Sex the chicks!
Guess the sex

Dear everyone who got here by Googling “sex” and “chicks”,

a) You’re never going to meet a real girl with real boobs over Google. O.K. you might but she won’t be a quality girl.


b)  Maybe what you really need in your life is a hobby. Something to make you feel productive and useful.   Like chickens.





Now that I’ve addressed the  issue of drop-in porn browsers, let’s get onto the business at hand which is figuring out whether I have boy chickens or girl chickens.  As you know a few weeks ago I went out and bought myself 4 Black Copper Marans chicks.

When you buy chicks called “free run” that means you’re basically getting a handful of feathers that may or may not be girl chickens. You WANT girl chickens because they’re the ones who actually produce food (eggs).  The boy chickens just make a lot of noise, try to boss around the girl chickens and generally do a lot of strutting. They also eat a lot of food.

I’m sure at this very moment you’re seeing the similarities between the chicken world and the human world.  The significant difference being if a Rooster angers you, you can (legally) chop its head off.

I’ve thought from day one that my biggest chick was a hen. Which is the opposite of what you would normally think, but after doing some research on Marans I discovered that (again like humans) the females mature more quickly than the males.

What I think I’m holding onto (much to the chagrin of everyone who was hoping for one of my pullets) is 1 hen and 3 roosters.

One of my chickens isn’t a pure bred Marans, but is a Lavender Orpington / Black Copper Marans cross.  So that one is a bit of a crap shoot because she/her/it will develop differently than the other 3 pure bred Black Copper Marans.

So I’m looking for guesses from you.  What do you think I have?  Girl chickens?  Boy chickens?  Souvlaki?

Allow me to introduce you to chickens 1, 2, 3, and 4.  As you look at the photos try to guess if you think they’ll grow up to be a hen or a rooster.












And here is what I think.






Even if you don’t have a clue about chickens take a guess.  I suspect I’ll let you know what I have in about 4 weeks at probably around 5 o’clock in the morning when the cock starts calling.

Google that porn freak.


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  1. Hahaahaha … 5 o’clock in the morning when the cock comes calling… You crack me up. Excuse the pun 🙂

  2. becky says:

    I see boy, girl, girl,girl. Although, I would love to see their tail feathers before I’d put any money on my guess.

    • Karen says:

      You’re absolutely right re: the tail feathers Becky but it was hard enough to get THESE pictures, lol. 2 have shorter “straight up” tail feathers and 2 have longer, downward tail feathers with that hump across their back the way hens get. I’ll try to get tail shots. 😉 ~ karen

  3. Lesley Williamson says:

    boy, girl, girl, girl

  4. Niki Dee says:

    Exactly the same guess as you but I don’t feel iffy about 3….boy all the way. Why did you choose free run? I can’t have a rooster so I went with straight run. I’d feel bad having to off the guy knowing I can’t keep him.

  5. Michele says:

    Oh Karen! I can’t resist replying as my odds with our flock are 2 out of six. 2 roosters out of 6 chicks picked. I totally agree with you. Looks like three boys and one girl due to the comb development. I have a Marans as well and just adore their personalities!

  6. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    My guess is the same as yours Karen..and I guessed before I looked at yours..

  7. Susan Preston says:

    Boy, girl, boy, boy!! Oh great! Louise turned into Louis, and Barbara turned into Bob and Lucy became Lucifer! ! Looks like we’re finding a rooster rescue group! Or are we going to the auction sale in Hagersville sometime soon.

  8. SeaDee says:

    Ok I’ll play. Boy girl boy girl

  9. Deb says:

    Hmmmm….I know less than nothing about chickens. Boy, Girl, Boy, Boy. And I also decided before I saw your guess.

  10. Debbie says:


    can’t wait ’til the cock crows!

    • Dana says:

      I agree with you. roo,hen,roo,roo.
      My rooster starts at about 4:30, when the eastern sky shows a little light afar off.

      my mom can sex chicks by feeling the pelvic region.NO PORN FREAKS, IT REALLY WORKS.

