If you’re lucky enough to raise an Ameraucana chicken, then you’re aware of how beautiful and unique this bird is. Its temperament, cool features, and colored blue eggs are among the features that make the Ameraucana a sought-after breed among most poultry farmers. However, if you consider most suburban and urban settings, raising roosters is hugely discouraged. For this reason, differentiating Ameraucana rooster vs. hen is critical to avoid landing yourself in trouble.
If you’re raising your flock in rural areas, you might not have a problem with this. But again, knowing how to distinguish male from female chickens is important. This process is known as sexing and is very important if you’re hatching chicks for sale.
So, whether you own a large poultry farm or you’re buying chicks to raise in your backyard, this short guide will discuss everything you need to know about the Ameraucana chicken breed. So, here, we’ll learn how to differentiate Ameraucana roosters from hens, cockerels from pullets, and lastly how to differentiate the chicks.
How Do You Identify if an Ameraucana Is a Rooster or Hen?
Before we get to that, the Ameraucana is a descendant of a blue egg-laying chicken most specifically the Araucana. One of the major reasons for crossbreeding the Araucana with other breeds was to get a chicken breed that would fix a few health flaws suffered by the Araucana.
Something else about this chicken breed is that it resembles the Easter egger, especially when it comes to laying bluish greenish eggs. So, when differentiating it from an Easter egger, you have to examine the physical characteristics very carefully.
Lastly, most newcomers raising the Ameraucana chicken breed tend to get confused when differentiating roosters from hens. Although we’ll discuss this in detail, you can examine the sex of adult Ameraucana chickens by looking at the physical characteristics, behavior, body size, feathers, and weight.
7 Main Differences of Ameraucana Rooster vs Hen
The Ameraucana is among the most interesting chicken breeds to raise in your backyard. Some people raise them for ornamental purposes, especially their bluish greenish eggs, while others raise them as pets thanks to their friendly temperament.
However, most people raise them for their produce, which includes eggs and meat. But, regardless of your intentions, telling the difference between roosters and hens is very important. For this reason, this section will touch on key areas that tell the difference between Ameraucana roosters and hens.
The first way to differentiate an Ameraucana rooster from a hen is by observing the behavior of both chickens. Initially, the Ameraucana is known to be friendly and very docile. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why most farmers raise them as pets.
But, despite that, looking at these birds keenly, you’ll notice that some of them will appear to strut around the coop or backyard. Such chickens are males. You see, roosters have aggressive, protective, and territorial instincts.
They like impressing their “women” and in most cases, they’re the ones that search for food and call the rest of the flock to feed. The roosters are also very friendly towards humans and you’ll occasionally see them getting too close to you. This behavior is different from hens, which tend to keep to themselves.
2. Comb & Wattle
One of the surefire ways of telling the difference between roosters and hens is by examining the combs and wattles. The comb is the red fleshy meat at the top of a bird’s head while the wattle is the fleshy meat that hangs under the chin.
Now, when it comes to the Ameraucana breed, judging the sex of the chicken by looking at the comb and wattle can be tricky, especially if you’re used to raising other breeds of chicken. That’s because the combs and wattles of these breeds don’t get too large and pronounced.
Nonetheless, the Ameraucana roosters have larger and more prominent combs and wattles as compared to hens. Also, the combs and wattles on roosters start growing earlier than those of hens.
Another way to distinguish Ameraucana roosters from hens is by looking at the feathers. First, you need to note that this chicken breed comes in eight different colors depending on the breeds they’re crossed with. These colors include Black, White, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, and Silver.
Other than the colors, chickens have three types of feathers that consist of hackle, saddle, and sickle feathers. Hackle feathers grow on the neck while saddle feathers grow at the back pointing down. Sickle feathers, on the other hand, are the ones that grow on the tail.
So, when differentiating Ameraucana chicken rooster vs. hen, you’ll notice that roosters will have feathery sickle feathers and pointed hackle feathers. You’ll also notice that hackle feathers around their necks are long and high in volume as compared to those of hens.
Regardless of which chicken breed you’re raising, the roosters will always get heavier than the hens. In the case of the Ameraucana breed, the males will weigh at least a pound heavier than the females. Here, the roosters will weigh around 6 ½ pounds while hens will weigh approximately 5 ½ pounds. So, in case you’re unable to distinguish the sex of these birds from just examining their features, then perhaps the weight might help.
Other than the weight, the sex of the Ameraucana breed can be distinguished from the height. Again, the roosters will tend to get taller than the hens. However, this factor is quite tricky to determine, as you’ll have to wait until the chickens are fully mature.
One of the most surefire ways of telling whether you’re raising a rooster or a hen is vocalization. Whether you’re raising some of the noisiest or quietest chicken breeds, roosters will always crow early in the morning. However, in rare instances, especially in the absence of a rooster, some select hens might crow early in the morning.
Although chickens are different, roosters will start crowing when they’re 6-7 months old. The worst thing about this crowing is that it can cause a nuisance, especially if you’re in an urban center. Therefore, you need to learn how to identify the roosters early when they’re still chicks. More of this will be discussed in the next section.
