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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hello Chickens! Rooster or Hen? You Decide.

My dear friend who blogs at From Farm to Market  gave us 10 chicks awhile back. There was no way to know what sex they would be and they were a gift, these chickens are a heritage breed - Buff Orpingtons. Up until this very minute I thought we had 8 roosters and 2 hens - but looking at the pictures on that site, I think I may have 10 hens. That would be wonderful EXCEPT that tomorrow I am getting 10 more hens from someone else. We don't have room for 20 hens.  AAAAAGGGHHHH! So, does anyone know how to tell the difference? Look at this picture:

What do you think? Girl or Boy? Hen or Rooster? Layer or Alarm Clock? 

Now for a couple of egg tips:
1. For tender scrambled eggs, add 1-2 tsp of water, milk, or cream for each egg when beating. The liquid produces steam, which lightens the egg and gives a creamy texture.
2. To keep eggs fresh longer, store them in the carton (not uncovered in the egg compartment) in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
3. The night before boiling eggs to devil them, tape the carton shut and then turn it on its side in the refrigerator. This centers the yolk for a nice presentation.
4. Fry your eggs in bacon fat for the best taste. You will never regret it. 
5. For a boatload of egg ideas check out my Y is for yolks post.

Updated to say: Still no crowing from the original 10 chickens - time will tell what sex these chickies are BUT the 10 NEW chickens are a 'layin' away! We got 5 eggs today - wahooo!! Come on by and I will fry you up some eggs in bacon grease with some yummy bacon and toast with homemade jelly! 

I am linking this to Simple Lives Thursday - a Blog Hop Hosted by my new friend Diana at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa and 3 other Fabulous bloggers.
I am linking this to Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday, a great meme with tons of Real Food links!
And last but certainly not least my Alphabe-Thursday post - I know I am late Mrs. Matlock - sorry, I will be bringing you a dozen eggs next week!

(Don't forget to come back on Tuesday and Link up to the Real Food Blog Hop Two for Tuesdays!)


  1. Girl. I have a Buff Orpington rooster and usually, by the time they are that size, you can really see a difference. And of course, they are crowing to beat the band!
    Exactly how old are they? Are they laying yet? If so, the rooster, if you have one, would definitely be crowing!

  2. We got them the end of April - they were like 5 days old then. They haven't started laying yet. Or crowing that I have heard. Hmm. I guess I just need patience OR someone who didn't grow up in a subdivision to take a look.
    We love these girls/boys they are so pretty and fun!
    I just didn't want them to start killing each other - I had heard that about roosters.

  3. There is a way to tell by looking at their feathers. The males are pointy and the females are rounded I think? If you have hens they should start laying at 18-20 weeks, as long as they have the proper diet. If you have roosters they would probably be crowing by now.

  4. Thanks!! I will see if I can tell by the feathers. Maybe I don't have any roosters - good grief, What will I do with 20 hens a'layin'???

  5. Turn the egg on its side before making deviled eggs- cool tip! Unfortunately I know nothing about chickens...I hope to have some one day, but as of now...clueless!

  6. Their beauties! I love their colors! Definitely looks like a rooster...

  7. Christy...I am SO going to try that deviled egg tip. A plate of deviled eggs is usually one of my contributions at family gatherings.

    Thanks for the tip!!

    (Happy Home Companion)

  8. I can't believe that you OWN chickens/roosters! How cool. The fresh eggs must be awesome! (Or will be awesome)

  9. You have chickens?! That is so cool. Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving a nice comment.

  10. I'm going with hens on this one. They just don't have that mean rooster look in the eye. Nice egg tips!

  11. What beauties & great egg tips!

    Have a lovely weekend,


    PS Mine this time is HERE. Hope you've time to stop by!


    Couple of things I found that pretty much tell ya it's all about waiting to see if the darn thing lays an egg or not! The 2nd site is really better than the firt only because she explains her own experience of trial and error.

  13. I wish I had the time to raise chickens. I have such fond memories of the chickens on the farm I grew up on...

    I'm afraid that the coyotes wish I had time to raise chickens

  14. It depends how old they are. The roosters will have very obviously earlier and redder comb/wattle development. Also they'll have stabbier looking tails and spurs. That chicken looks like a hen to me.

  15. I have Buffs the same age as yours. Mine look like this too and they are suppose to be hens! I am betting this is a hen.

  16. I am a HUGE mexican food lover.... can't wait to try these! Happy Friday!

  17. Chickens are so calming...they are a beautiful creature....blessings..bkm

  18. My Buff Orpintons are not this big yet. Got our chick at day old the last week of April. My first year so I am not any help. I ordered all hens but I have one Ameracana I am just not sure about. She/he is much more aggressive than all the other pullets.

  19. i usually look at the difference between them and assume that the ones with the large combs and wattles are roosters. They will not kill each other but they will gang up on your hens as there will be a poor hen to roster ratio.

    Looking at the hens in the background of the top pick i would say this is probably a hen. I love buffs they are such a great heritage breed and these have beautiful color!

    dont worry about ending up with to many that is what the freezer is for. You can also sell them after they begin to lay as "established layers" for between $10 and $20 a piece depending on your area.

    In the mean time you can hold off on your chick order if you like as they are hatched within 48 hrs of shipping (if you are having them shipped in) and it is not too late to make sure.

    They should begin to crow...if they are going to...within a few weeks from now. some of them are nice and quiet most of the time which can be great!

    in the mean time if you do end up with 20 chickens, I will admit it happened to me my first time! i just posted for this blog hop about different chicken coops, ironically, and the one pictured could help you. let me know! how it goes!

  20. That is so awesome that you have your own hens?...roosters? :o) I wouldn't have known that it was so difficult to tell the difference... I guess they are too young to really see a larger cockscomb on the roosters? I have no clue...I guess I just thought the males had more defined ones...That is neat about the pointed and round feathers...
    & thanks for the tip on the "deviled" eggs (here is a quirky thing about me...I ove 'em, but dont like calling them deviled eggs! haha )

    Blessings & Aloha!
    Hope you figure out what to do with all your chickens :o)

    Oh and I am so late on Alphabe-Thursday! I hope the other classmates get a chance to stop by my late assignment!)

  21. Eh, I don't know anything about chickens but I hope you get it figured out.

  22. You've had lots of good answers - the way we do it is to look for the larger comb and wattle and the tail feathers...........and that cockadoodledo!
    We just got rid of our rooster at a poultry swap - now we're waiting to see how many of our 9 ducklings are males.

  23. Christy, so tough to figure that out! Whatever it is, it does look just like my girl, Ethel. Love the egg tips! Thanks so much for linking this up to Simple Lives Thursday :D

  24. Thanks for the deviled eggs tip. I;ll pass it on to my mother in law, who will surely be impressed. :)

  25. Yikes! Where is my comment on this post?


    My chicken sitting days are over but I'm certain the one I was watching was a girl.

    Great tip on the eggs, too!

    Thanks for linking!

    Please excuse my apparent lack of a visit...


  26. Those chickens are fully feathered...those are definitely girl Buff tail feathers. ; ) The hens also carry their bodies lower, the roosters will carry themselves more upright.

  27. thanks Jenny!! I didn't know that about hens and roosters.

  28. I think the chicken in the pic is a hen. My roos looked like this before they met the stockpot:
    My roos started crowing a month before the hen started laying so the fact that nobody is crowing yet is a good sign that they are hens as well.

  29. roosters tail feathers would be curved and hens would be pointy.

    1. Interesting! I didn't know that. Thanks for stopping by!