Sexing Day-Old Chicks: How to Identify Pullets and Cockerels
Depending on the breed of your chicks, there are four ways to reliably separate the males from the females.
TOP. Open vent. The interior border is rolled back and genitalia is exposed. Chick is a pullet (no bulb protrudes at lower brim). ABOVE: Whoops! Chick defecates as author spreads vent.
Sort your baby chickens based on wing feathers, sprout patterns, genetic markers in down coloring or vent sorting.
PHOTO: FOTOLIA/ HRASKA
TOP: The hand scoop. Chick is picked up with left hand . . . its head between 3rd and 4th fingers, legs between 4th and 5th. Rump ducktails up. ABOVE LEFT. Evacuating the chick. Left thumb pushes on lower abdomen. ABOVE RIGHT: The vent spread. Left thumb presses left edge of vent up and over so that interior border is turned towards chick's back. Right thumb and finger are ready to pinch back right edge of vent.