Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Lesson 773 – Sexing a Chicken with an Index Card

By Wendythomas @wendyenthomas

The day before Violet died, I had planned to take a photo of her neck feathers (stay with me for this one.) Although I was almost positive she was a girl, I still had some nagging doubts. It was her feet, they just seemed so large. I had read, however, that by the time chicks were feathered there as a very easy way to tell if you had yourself a male or a female.

Simply slip a white index card under the upper neck feathers to see the tips. If the tips are pointed, it is most likely a male, if the tips are rounded, you have yourself a female.(But please don’t go destroying any birds based on this “test.”)

I did this with Violet, and her tips were most definitely rounded at about 6+ weeks. We had ourselves a little girl. (who I still miss.)


You can sort of see her rounded feathers here.

This is the time of year when chicken owners are starting to wonder about the sex of their spring chicks. If they’ve gotten a straight run or hatched the chicks from eggs, chances are, they are going to have a rooster or two in the batch. For some people, the sooner they know the better it is with regard to finding the chick a new home (I’ve made it very clear over the years that a rooster does not belong in a flock where you have close neighbors.)

I’ve only seen this technique posted in one place, and I haven’t heard anyone else talk about it.  Could you chicken owners with older chicks (fully feathered apx. 5-7 weeks) take a look at those neck feathers using this technique and let us all know how it turns out?

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at [email protected]

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two. 

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