Summer 2010, we ordered bantam cochins, and they aren’t sold sorted by gender at day old because of their tiny size. We had 13 straight run chicks. I have read around Backyardchickens.com that most of the time gender in bantam cochins is pretty easy to determine between 4 and 6 weeks, and that the males feather in much slower than the females on the back, tails, and wing bows especially. I am no expert on chicken sexing, but I am trying to keep track of their development with notes and pictures. Here is one place I checked to see what I should be looking for: Clues to Gender and cochins are Asiatic, but it doesn’t say it works with bantams. They are also called Pekins in the U.K. where the Pekin breed is one of the most popular for backyard chickens.
Update: 8/5/2010 We sold 7 of the chicks today. They went as a group to North Hollywood High School Agricultural Department. The school has a beautiful multi acre farm. I was very happy to find a place that the boys were welcome to stay and not all be automatically named “Stew.” We now have 6, two of each breed. We kept the largest partridge. There is a very good chance it is a male due to the fact it is already pink combed and has tiny waddles.
Update: 8/30/10 The pretty partridge did end up being a male. He only crowed softly and very infrequently, but I decided to find a new home for him before it got too hard to let him go.
- Basically, I saw no indicators of gender at 3 days old when they arrived.
- The black cochins bantam cockerels started showing male traits at two weeks old. The black cochins males were the only variety to demonstrate all the signs I was looking for: slow feathering on wing bows, tails and backs, plus pink combs early.
- The partridge chicks looked all exactly the same until sometime between 6 and 7 weeks old. Then, the boys feathering colors started to change and be more dramatic and colorful. Before that, the patterns were all kind of barred looking.
- The buffs were the hardest. Both sexes feathered in at the same rate. It wasn’t until the comb developed on the one male at 6 weeks, that I noticed any differences.
- I have a long way to go before I can sort cochin genders any earlier than 6 weeks.
- If you have any suggestions for determining cochins’ gender, please email me…I would appreciate the help since we love Cochins.
Black Bantam Cochin chicks - less than a week old
Black Bantam Cochin chicks - 3 Weeks old (there are two cockerels. they are on either end of this photo
Black Cochin cockerels 6 weeks old. These two moved to the Ag Department at North Hollywood High School along with 1 buff pullet, 1 black pullet, 2 partridge, and the other unknown gender buff.
Black cochin chicks - 6 weeks old - These 3 turned out to be pullets. We kept the two on the sides. Penguin is on the bottom left and Lady Cluck on the right. The middle one went to a new home at 6 weeks with 6 others.
Buff Bantam Cochins - Less than a week old
Buff Bantam Cochin Chick -3 weeks old - none of the others would cooperate for a photo. I think this was the cockerel.
Buff Cochin chicks - 6 weeks old -one pullet, and one that is a little pink in the comb is a cockerel. At six weeks, the male went to the Ag Dept. The pullet on the left is Missy Prissy/ Greasy Chicken
Two of the four Buff Cochin chicks - 6 weeks old - both pullets. We kept the one on the right, Daisy.
Partridge Bantam Cochin Chicks - Less than a week old
Partridge Bantam Cochin chicks - 3 Weeks old, All feathering similarly and very quickly. The pullet is second from the left. I remember because she had the least amount of foot feathering of the 4 chicks.
Partridge cochins - 6 weeks, one has a slightly different pattern than the other three, kind of barred, not yet pencilled. The rate of feathering was the same in all four, but three were slightly darker in general and more burgundy in the hackles. We had one pullet, Harley, and she was the one with more barring, less gray, and not much foot feathering; the one in front left, but we didn't know it for sure for another week after this photo was taken.
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