Difference Between Chicken and Rooster?

What is a rooster and a chicken? A rooster is a male chicken and is also known as a cock. So in usual terms, a male chicken is a rooster and a female chicken is a hen.

Unlike other chickens, a rooster has a thick comb (crest of flesh on the head). Moreover, the roosters also have a more prominent wattle (lobe of flesh on the chin) than the other chickens.

How do you tell a chicken from a rooster?

When sexing most juveniles, the best, most fail-safe method is to look at the saddle feathers in front of the tail when the bird is about 3 months old. By that age, cockerels will have long and pointy saddle feathers, while a hen’s will be rounded. Take a look at this rooster’s saddle feathers.

What is the difference between a male chicken and a rooster?

Most people mean “hen” when they say “chicken.” Hen means a female. Rooster means male. … A male chicken is considered a cockerel before one year of age. After one year, he is considered a rooster.

One of the first questions people will ask when it comes to chickens is: Is that a hen or rooster? Or as some people put it: is that a chicken or a rooster? Sometimes its easy to tell the difference as the roosters strut across the yard and crow. But other times, especially when chickens are young, its more difficult.

Now, the next time you hear someone talking about pullets, you know they mean young female chickens! Its difficult for the average person to determine the gender (otherwise known as sexing) of a young chick.

In most cases, even experienced chicken owners will not be able to tell whether they have cockerels or pullets until the chicks are least 2-3 months of age , often longer for some breeds like Silkies. In fact, typically the only places you can buy vent sexed chicks are from hatcheries where they have highly trained personnel to do it. Straight run means the gender is unknown and chicks are not sexed (again because its nearly impossible) and your odds of having boys or girls are usually 50/50.

Would you believe the fluffy yellow chick on the right grew up to be our giant boy, Smokey (see his photo farther below)? There are some crossbreeds, known as sex links, and a few other chicken breeds where you can tell the gender right away based on their colors. We can guess all wed like, but as many people who raise chickens like to say, you wont know for sure until they crow or lay an egg !

As chickens begin to mature, their comb will grow larger and darken or brighten in color. Sometimes you will see a young chick begin to develop a larger comb earlier than the others and this is sometimes (not always) a clue as to its gender more likely a male. A cockerel or roosters feathers will be longer, more flowing, and generally showier.

Posture cockerels tend to puff out their chest and stand taller than pullets. For me, this is one of the last things I consider when telling hens and roosters apart, but it is one more characteristic you might notice.

So you have a batch of newly-hatched chicks, but dont know whether theyll become hens or roosters. While its easy to tell the difference between the two when mature chickens strut across your yard, its nearly impossible to identify the genderotherwise known as sexingof a young chick. You wont be able to determine with certainty whether they are cockerels (male chickens under one year old) or pullets (female chickens under one year old) until theyre at least 16 weeks old. Heres what to look for as your chicks mature.

This is the elongated fleshy skin that hangs under the beak and helps chickens stay cool during warmer weather. As they get older, youll notice that roosters begin to challenge each other, raising their hackle feathers.

Hens and Roosters | Cockerels and Pullets

First, let’s address “chicken vs rooster.”Now let’s go a little more detailed and look at the difference between hens and roosters, cockerels and pullets.A male chicken is considered aA female chicken is considered aJill is one of our pullets. She is a bantam (small) black cochin.And here is Jack, her cockerel brother. He is also a bantam black cochin.Now, the next time you hear someone talking about pullets, you know they mean young female chickens!

Sexing Chicks

It’s difficult for the average person to determine the gender (otherwise known as sexing) of a young chick. In most cases,These are two of our silkie hens with their young chicks.The most common form of sexing is called “vent sexing,” but if not done correctly, it could kill a chick. And even then, the odds are about as good as a coin toss when it comes to accuracy with this method unless it is someone very experienced. This is why the average backyard chicken keeperIn fact, typically the only places you can buy “vent sexed” chicks are from hatcheries where they have highly trained personnel to do it. Even then hatcheries are only accurate about 90% of the time. This means that if you order female chicks from a hatchery or your local feed store (they usually buy from hatcheries too), you still have a chance of ending up with one cockerel (or more.)Here is a great article that talks about sexing baby chicks.If you buy chicks from a local chicken breeder, they will likely sell you “straight run” chicks.There are some crossbreeds, known as sex links, and a few other chicken breeds where you can tell the gender right away based on their colors. You can read more about sex links here. That being said, you cannot tell the gender with the majority of chicken breeds.

Pullet or Cockerel?

We all wait anxiously to see if our chicks are boys or girls. We can guess all we’d like, but as many people who raise chickens like to say,That can be anywhere from 12-30 weeks of age! Occasionally though you might have a little cockerel who makes himself known by crowing very early. We had a young Silkie start crowing at just 6 weeks of age!Still, it’s fun to guess and see if you’re right late.For older chickens, typically

Comb and Wattles: Size and Color

TheIt’s the same thing with a chicken’s wattles – the fleshy skin that hangs from underneath the beak/neck.This is Wolf, our Light Brahma cockerel, when he was very young. You can see his comb and wattles beginning to get bigger and brighten.Here’s a photo I took of Wolf today. See how his comb and wattles are bigger now? Wolf is still considered a cockerel because he is 7 months old.On the other hand, here is “Fireball”, our Light Brahma pullet. She is also 7 months old. Do you see the difference?Fireball and Wolf belong to my oldest, Nathan. He named them after Minecraft. 🙂Sometimes you will see a young chick begin to develop a larger comb earlier than the others and this is sometimes (not always) a clue as to its gender – more likely a male.

Feathers

You can see Fireball’s hackle feathers here:One way to remember the difference between hackle and saddle feathers is to think of a horse saddle which goes on a horse’s back, not the neck.Lastly, look at a chicken’s tail feathers. A cockerel or rooster’s feathers will be longer, more flowing, and generally showier. Sometimes there will be more colors, such as shiny green feathers.Here is Wolf again. Notice the differences between him and Fireball.