  11. ruth says:

    Same as your guess, Karen. Just like Nancy Blue Moon, I guessed before I saw yours. I know nothing about chickens.

  12. Sherry says:

    I think you’re right Karen… boy, girl, boy and boy. Looks like pretty rotten luck. Perched to see the final result.

  13. Sue says:

    Boy, girl, boy, boy. Based on comb structure and a total lack of knowledge about anything poultry . . .

  14. Ruth Vallejos says:

    1.3.4 – boys. 2 – girl. I know nothin’ Lady Snow!

  15. Elena says:

    3:Not sure (could be a pullet with a large comb since the wattles are not very pronounced)

    Can you post pictures of their tails? I can’t remember if males or females stop peeping earlier (I’m getting them confused with ducks).

  16. Twyla Harkey says:

    I’m going with”all girls”

  17. Lavada says:

    It would just be better to have two and two for more eggs. So, here’s hoping:
    1-boy, 2-girl, 3-not so attractive girl, 4-boy
    No offense to No. 3, but let’s face it, it looks like a comb. . .a comb on a girl – but, it’s okay; most everybody goes through a little ugly stage. And maybe the “ugly duckling” would be the one to lay the darkest eggs to make up for one’s appearance at a younger age (who, by the way, I will be referring to as Hildegard until you name them yourself). Done and done. She is a girl!

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Not a bad name choice. I’ve named the one that’s obviously a hen (to be revealed at a later date). I won’t be naming the next one until I know for sure. 🙂 ~ karen

  18. caryl hodgdon says:

    girl boy girl girl

  19. kate-v says:

    Number 2 with a small comb is probably a girl – I guess the rest are Souvlaki.

  20. Crazy Chicken Ladies says:

    Think you nailed the genders quite well. Roo, hen, roo, roo.
    We look at the combs, wait for the siccle feathers to come in and then if still iffy, see if it crows.
    They are adorable chicks. Thanks to your darling pictures of Copper Marans chicks, we just hatched some (and an olive egger!) and we’re hopping they are hens.

    Love seeing your chicken pictures…toes crossed the third turns into a hen.

  21. Auntiepatch says:

    I’m sorry but I think you have 3 boys and 1 girl. But what do I know???

  22. Grammy says:

    My guess is same as yours, and I, too, made my guess before I saw yours. Add me to the illustrious group who knows nothing about chickens except recipes.

    Which leads me to ask — if those of us who know zero about it guessed based on the size of the combs (and that must be it because we see not much else to compare) then — why? I mean, if that’s a fairly reliable measure, then you look at comb size and that’s usually right. But if it’s not usually the indicator, then it doesn’t make any difference and you could ask for guesses without showing us pictures.

    I’m not complaining, I’m just confused. Like I signed up for Political Science and showed up in the wrong room and was handed a lab coat and a scalpel and a dead frog. I’d go ahead and do the dissection, but I’d be wondering what that had to do with urban voting patterns during heat waves.

    Your chickens are cute, though.

  23. Minki says:

    1 – Boy
    2 – Girl
    3 – Girl
    4 – Boy

  24. I see:
    1 – Dinner
    2 – Breakfast Omelet
    3 – Dinner
    4 – Dinner

    Must be because I’m a guy. 8)

  25. Mimiindublin says:

    1 girl, 2 boy, 3 girl, 4 boy

  26. Maura Buchignani says:

    This city girl says, boy, girl, boy, boy.

  27. Dagmar says:

    Wait, not fair. You can’t ask a vegetarian the sex of an animal. Half the time I can’t tell what the heck kind of thing they’re making on the food network. And I love watching most of their shows. And when I got my bunny, I was sure she was a he until about six months later. So I am not the best judge. BTW, that’s normal for baby bunnies just like chicks, you can’t tell until they get to be about 6 months or so. Good luck with your cock, I mean your chicks, Karen.

  28. Ann says:

    Have to agree with ya Karen. Boy, Girl, Boy, Boy. But they can fool ya, that’s for sure.

