A cockerel?

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valeriebutterley
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A cockerel?

Post by valeriebutterley » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:38 am

I have 3 purebred white Leghorn chicks. Until a couple of days ago all were seemingly identical. THEN one has developed distinctive bigger and redder comb and wattles. Am I right in thinking the obvious, this is a boy?
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Hen-Gen
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Re: A cockerel?

Post by Hen-Gen » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:23 pm

Not as clear cut as some would think! As a pullet approaches egg laying maturity it’s comb and wattles redden up and appear more prominent. At a similar age cockerels comb and wattles follow the same trajectory. So the crucial question is how old are the chicks. At eight weeks I can generally sex the chicks, particularly the Mediterranean breeds like Leghorns, Anconas and Minorcas. However if the chicks are sixteen weeks or older and hitherto all looked the same then it is probable that they are all the same sex.
valeriebutterley
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Re: A cockerel?

Post by valeriebutterley » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:57 am

Thanks Hen--Gen,

My conclusion, I am quite good a sexing too, suddenly, it appears bigger and sturdier and with thicker bones. I must say, they are darlings. some of the chirpiest, best natured chicks have ever hatched. No shyness at all, just happy and chirpy and friendly.
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chrismahon
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Re: A cockerel?

Post by chrismahon » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:16 am

Our Leghorn bantam cockerels were obvious at 4 weeks, so I'd also say she's a pullet coming into lay. Another point is that when they stop laying, over Winter and when moulting, their combs shrink alarmingly and get very pale. The skin hardens and we put vaseline on them to prevent them cracking.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: A cockerel?

Post by Hen-Gen » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:37 am

valeriebutterley wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:57 am
Thanks Hen--Gen,
I must say, they are darlings. some of the chirpiest, best natured chicks have ever hatched. No shyness at all, just happy and chirpy and friendly.
Good. I can only say that the only bloodbath I’ve ever experienced was with three young Blue Leghorn cockerels. They were being grown on until 20 weeks old when I would make a selection for a breeder. I went down to their shed one morning when they were about 17 weeks old and found all three with torn and bleeding combs and the walls splattered with blood. It was a lesson to me on how early the Mediterranean breeds mature. In fact apart from the odd Exchequer Leghorn hen I’ve never kept any again.
Before that I kept and bred Minorcas. Over the years two of those cockerels were feisty too. And just three years ago I had an Orloff that was sweetness and light to me but attacked anyone else in a blind rage.
Chickens are never boring, are they!
valeriebutterley
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Re: A cockerel?

Post by valeriebutterley » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:01 pm

No, chickens are never boring. My ancient Pekin bantam cockerel, Pierre, has suddenly become a real mummy's boy, I can pick him up and cuddle him,
this is a first, and at 5 or so years old his ladies obviously told him the advantages of being kind to people.
Is your avatar a BPR? I have just one girl, hatched last year, and she is a great character, will not go in to roost, I have to put her in the hut, every night, she waits for me on the roof of the hut.
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