Cochins at 4 weeks

Cochins at 4 weeks

The chicks are growing very quickly.  I still only can tell that there are two cockerels for sure due to their very slow feathering and slightly larger and pinker combs.  Statistically there should be more males.  There are two others that just this week got a tiny bit of pink in their combs, but the combs are still mostly yellow.  We have 13 chicks, and I doubt we could be so lucky as to get 11 pullets. Even though they are all four weeks old, the two confirmed males have a lot of baby chick fuzz on their shoulders and back in comparison to the chicks that were mostly feathered by 3 weeks.  The males tails are also pretty stumpy little fuzz bumps with a few pin feathers barely showing.   Here is the latest picture of the partridge cochins that I took 4 days ago. More pictures of these chicks development can be found at a later post here.

How do you tell the gender of baby chicks
The top cockerel of the bunch. I am positive this one is male. It tries to crow..

4 thoughts on “Cochins at 4 weeks

  1. Hello,
    I was playing around on the computer looking for ways that I can tell the sex of my cochins, and your blog came up. I live not too far away from you. I have 6 blue cochins that are starting their 4th week. I know one is definitely a boy, and another that is 100% a girl, but the other 4 I really can’t say. Should I be paying more attention to the combs and not look at the waddles? The one that is a boy, his comb is all dk. pink except for the tiny tips. The 4 that I can’t tell have a bit of pink at the base kinda near the beak. We are all so impatient and want to know. I am getting the feeling that we have to wait a little longer, but it seems soooo long.

    Could you give me any advice? I noticed that you had cochins. The buff ones seemed to have different coloring on the combs than the darker colors that you had. Ours are blue, but when they arrived they were very very yellow with a tiny hint of gray. I would say like a dirty yellow chick. Most of their feathers that are coming in are dirty white. Do you think they will get more gray?


    1. Hi Dionne,

      I adore my cochins, too, and have had a few different batches of cochin chicks in the last year. I know what you mean about impatient waiting. I go through the same thing everytime time. I am in the process of finding homes for my 7 week old cockerels. When I guess the genders of bantam cochins at 2 days old I am usually only right on 1 out of 4, so I stopped trying at that age. About 75% of my guesses at two weeks old seem to turn out correct. By 6 weeks, I am usually 90% sure of all the chicks’ gender. Around 4 weeks, it is still a little too early to be sure. If the base comb isn’t yellow, but the rest is, there is hope it could still be a pullet. Pullet combs look that way until 8 to 10 weeks. However, if the comb suddenly starts getting bigger or the wattles hang down much by 6 weeks, they are probably boys. Girls will get pink wattles at 6 weeks, but they don’t really hang down at all until later on. Just wait two to three more weeks. Do you have any pictures?

      I hate to tell you, but from your description, it sounds like your blues are actually splash. With blue chicken color genetics, 50% of the chicks hatch out blue, 25% black, and 25% splash. Splash is white with a light blue(gray) cast or speckles of blue or black on white, kind of like what I think you are explaining. Do a google image search for blue black splash chicks. With day old chicks, the palest chicks in breeding blues are the splash… yellow with a slight gray hew on top. The blues are medium grey with yellow under sides, and the blacks are black with yellow under sides. Therefore, your chicks probably won’t darken up much, but they will get a lot prettier as they moult out their juvenile feathers over the next couple of months.

      Where did you get your chicks? Did you get them from hatchery or a breeder? If it was a breeder, they would have known they were only selling you splash out of their blue mating. Hatchery blue chicks are random, they just fill a box for an order as fast as they can pick up chicks, not checking hew.

      I agree, try to keep an extra 3rd chick if you can.

      1. I got my chickens from a breeder who ordered them from a hatchery. I think they are splash and I am disappointed. I wanted a big fat gray hen that was dark on the top and faded down to lighter gray. Darn it!

        Gary, the breeder is wonderful. He will take back my roos. He was just able to produce lavender orpingtons. I am so envious.

        Here are some pictures. Big Toe is a boy with very red waddles and comb. Noodles is the one we feel is 100% girl. She is fully feathered on her wings and back. Yellow Belly is still pretty yellow on the comb, but with light pink at the base. Blueberry was my favorite. I thought she was a girl because she got the wing feathers first with Noodles and was so calm. She would sleep under my shirt every time I picked her up. She is now getting pink at the base of her comb and is fighting with the others. Skittles….we just don’t know. Maybe a girl. Some of them feel beefier when you grab them, while others feel more petite. I even weighed them. Do you think that can help tell? There is often a 2 oz. difference between some.

        In addition to our 6 Cochins we have 2 Australorps that came in as girls. We will keep one.

        Gary may be able to help you with the males. Let me know if you want his number. He is in Norco and it is worth the drive. His place is so cool and he has so many different breeds.

        1. Hi Dionne,

          After looking at the photos you attached, I agree with your opinion that the one you called Big Toe is a boy and Noodles is a girl. I think blueberry’s comb and wattles look like a male’s, but it could be the angle of the shot. I’m not sure on the others. As chicks, males and females both fight and challenge each other to establish their place in the pecking order, so I don’t usually use it as a reliable way to pick out my boys. As far as size, in the batch of Cochins I have right now, the tiniest runt and the largest both ended up being cockerels, so size isn’t always a good indicator either. You probably have another two weeks to wait. Sorry. Thank you for the suggestion of checking if Gary will want my extra boys. I’ll let you know if I need his number. I am going to be in Norco next Monday visiting a friend out there.


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