  29. Tigersmom says:

    Google that porn freaks. Bwahahahahahahaha!

    My guesses were the same as yours (without peeking) based solely on comb size. Hmmmm, I wonder what that means in the porn world.

  30. Elaine says:

    Boy(not sure)

  31. Dixie says:

    I grew up on the farm with my grandparents and this is how you know the sex of the chicks:
    Take them by the back, turn then over in your hand so that they are on their back in your hand. They will either pull their legs in (squat like) or straighten them out.
    Squat – Girl
    Straight – Boy
    I really don’t remember if this worked but it’s worth a try…

  32. Jebberjay says:

    They’re so cute when they hit the awkward stage.

    My guess:
    1 cock
    3 a doodle doos.

  33. Su says:

    this is like guessing which square the cow will plop her poop on at the county fair! boy,girl, girl, boy

  34. Ev Wilcox says:

    I can sex ducks by their tail feathers and the abdominal bulge-don’t know about chickens. But I am guessing you have only one eggmaker! Time will tell!

  35. Beckie says:

    if you go by the head spot theory, you may have all girls

    but I think your guess is probably right on target (based on nothing other than some internet searching and going back to look at the video when they were little)

  36. Kim Merry says:

    I think you are right, one girl. We got 5 rhode island reds, supposed to be all hens. Well Aunt Bea is now at my brothers farm because she turned into Mr. B!. I would have kept him but I told my neighbors that I would only have hens. I need to move to the country!

  37. Bernadette says:

    The Emperor skekSo, The Chamberlain skekSil, The Ritual Master (aka High Priest) skekZok, & The Scientist skekTek.

  38. Tara says:

    I don’t know about Marans, but combs aren’t necessarily an indicator of sex. I have Columbian Rocks that people are constantly calling roosters and they’re all girls. I also have a female goat with a beard that everyone mistakes for the papa.

    How old are they now? Any spur development yet?

  39. mickey says:

    I’ll guess girl, girl, girl, boy.

  40. CBuffy says:

    Boy, girl, boy, boy.
    Down here in the deeeeeep south, straight run is what you call free run. Means it’s a pure gamble. I did the straight run thing with 8 silkies. And got 5 of the most annoying roosters you ever could imagine. They are bantams (small), so although randy as heck (google THAT) they can’t mount the grown up hens (red / black stars). So they run around crowing, grabbing girls by the wing feathers and being dragged and pecked by the older ladies trying to teach them some manners. If by chance one happens to actually “bag a chick” the others all come running. We’ll be having “black chicken” this weekend. (Said to be a delicacy… we’ll see… they are going in the pressure cooker with a little apple juice and a slice of bacon. Bacon makes EVERYTHING a delicacy!)

  41. Ruth says:

    My ‘guess’ would be the same as yours, Karen… only it isn’t a guess. Judging from their tropical cousins, the comb development tells me that you’re spot on.

    In a couple of weeks, you will not just have illegal chicks… you will have illegal chicks that advertise their presence to the entire town… at 4 a.m. You can hope for 5 a.m. all you want, but these birds seem to awake a whole lot earlier in the summer. Oh. my. word.

  42. Laura says:

    I have 3 French Black Copper Marans. They’re just over 2 weeks old. The lady I bought them from said around 6 weeks they look different enough that I can send her pics and she will tell me if I have any cockerels. I bought straight run because I hadn’t planned on having any roo’s. But I’ve now ended up taking in my Dad’s 5 chickens because he is moving and of those 5, 2 are boys. Only 1 crows though. Hopefully once he’s settled somewhere those 5 can go back to him so I can have the flock with my own chosen breeds.

    • Karen says:

      There’s such a thing as a mute rooster?! ~ karen

      • Laura says:

        We’ve never had one before. In all my years of raising chickens they’ve all always crowed. But this one my Dad got at a farm auction. He felt bad because he was in a cage alone, and auctioned off alone and no one else was bidding. So he bought him for $1.. Full grown rooster for $1. They said he was a show rooster and had been prepped for showing. Not sure what all that entails, but I figure that has to do with why he doesn’t crow. Either that or its because the RIR rooster is the king of the coop and if Little Britches crows maybe he’ll be exiled. Nonetheless, I’m perfectly fine with only having one crower…

  43. Yolanda Tomaszewski says:

    I see a lot of rooster dinners in your future as well as early mornings. Male female male male.

