Sexing Brahma chickens
Sexing Brahma can be tricky and unless your really experienced, can only accurately be done when the birds hit their teens. I still struggle with slow maturing breeds like the Brahma and still make mistakes when sexing them.
Sexing Brahma chicks:
There are two fool-proof ways of sexing Brahma chicks including vent or DNA sexing but that is often very costly and not accessible to all. Vent sexing requires specialist training and DNA sexing requires samples and is expensive.
Brahma chicks can not be feather sexed at day old although the feather can give a clue as they birds grow up.
Here are some additional tips on how to sex Brahma chicks:
- Look at the shape of their comb. Roosters typically have larger, more pointed combs than hens and this can be seen from quite a young age.
- Roosters typically have lighter coloured down than hens.
- Dark Brahmas are easier to sex than lights because the male and female feathering different. Females have pencilling pattern all over.
- Cockerels generally take longer to develop their feathers than hens resulting in the hens being more fully feathered with shorter plumage.
- The tail feathers on male chicks tend to be longer and thinner and the hens have shorter more rounder tails.
- As they grow the males get a stocky build and a more upright stance while the hens are finer built and flatter.
It is important to note that these methods are not always accurate.
At what age can you tell the sex of a Brahma chick?
The sex of Brahma chickens can in nine cases out of ten be easily distinguished from 4 to 6 weeks old.
Some breeds of Brahma are auto-sexing to some extent.
Buff Brahma chicks can be sexed at day old. The male chicks will have a much lighter colouring down than the hen. Males are predominantly cream-yellow in colour and the girls are smokey-grey.
I have never kept silver or gold laced Brahma but I was told that they can be eye line sexed. Females have longer and thicker eye lines than the males.
Gold partridge males will have dark single coloured chest feathers the hen will have the same on her chest as her full body colour.
My wife also reckons the boys are much more noisy but I am not sure about this one.
How can you tell if a Brahma chicken is male or female?
Brahmas are a slower maturing heritage breed.
The only real way for the average backyard keeper to sex Brahma chickens is to wait until their secondary sexual characteristics begin to show.
Here's a table outlining some of the differences between male and female Brahma chickens:
|Characteristic||Male Brahma Chicken||Female Brahma Chicken|
|Comb and Wattles||Larger and Brighter||Smaller and Duller|
|Feathering||More Elaborate, pointed||Less Elaborate, rounded|
|Feather pattern||Males have a more distinct pattern, with darker, thicker lines and more defined markings||Females have a softer, more muted pattern, with lighter, thinner lines and less defined markings.|
|Legs||Longer and thicker, bright yellow||A little shorter and thinner, more of a dusky golden yellow|