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Ok so I bought these two Silkies as hens and I’m starting to really worry they might be cockerels- what does everyone else think? They are 17 weeks and do a bit of chest bumping in the morning but I know this can be common for hens.

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Not great photos I’m afraid as they hide from the big ones. 

The grey one has had a haircut recently so she/he could see- around the eyes.

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I think with silkies the rule is: if it crows it is probably a cockerel, if it lays an egg it is definitely a hen. Don’t think you can get much more accurate than that. 😂

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Yeah I know they are so hard to sex - and I have heard you just wait to see if an egg appears or if they crow.  Doing a bit of searching online got me a little worried as they have quite a few tell tell tales indicating they could be male (started to get suspicious with all the chest bumping, rising to full height in the mornings and trying to each asert authority on the other before settling down to eat alongside each other happily).

hmmmm - we shall see.

The breeder we bought them from had around 50 silkies and bred and sold chickens as his business (he was certain all his chickens were female)- probably should expect him to be a bit of an expert but this behaviour does seem cockerel like and then we have the streamers developing at the back of the head.

oh well - let's wait an see what the next few months brings!!

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I know absolutely nothing about Silkies, apart from they can't fly (is that right?). But i can understand your concern @Annabel, because their stance leads me to think they may be cockerels. As said you won't be certain for a while yet; when you get the first egg. On the positive side I would have expected them to be crowing at 18 weeks, but perhaps Silkies are late developers? We had a leghorn crow at 4 weeks (or try to).

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Yes you are right, they can’t fly.

so I sent a photo and video to the breeder who believed the grey one is male and white one female.

low and behold, the white one started crowing this morning.

real shame as we now will return them to him (heart broken kids) for rehoming (and I assume two new ones) and I have a terrible feeling he won’t manage it and they’ll be killed.

yesterday when we thought just the grey one was male, I was going to try and regime as a breeding pair but no chance of that now.

 

I suppose they have lived longer than they would have done if the breeder had noticed sooner.

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