7. The Use
The last obvious way to differentiate an Ameraucana hen vs. rooster is the use. Although it sounds bizarre, you can try to wait until your chickens lay eggs to distinguish roosters from hens. Anyway, hens are the ones that lay eggs while roosters are used for fertilizing the eggs or for meat production.
Ameraucana Male and Female Baby Chicks Differences
Unless you’re an expert, sexing Ameraucana chickens when they’re chicks is very difficult. Some experts use the “vent sexing” technique where they squeeze feces from the chicks’ vent to determine their sex. Although the technique works, there are times when one or more chicks turn out to be male.
So, whether you’re running a hatchery or you’re buying chicks to raise, here are some ways you can determine the sex of your chicks depending on the age.
6-8 Weeks Old
Unless you use the vent sexing technique, which of course requires experience, it’s almost impossible to distinguish males from females when chicks are just 0-6 weeks old. At this stage, the chicks appear to look alike and grow at the same pace.
When chicks are 6-8 weeks old, it’s easy to identify some slight differences that help you tell which ones are males and which ones are female. Though not a guarantee, you’ll notice that males have redder combs and wattles as compared to females.
However, note that Ameraucana breeds don’t grow prominent combs and wattles as most breeds do. For this reason, identifying the combs and wattles will be quite challenging.
10 Weeks and Above
From 10-12 weeks moving forward, it’s easy to identify blue Ameraucana rooster vs. hen. At this age, the chickens will develop more adult features that are easy to tell whether they’re male or female. If you have mature chickens, then this is much easier as you’ll only need to compare the features.
So, other than the comb and wattle, other features you’ll see here include the size of the feathers, which will be larger and more pronounced in roosters than in hens.
Ameraucana Chicken Eggs Color Chart
When it comes to laying eggs, the Ameraucana chickens are considered excellent egg-layers that produce around 3-4 eggs weekly and about 150 eggs annually. This range makes these birds the best for backyard chicken owners and not for commercial production as the egg production is quite low.
Nonetheless, these chickens have something interesting about their eggs—they lay blue eggs. So, if your chickens are producing eggs of different colors, then they’re not pure Ameraucana breeds.
6-Week Old Rooster vs. Hen
Now, telling the difference between the Ameraucana chicken rooster vs. hen is very difficult. That’s because, at such a young age, chicks are yet to develop most of the features that distinguish males from females.
Most experts in hatcheries use the vent sexing method to distinguish males from females. Since this method is 90-95% precise, most farmers swear by it. However, if you’re not sure about this method, then you can use other methods such as checking the size and color of the comb and wattle.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What Does an Ameraucana Chicken Look Like?
Now, for your chicken to be accepted as a pure Ameraucana breed, it must possess the following characteristics. First, the chicken must have one of the following acceptable colors: Black, White, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, and Silver.
Two, your chicken must possess the following traits:
- It must have small wattles or no wattles at all.
- Must have red pea combs.
- Should have full tails.
- Their leg colors depend on the color of the feathers.
- They have muffs on their faces.
Q2. When Do Ameraucana Chickens Start Laying Eggs?
When it comes to laying eggs, the Ameraucana pullets begin the egg-laying journey when they’re 6-7 months old. Now, this is considered quite late when compared to egg-laying hybrids such as Leghorns, Golden Comets, Rhode Island Reds, and Australorps among others.
On the flip side, the Ameraucana chicken is believed to lay eggs much earlier than common breeds such as the Silkie, Polish Hen, Wyandotte, and Plymouth Rock among others.
Q3. How Long Do Ameraucana Chickens Live?
Now, Ameraucanas are chicken breeds that have minimal health issues. In fact, the only problem with these chickens is mite and lice infestation that tend to attack their muffs and beards. Thankfully, with proper care and treatment, these birds can last for up to 7 or 8 years.
Q4. When Do Ameraucana Roosters Begin to Crow?
Ameraucana cockerels mostly start crowing at the same time when pullets begin laying eggs. This is usually around 5-6 months old. At this age, you’ll hear your roosters trying to crow which eventually turns into a loud “cock-a-doodle-doo”. Earlier in this discussion, we mentioned crowing where we said it’s among the surefire ways of determining whether a chicken is an Ameraucana rooster.
Q5. Are Ameraucanas Broody Breeds?
Yes, they are. Although they’re not recognized as pure breeds, Ameraucana hens are excellent brooders. The hens lay eggs and collect them in their nests before sitting on them later.
As you can see, the Ameraucana chickens are fun to raise thanks to their friendly temperament and docile characteristics. They have distinctive looks and personalities that set them apart from other breeds.
However, when it comes to Ameraucana hen vs. rooster, things get a little bit nasty as most people are unable to distinguish them, especially when they’re young chicks. For that reason, this guide has discussed ways you can distinguish adult roosters from hens, cockerels from pullets, and male/female chicks.
So, in case you’ve been struggling to tell male from female Ameraucana breeds, then perhaps you’ve found an easier route.
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- When Do Easter Eggers Start Laying? All You Need to Know
- Do Roosters Lay Eggs? Everything You Need to Know
Hello, I am John Reid. I have been raising chickens for the last 15 years. I have got my experience from my father. My father is the owner of a large chicken farm. This is our family business that has been continuing for over 35 years. I am very interested in backyard chickens and I know how to take care of them. You can learn more About Us here. Happy Reading!!