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How to Tell the Sex of Baby Chickens

| Updated August 11, 2017


  • Hire an expert to correctly sex your chickens because she will be trained in noticing the small differences.

Sexing baby chickens is important for farmers, breeders and those living in cities with noise regulations or which do not permit the occupancy of roosters. While anyone can try to sex a chicken within the first few days of life, sexing with 100 percent accuracy requires a trained professional. Sexing your chickens is possible, but accuracy cannot be guaranteed, because the differences early on are so slight it is difficult to check for them without proper training.

Place your forefinger in the chick's anus and press the vent open using your thumb or middle finger to separate the opening. Examine the sex organs located inside the vent. There are more than 15 different shapes, so you need to be trained to correctly identify the shape and determine the sex. This technique is known as vent sexing.

Look at the chicken's feathers once it is at least a week old. Females have longer primary feathers. The covert and primary feathers of a male are typically the same length, with the covert feathers sometimes extending further. This method is known as feather sexing.

Examine the chick's coloring. When a chicken has been cross-bred, the coloring should be known ahead of time. Males and females have color variations that are distinctive based upon gender. An expert can usually correctly identify chicken gender this way.