How Do I Tell Male and Female Chickens Apart?

Differences between roosters and hens vary from breed to breed, but certain characteristics generally remain distinct. Roosters have bigger and brighter combs and wattles on their heads and necks, and possess long spurs on the backs of their legs. Hens do not crow and are usually smaller with shorter plumes.

Hens and roosters may be told apart by their different behavior patterns. A rooster keeps watch over the hens and defends and mates with them. Hens mainly spend their time either in the nest laying eggs or hunting for small insects in the dirt. Chicks are difficult to tell apart, though a trained eye can spot the difference with a quick look at the animals' vents.