Baby chickens are called “Chicks”. This is, at least, until they are a little older and can be sexed. Then they are called either a “pullet” which is a young female, or a “cockerel” which is a young male chicken.
They are also called “peeps”, although I hear this term used more often when there is more than one chick. Such as a group of peeps, loads of peeps, etc.
Similar to how we use the word when talking about a bunch of people. But it refers more so to the noises chicks make, which are cheeps and peeps.
I have to take this moment while talking about chicks to point out how cute they are. I’m sure anyone who has been fortunate enough to see and handle a baby chick will agree.
I’ve included a video of some light Brahma chicks so you can see what I mean:
Chicken Terminology and Terms
A baby chicken is called a chick.
A group of chicks is called a clutch or peep.
An immature female chicken is called a pullet.
A mature female chicken is called a hen.
An immature male chicken is called a cockerel.
A mature male chicken is called a rooster or cock.
A group of chickens is called a flock.
A group of hens is called a brood.
Related content – What do you call a group of chickens?
At What Age Can You Tell If a Chicken Is Male or Female?
You can’t usually sex a chick until they are at least 6 weeks old.
The main way of sexing a chick at this point is by looking at their combs and wattles. A chicken’s comb is the red thing on the top of their head that looks like a comb. And the wattle is the flap of skin under the beaks.
Male chicks’ combs and wattles are redder than females. You can almost always see a difference when you have the same age male and female chicks next to each other.
There are some physical signs to look out for, too. Male chickens typically strut with their heads up and chest puffed out, and they have thicker legs.
What Is a Baby Rooster Called?
A baby rooster is called a cockerel. There isn’t an exact age that a cockerel becomes a rooster, and in fact, it varies depending on the breed and where in the world they are.
I always look at cockerels as being male chickens up to 1 year of age. Then they become roosters and typically have all the characteristics of a rooster such as saddle feathers, long tail feathers, and of course spurs.
At What Age Can You Tell If a Chicken Is a Rooster?
If you want to be really sure, and I’ve seen plenty of mistakes by trying to sex too early, you need to wait about 3 months.
At around 3 months onwards, roosters start to develop long and pointed saddle feathers. They also have longer hackle feathers, the feathers around the neck.
You might even see their spurs starting to be visible on the back of their legs. If you have a hen of similar age, stand them side-by-side. You should see some other differences in their postures.
Around 4-5 months you’re going to find out for sure when your chicken – if it is indeed a rooster – will start crowing.
Roosters typically live for 5-8 years. I explain more about how to care for roosters and how long they live for in this post.
What Is a Young Female Chicken Called?
Taking into account all the visible signs that a chick is male as I described above, you can also tell if the chick is female.
A young female chicken is called a pullet. This is the name given to a chicken that is less than a year old and not yet laying eggs.
When they are about to lay eggs they are referred to as point-of-lay chickens as that will almost always be before they are a year old. Then once they are laying and pass a year of age, they become hens.
Related content – How long can chicks go without water?
In Summary – What Are Baby Chickens Called?
There aren’t that many names and terms for chickens at various stages of their lives.
Baby chickens are called chicks or peeps. Young females are called pullets, then they are hens once they’re a year old and laying eggs.
Young males are called cockerels, then they are roosters once they are a year old.