Hen or Roo?

I’m getting a kick out of all the “is this a hen or a rooster?” posts and questions! A few things to look for as you try to sex your birds:
1) Comb and wattles: The roos will generally develop larger combs/wattles than the hens of their breed.
2) Hackle and saddle feathers: The hackles are the feather around the neck. The saddle feathers drape along the sides of the back, between the wings and tail. Roos will have pointier, shinier hackle and saddle feathers.*
3) Tail feathers: Roos’ tail feathers will start to form the traditional sickle shape, forming a curve. They will also may develop a blue-green iridescence.*
4) Attitude: Roos may be a bit cockier than their female counterparts!
5) Practice crowing: At first this might sound pretty funny, like someone is strangling a set of bagpipes!
*NOTE: The hackle, saddle, and tail feathers does not apply to all breeds. Some are considered “hen feathered,” and the roos lack the male feathering.
I hope to get some pix up to point out these features! Hold tight – it’s my busy season. Feel free to post or drop an email if you have a burning hen-or-roo question!

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