  44. Angela says:

    So…if any are roosters, will you give them away? You wouldn’t eat them, would you? Yikes!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Angela – I wouldn’t eat them no, but that’s just a personal choice based on the fact I have so few chicks and therefore become personally attached to them. I’ve named them and all. But a lot of people who have chickens do indeed eat the roosters. Just not me ’cause I’m a chicken. 😉 ~ karen

  45. Candice says:

    Your guesses were exactly my guesses! I just went through getting rid of six rosters myself. I ordered all one day old pullets and they sent 6 production red to keep them warm enough. So I raised them, gave half away go bully girls that were not mine lol then learned how to butcher chicken on the other three. Some people thought I was crazy for doubt so while others did they’d never do our but thought it was cool I was up for the task. I’m not in a hurry do it again… maybe next year.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, I don’t think I could do it either Candice, but I’ve always thought if you have chickens and eat chickens it’s not a bad thing to do once to give you more of an appreciation for your food. Besides the fact, killing, defeathering and butchering a chicken is a LOT of work. ~ karen!

    • Cred says:

      Yep, it isn’t a natural task for the majority of modern humans- I think I’d eat far less meat if I had to have a hand in bringing it down. I helped with a cull of old laying hens at a farm we volunteered at. It was the first time they did there own cull- about 30 birds, so they rented equipment, hot water tank, plucker and a rack thingy. We were going just to see- it was meant to be educational for the kids but they didn’t have to watch it they didn’t want.
      Turned out that I ended up helping ‘clean’ chickens. I was glad to be part of it- something honest about really knowing where you food comes from, but glad I don’t have to do it often. I didn’t actually kill any but that was strictly about efficiency. The resident chicken whisperer has the skill of scooping up hens by the feet and keeping them calm as he did the deed.
      It’s an odd psychological process, after about 20 hens, it starts getting to you. You’re just done. Maybe it would be different if you just did one at time as needed rather than en masse.
      Oh and my vote for the chick sexing is the same as Karen. But I know nothing about sexing, either.

  46. Candice says:

    Oh I also forgot to add that since I knew what breeds were my males I did notice that the females feathered out quicker than the males. I had 5 different breeds with the males included but they all had more feathers faster than the roos no matter how much comb our wattle they had. I had a few females I thought they made a mistake on judging by their comb etc lol but it worked out. I even managed to pick out 6 out of 6 pullets at my local Tractor Supply. 🙂

  47. Oh Karen, I feel you’re pain. I got two roosters in my first batch of six chicks, two roosters in my second batch of six chicks, 1 rooster when I bought two lavender “pullets”, and 1 rooster when I got two bantam cochin! I rehomed two Buff Orpington Rooster Boys (AKA: BORBs), So now I’m left with FOUR…count ’em..FOUR!!! It’s roosterpalooza. UGH. Love your blog. Stop by and give mine a read if you have a moment. We share a similar sense of humor. Have a great day!

  48. OH…and I forgot my glasses this morning and I’m going to blame the improper use of the word “your” by using the contraction “you’re” on the fact that I’m half blind. cheers!

  49. Toni in Iowa says:

    My guess is the same as yours but having hatched chicks a few times I know I can’t sex chicks any better than if I’d do einey, meney, miney, moe.

    I finally gave up and let one of my hens set. She’s kicked out 3 eggs so far. I don’t even remember how many she started with. I put her in her own pen. If you don’t they gather eggs from other hens and take them “home” to brood. Other years I’ve marked the ones I was going to let the hen hatch and gathered the unmarked ones every day. Separating her seemed a lot easier. I expect I will have extra roosters. And yes, they start crowing about half an hour before dawn.

  50. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    My GUESS is boy, girl, girl, boy. Guess we’ll find out soon enough. Still waiting on the MS kitchen cabinet reveal!!!!

    • Karen says:

      OH, lol! The cabinet reveal was the corner of the kitchen with the pantry. There are more cabinets, but that really is the majority of them. There will be no more kitchen reveals until the magazine (Canadian Living) comes out in October. I’ll be giving away 10 copies for my American readers. 🙂 ~ karen

  51. Susan Preston says:

    Did you turn any over yet? Did any squat? Haha! My future depends on the answer!

  52. Karol says:

    All cocks. I have no clue what they are, just wanted to write “All cocks”.

  53. Bols says:

    Number 2 and 4 look intelligent. They are girls.
    Number 1 and 3 are dudes.

  54. Dawn says:

    Knowing nothing about chickens I went by the look in their eyes. #2 and #4 have that little boy look about them. #1 definitely looks much sweeter and is a girl. #3 is in between, but I’ll be on a girl.

  55. Chana says:

    My guess is as good as yours. I’m thinking you may be right based on the combs. Looking forward to finding out next time on “All my Chickens”

  56. Olga says:

    1-Male, 2,3,4 – Females.

  57. Mary Werner says:

    My guess was the same as yours! I’m going by the combs so hopefully you have at least one hen.

  58. Stephanie says:

    How do they act? I got 3 chicks back in February (a mix of breeds- I like variety 🙂 ) and from the time they were about a week old one of them was bolder than the other two. When I would reach in to play with them or just to change their food and water, that one would get in front of the other two like it was protecting them… sure enough, 4 months later he started to crow. He was a beautiful rooster, but he had to go (to a farm up in Idaho). He had turned into a mean, aggressive bugger, but I was still sad to let him go.

  59. Trissi V. says:

    I am going to take a guess that:

    2 and 3 – HENS
    1 and 4 – Slouvaki ( I mean roosters)

  60. Leslie says:

    I think you might be right!

  61. Rondina says:

    I’d like you to try Dixie’s suggestion. So maybe repeat the head shots with tail shots and the results from the leg test. We could vote again and see if there is a difference in answers.

    I also came up with the same as you, without looking at your guesses. No iffy from me though. I’d like to know your reasoning for the iffy.

    If you end up with three males, what is your plan? They don’t produce food; they eat too much–swallowing more cash, and your neighbors are going to be rather bent about the noise.

  62. What will happen to the boys? Will you be constructing a mini guillotine next to your stunning pizza oven? Will they be the featured “guests” at your next Sunday dinner? I don’t think I could do it – unless you named them after my exboyfriends (Wayne, Russ and Ron). Then I would be asking you to pass me a perfectly fried drumstick.

  63. Kristi says:

    I’m going with you on the boy-girl-boy-boy. I think their size in relation to each other helps, but mainly their strutting and bossy behaviour are surer signs.

    We ended up with 2 girls, Henny and Penny, both a beautiful creamy white and 1 boy, a beautiful black and grey feathered love. We had named him Kravitz even though we thought he was a girl at the time. It was a sad day when we had to say good-bye to our big, black, cock…. ;). Take that porn-surfers!!

    It was his sassy attitude and eventually his morning cockadoodledoos that really gave him away.

  64. Shauna says:

    I guess 1 and 4 as cocks.

    • Karen says:

      Ah. So you think I might have another hen on my hands too? And you’re a seasoned chicken lady! ~ karen

      • Shauna says:

        well, it’s all a guess to me since I started with pullets, not chicks. I wish I had started with chicks though – they’re less sketchy about you touching them when they’ve been touched all their life. Number 3 is iffy, but I think that’s just because she’s the mix right? It’s the beak I think that’s throwing us off, but she reminds me of one of your others that’s the mix (I can’t remember who’s who). Look at that, I’m still calling number 3 a ‘she’ – just sending it out to the universe and all.

  65. Hi Karen…I think the order is girl, boy, boy, boy. The first one looked a bit more rough around the edges and as in the human world, that is the sale too. The boys get to be prettier longer and we get to be labeled old hens! Hmmmmph

  66. Actually, how come number two doesn’t have a comb…..maybe that’s the girl and 1, 3 and 4 are boys!! I’m so confused now!!

