Did She just CROW?: Chick Sex is - Treats for Chickens

grey Bantam rooster or hen baby chick chicken gender

Hi everyone, this is Jess!


Okay ladies and gentlemen.. I must express how I feel about this sudden discovery. Do you all remember how the Treats for Chickens family got nine baby chicks about four weeks ago? And how I was especially fond of one cute lil' grey Bantam in particular? If not, here's a picture to refresh your memory..

baby chick breed
My baby Gandalf! Get it? Gandalf the Grey from Lord of the Rings (Aren't I so clever?)

And if you DID remember her, well, there's just a cute photo of a chick to help get you through the day, LOL. Okay, movin' on. Baby Gandalf has been going through lots of changes lately, as all baby chicks usually do when growing into Pullets/Cockerels and then into Hens/Roosters. But there have been two pretty significant changes that Gandalf has gone through that have most definitely stuck out to me..

Change #1.) Gandalf the GREY isn't so GREY anymore!!

Gandalf was spending a little bit of time with me yesterday in my house!

Yeah. Pretty crazy right? This is my first time raising chickens, so seeing an all grey (light grey actually) chick grow into a full on BLACK chicken just blows my mind.

Change #2.) My sweet little female chicken made quite a startling noise the other day.. I was not there to witness it, however Dawn (my boss and the owner of Treats for Chickens) did. This is basically how the conversation went down...

My response is in blue. I was shocked to say the least.

Yeah. I was quite surprised. Dawn sent me the text message above on 5/27/15 when I was getting ready for work. After I got home, I took Gandalf inside for a while to see if she or he (?) would crow for me. I started mimicking a rooster's crow, hoping he would start singing back. After an hour of hanging out, my voice started going hoarse. So I returned Gandalf to the rest of their fellow brothers/sisters in the coop with no luck of witnessing a crow for myself.

The only thing I have personally noticed on Gandalf that might point to them being a rooster is that their comb and wattle are significantly larger then the other hens their age. They...He also pecked me the other day pretty friggin' hard! LOL. I don't know if that is a sign or not, but he seems to be a little more aggressive compared to any of the other babies.

This is of course, sexing chicks the traditional way than vent sexing. The sex of most breeds of chicken cannot be determined at hatching. Usually, by six to eight weeks of age, the combs and wattles of male chicks will be larger and redder than those of females. Male chicks may start to crow from around 12 weeks old but they can start much later. Sometimes you can see differences in behavior between males and females, which Gandalf is becoming a lil' dick. 

The most accurate way to determine the sex of a young chick is undoubtedly by observing the chick's vent, but we what to make some guesses along the way before official determining, Gandalf's sex. 

What do you all think? Given the pictures, and the information above... Hen or Rooster? Please leave your opinions below, I would love to hear some feedback! 


-Jess, Treats for Chickens 🧡


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