Barred Plymouth Rock chickens are greatly favoured by chicken keepers due to the fact that their sex is largely apparent at hatching. In other chicken breeds, males cannot be distinguished from females until adulthood or through the process of venting, which should only be performed by professionals. Identifying male Barred Plymouth Rock chickens from females requires knowledge of certain sex-linked traits.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Look at the head spots. Barred Plymouth Rock chicks are hatched with dark spots on their heads. Males tend to have head spots that are irregular in outline and more scattered, while females have head spots that have a more even shape and distribution on their heads.
Check the size of the head spots by comparing chicks from the same clutch. Males tend to have larger head spots than the females. Though this is not a reliable indicator on its own, it can give weight to one sex or the other in conjunction with other factors.
Examine the front of the chick's legs near the feet. On female Barred Plymouth Rock chicks, there is a dark wash of colour in this area, while the legs of males are paler.
Compare the colouration. The male Barred Plymouth Rock chicks are almost universally darker than the females.
Look for adult tail and wing feathers. Females Barred Plymouth Rock chicks will develop their feathers before the males do.
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