  67. Karen says:

    1 – hot chick, 3 and 4 – big cocks and 2 – hermaphrodite. THAT’S the way to drive traffic to your site.

  68. peg says:

    so lots of noise and not to many eggs?

  69. Ramona says:

    I think roo, hen, hen, roo. Yep.

  70. Maureen says:

    I don’t know enough about chickens to even guess! But yum….Souvlaki, lol

  71. Erin says:

    I think your guesses are spot on. Boy, girl, boy, boy.

    My Black Copper Marans babies, born this spring, are starting to look more like small adult chickens. I placed my bets like you did, based on their combs, and I was right! (Seven girls, one boy. Don’t hate me.)

  72. Teddee Grace says:

    Oh, boy. I sure hope they’re all hens because I had to kill and dress a lot of chickens when I was a kid and I wouldn’t wish that fate off on the roosters.

  73. kathy says:

    I am catching up on a few posts. Love the chickens. I had seen a show on sexing chicks…and google. I watched it again and I found it hard to see the hours old chicks tossed as they are sorted. It is on Youtube as Dirty jobs sexing chicks or Mike Rowe sexing chicks. Thousands of chicks. Quite different from the people with chicks who commented. Yours and theirs have homes and names. Boy Girl Girl Boy

  74. Patti says:

    omg i got so many lols reading these comments. I know nothing about chickens so I’m going with 3 cocks and a chick based entirely on Karen’s guess. But really, why can’t you just look ‘tween the legs? Educate me please.

  75. Kat says:

    I’m not even sure how I found your webpage but I LOVE it. You make me laugh every single time I read a post (I’ve even gone back and read some) and I could care less what sex your chickens are! Thank you for adding a little levity to my day.

  76. Sarah Homann says:

    Karen, are you adding to the existing flock? I would be nervous to try that. My hens are bitchy. Lots and lots of politics amongst the ladies..plucking for a yeah,poking for a nay. Love em though!

    • Karen says:

      I will be integrating them Sarah. I have no choice really. One of my 4 hens died this spring, which brings me down to 3. If I don’t at some point integrate I’ll end up with no chickens eventually, lol. ( I don’t have room for separate quarters for 2 flocks.) I’m doing it slowly and waiting to fully integrate until the smaller ones are big enough to defend themselves. I’m sure it’ll be a disaster, lol. ~ karen!

  77. Janet says:

    I’m thinking you are correct, Karen. I guessing #2 is the single female.

  78. Angela says:

    I’m gonna say girl, boy, girl, girl! why? Because you said girls develop faster then boys. I too know zero about chickens! We got a bunny 5 years ago ‘she’ was tagged a girl in her ear… ‘she’ tries to make it with the German Shepherd! We still like ‘her’!

  79. Brad says:

    I am guessing just the opposite of you: girl, boy, girl, girl. something about the shape of the beak in #2 seems a bit more masculine than the others, also look at those eyes, there’s CRAZY in those eyes…on second thought you’re right, it’s probably a girl. :^)

  80. Zola Kirk says:

    bot, girl, boy, boy.

  81. Tina says:

    Thank you Karen! I’ve been isolated from the outside world for three weeks doting over my chicks. So happy to find your post because we’re trying to sex our Marans too. I’m really excited to see how the cross develops (we have lavender orp chicks also). I’m calling mine “my minions” until we sex them.

  82. liz1218 says:

    I’d like to know how they turned out. I’m not seeing any posts since July and I’m extremely curious. Thank you

  83. Carolyn says:

    And I thought you could just look at their hoo hoos.

  84. Tony says:

    With only going by the comb, I suspect you are correct. I bought your three roosters. All still doing great.( still have to send you pics) I just came back from Quebec with almost 30 chick’s. I even have some blue Marans.
    Other breeds I have are ameracauna, rumpless araucans, andalusians, polish and sumatra.

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