A rooster is a male chicken, and a hen is a female chicken. While it is often difficult to tell them apart when they are young, some basic physical characteristics distinguish roosters from hens.Know More
The process of identifying the gender of chickens is called sexing. It can be difficult to determine the sex of chicks, which are baby chickens. Sexing chicks becomes easier as they grow older.
There are many different breeds of chicken, but terminology tends to remain standard across types and breeds. For example, a young female chicken that is not of breeding age is called a pullet while a young male chicken of similar age is called a cockerel. Adult females are called hens, and adult males are called roosters. Gender distinctions begin at the pullet and cockerel stage for many breeds.
A few general characteristics aid in the visual identification of chickens by gender:
In certain breeds, roosters are also larger than hens. Additionally, roosters crow, while hens do not.Learn more about Chickens
When a rooster and hen mate, a fertilized egg is produced. The chicken lays the egg and, if exposed to the right conditions, it continues to develop for 21 days after which a chick hatches.Full Answer >
Chicken eggs become fertilized when chickens mate and the rooster's sperm successfully comes into contact with the ovum released by the hen's ovary. After the ovum's release, the sperm have around a half an hour to fertilize it before the shell begins to form.Full Answer >
The easiest way to tell if a chicken is a rooster is to see if it lays eggs or crows; if it crows, it is a rooster, and if it lays eggs, it is a hen. If the chicken is too young to lay eggs, additional clues, such as the color of its comb, can help determine the gender.Full Answer >
Once it has reached physical maturity at about 6 months, a hen lays eggs regardless of whether it has mated with a rooster. The egg production also occurs regardless of male participation.Full Answer >