodle-do.
Its far easier when you have more than one chick growing… or is it, what if they are all male or all female? It does happen sometimes.
Experience has shown me that the key is in the comb. Whilst it is relatively diminutive in this breed, a difference can be seen around 7 weeks if you part the feathers on the crest by softly blowing
Easy isn’t it? 😉