How to Identify Cockerels and Pullets in a Flock

When you procure your chicks from a hatchery, there are possibilities that both males and females. If you want to tell the difference between a cockerel and pullet, there are a few things you can look for in determining if a chicken is a male (cockerel) or female (pullet).

1. Wattles and Combs
Cockerels have larger and more developed combs and wattles than pullets. These combs and wattles of cockerels turn red sooner than the wattles and combs of pullets. Also, the combs of pullets flop over while the combs of cockerels stand upright.

2. Body and Legs
The body of a cockerel is bigger than that of a pullet. A cockerel also has thicker legs while those of a pullet are quite small. When both are of the same age and body size, the legs of the cockerel are much larger than the legs of the pullet.

3. Feathering
A cockerel has hackle feathers (pointed feathers on his neck) while a pullet has rounded feathers on her neck. Saddle feathers (pointed feathers on the back) are present on the back of cockerels and they also have sickle fathers (curved tail feathers). Pullets have straight feathers on their tails and other feathers on their body have rounded ends.

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4. Plumage Colour
The feathers of cockerels are brightly coloured and have more iridescence and color variety to their than those of pullets.

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