Ameraucana Hen vs Rooster – How to Tell the Difference?
It is always good to know whether you have hens or roosters in your flock since maintaining a good hen-to-rooster ratio ensures that your flock thrives and produces excellent returns on meat and eggs.
It is a little difficult to tell the sex of your Ameraucanas, especially when they are still young. However, as they grow, the changes become apparent, and if you know what to look out for, you can tell which of your flock are hens and which are roosters.
This piece explores the topic of Ameraucana Hen vs. Rooster, offering insights into how you can distinguish the two at various stages of growth and what to expect from your flock as your hens and roosters grow up.
At What Age Can You Sex Amerucana Chicks?
This is the most common question I get from new and seasoned farmers. It all comes down to experience and luck. Some farmers depend on ‘vent sexing.’ This technique requires a gentle touch where the farmer squeezes feces out of the chick and inspects its anatomy.
With both practice and experience, a farmer can sex chicks with an accuracy of up to 90%. This is the technique that many hatcheries utilize. It is also why incubators do not offer a guarantee on the sex of the chicks they sell. With this method, you can distinguish hens from roosters as young as four weeks old.
For the new farmers without this ability, the best time to distinguish your chicks is when they are 6-8 weeks old. At this age, some apparent features begin to develop that set the roosters apart from the hens. This is usually in terms of physical characteristics discussed in this article’s next section.
Difference Between Baby Amerucana Hen and Rooster
There are ways to tell hens and roosters apart in your Amerucana flock in the various stages of development, from birth to the time they reach maturity.
The changes become more apparent as they age, but there are a few things you can look out for to give you an idea of your flocks’ composure. It is best to have around a dozen chicks if you intend to spot any changes, as they all look similar in their earlier years of development.
This section explores the changes between hens and roosters at various stages of growth.
0-6 Weeks Old
It is practically impossible to tell the roosters and the hens apart in your Ameraucana flock at this early age. Even the seasoned farmers can only guess at this point of the chicks’ growth. At this age, the chicks are usually yellow, round, and smooth, all resembling each other.
From a distance, they typically look like small yellow fluff balls. It all comes down to luck and guessing to tell one chick from the other. Even vent sexing doesn’t offer much accuracy in this stage of their development cycle.
6-8 Weeks Old
This is the age when subtle changes in physique begin to manifest in the chicks. You can guess which of your chicks are male and female. If less than a dozen chicks are in the flock, it may still be impossible to distinguish the sexes. A good way to assess their sex is to look at their rate of development.
The roosters in the flock will develop combs in their heads and wattles. Their growth rate increases as the areas around their heads become redder. Since wattles and combs for this breed are smaller than most chickens, it is difficult to tell when they develop in your chicks. An assessment offers the best way to distinguish your pullets from your cockerels.
12+ Weeks Old
Once the Ameraucanas reach 12 weeks of age, they start to develop their adult feathers, and this is another milestone that you can use to tell the hens apart from the roosters. At this age, they begin to develop feathers down their backs and around their necks. These feathers commonly called heckle feathers, offer an excellent way to tell the males and females apart.
Roosters will develop long, pointy heckle feathers and, with time, long saddle feathers. These are the feathers near the base of their tails. On the other hand, Hens will develop shorter, well-rounded heckle and saddle feathers.
Difference Between Adult Amerucana Hen and Rooster
If you have a flock of adult Amerucanas, it becomes easier to tell your hens from your roosters. There are two ways that you can do this. The first is to consider their physical appearance. Roosters are larger than hens, with longer, more pronounced feathers.
The second is to look at their personality. Roosters will strut around more often and show a higher level of activity and aggression. Aside from these two, you can simply tell which in your flock is a roster by looking at the ones that lay eggs and those that don’t.
When do Amerucana Roosters Start Crowing?
The roosters of this breed start crowing at around three months of age. It may take some roosters longer as they start crowing at four months of age. This is also an excellent way to tell the flock apart. Healthy roosters should crow in the morning and at certain daily intervals once they reach five months of age.
When do Amerucana Hens Start Laying?
Egg laying in the females follows swiftly after the males start crowing. You can expect your Ameraucana hens to begin laying eggs after six months. It may take a little longer for other hens.
About seven months is as long as you can expect to wait if their diet is ample and they live in optimum conditions. The hens in this breed are renowned for their blue eggs, which has given them the nickname “Easter Eggers”. Each hen lays around 120 eggs a year.
The Amerucana breed is an excellent alternative to raising chickens for meat and eggs. Their friendly temperament makes them a wonderful addition to the farm as they can interact with other animals without animosity.
Hopefully, the information in this piece will help you better tell your hens from your roosters if you know what you are looking for. With this, it should be easier to ensure that you can maintain a good ratio of hens to roosters. One rooster to every five hens is usually an optimum ratio for a productive, well-balanced flock.