Do you have some Silver Laced Wyandotte chicks and are excited to know whether or not they’re going to grow up to be hens (females) or roosters (males)?
Hens and roosters are very different, and for the most part, you’re going to want a flock of hens with one rooster at most.
So, if you’re buying straight-run chicks or hatching eggs, you’ll want to determine the sex of your chicks as soon as possible.
To help you tell the difference between hens and roosters, here is a look at the Silver Laced Wyandotte Rooster vs Hen; characteristics, physical appearance, and more!
How Do You Tell if a Silver Laced Wyandotte Is a Rooster?
The way you tell if a Silver Laced Wyandotte is a Rooster or a hen depends on the age of the bird.
There are some methods poultry experts use, such as ‘vent sexing’ to sex chicks within days of hatching, but this method is difficult to do and not 100% reliable.
Here are some of the things to look out for based on the age of the Silver Laced Wyandotte:
Silver Laced Wyandotte Hen vs Rooster 6-8 Weeks’ Old
As a backyard chicken owner, your best bet is to wait until your chicks are around 6-8 weeks of age and start showing some obvious, physical signs of being a hen or a rooster.
Roosters will have redder, larger wattles and combs than hens. This is a little tricker with Silver Laced Wyandottes than some other breeds, as Silver Laced Wyandottes have rose-type combs.
But if you see a male and female chick of the same age side by side, you will be able to see the difference.
Silver Laced Wyandotte Hen vs Rooster 12-14 Weeks’ Old
The next milestone in terms of age and physical characteristics to look out for is when your Silver Laced Wyandottes are around 3 months old.
Roosters’ saddle feathers are much longer and more pointy than a hen’s. Hen’s saddle feathers are rounded, and they don’t have the same skinny sickle feathers as a rooster, either.
If you look at fully matured Silver Laced Wyandotte roosters, you can see they have very different tail and saddle feathers than hens.
This will help you better understand how these feathers are developing and what to look for when a bird is around 12-14 weeks old.
Related – A look at ISA roosters vs hens.
Other Tips for Telling Silver Laced Wyandotte Roosters vs Hens as They Age
Ignoring the old wives tales about how to sex a chick, there are some other signs to look out for that may help you determine if you have a male or a female bird:
- Sometimes male chickens have shinier feathers
- Roosters tend to grow faster, be plumper, and walk with more of a ‘confident strut’
- Roosters are typically friendlier and bolder when they’re chicks than hens are
- Hens have smaller feet and thinner legs
I’m not suggesting you rely on any of these characteristics alone. In combination with other signs, however, it’s a good – and fun – way to try and determine if you have a cockerel or a pullet.
It’s also something people get better at over time. Don’t be surprised if sexing a chick feels like an impossible task the first time you try to do it, it gets more instinctual the more you do it.
Difference Between Adult Silver Laced Wyandotte Roosters vs Hens
If you have mature, adult Silver Laced Wyandottes it’s not difficult to tell the difference between a rooster and a hen, both in appearance and how they act.
Roosters are much larger than hens, they also have larger tail feathers, saddle feathers, and pointed hackle feathers.
Silver Laced Wyandotte roosters also have more white coloring around their hackle feathers, which are the feathers around their necks.
At What Age Do Wyandotte Roosters Crow?
There is one unmistakable way of telling a rooster from a hen, and that’s crowing.
Even if you don’t raise chickens, I’m sure you’re aware of what that iconic “cock-a-doodle-do” crowing noise sounds like.
It’s usually an early morning call that most of us (especially our neighbors) do not want to hear at 3am, 5am, and various other times throughout the day.
The age at which a rooster first crows varies from bird to bird. Generally speaking, however, Wyandotte Roosters will almost always break their first crow at about four or five months of age.
By this age, you will almost certainly already know if you have a male or a female on your hands anyway, but it’s extra validation.
Related – Sometimes hens can crow, too! Read this to find out why.
Much like all breeds of chickens, Silver Laced Wyandotte roosters and hens look very different when they’re fully matured.
Once you know what you’re looking for, you’ll also be able to spot these characteristics developing as they age.
Image credits – Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash