It’s spring and in the spring there are chicks, and when there are chicks, there are folks asking, “Is this chick a boy or a girl?” And if you’re like me, you’re also crossing your fingers and chanting, “Girls! Girls! Girls!” in your head!
So I’m going to give you the simple answer. Here’s how to sex your serama chicks: wait. No, seriously. In most cases, you will know by 3-4 weeks of age which ones are cockerels and which are likely pullets.
No one can look at a photo of a day or week old chick and tell you whether it’s male or female. We can guess, based on stance (more upright) or how the wing is held (closer to 90 degrees), and you can watch for behavior (cockerels being more want to perch high, bother brooder mates and such), but you won’t really know until those little combs begin to develop.
So let’s take a look at some combs:
Let’s take a look at these combs a month later. Our cockerel:
And our pullet. As you can see, there’s still some ambiguous red tinging. But we can reasonably suspect by this age that she is a she, based on size of comb compared to her brothers.
More commonly, your pullet combs & wattles will stay pale, as the one below:
While we’re on the subject of early maturation, those new to seramas are often surprised to learn just how early the cockerels can begin crowing. Some lines produce boys that crow as early as 3 weeks of age, for reals. Crowing at 3 weeks old sounds nothing like a rooster crowing. This youth “crow” sounds more like a fast, high pitched trill.
Here’s a video of one of mine crowing at around 6 weeks (he started at 3 weeks but it took me awhile to catch it on video, sounds the same though):
While the onset of crowing varies, many boys start at the more reasonable age of around 2-3 months. At this age, starter crows will usually sound like weaker, unpracticed versions of an adult cock’s crow.
Time flies and they grow up way too fast. Sit back, relax, and just enjoy your chicks. You’ll know their sex quite soon. Until then, savor those tiny peeps, trills, and pitter-patter baby feet sprinting across the brooder. And most important, take lots of pics! 😉