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Cockerel vs. Pullet — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Maham Liaqat — Updated on May 6, 2024
A cockerel is a young male chicken under a year old, while a pullet is a young female chicken of the same age.
Cockerel vs. Pullet — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Cockerel and Pullet


Key Differences

A cockerel is a juvenile male chicken, typically less than a year old. It is characterized by developing combs, wattles, and more vibrant plumage, often more aggressive than pullets.
Pullets, on the other hand, are young female chickens, not yet mature enough to lay eggs. They generally have more subdued feathers and smaller combs and wattles compared to cockerels.
Cockerels may display early crowing and assertive behavior as they grow. Pullets, meanwhile, are quieter and less territorial, preparing for egg-laying.
In farming, cockerels are usually separated early due to their temperament, while pullets are often reared for egg production.

Comparison Chart




Under one year
Under one year

Primary Use

Meat production

Physical Features

Larger combs, wattles, colorful plumage
Smaller combs, wattles, muted plumage


Aggressive, territorial
Quieter, less assertive

Compare with Definitions


A rooster less than one year old.
The cockerel began crowing early each morning.


A hen under one year old.
The farmer is expecting the pullets to start laying eggs next month.


A male chicken before reaching maturity.
The cockerel will soon grow into a mature rooster.


A young female chicken.
The pullet hasn't started laying eggs yet.


A juvenile male bird in poultry.
The cockerel strutted around the yard confidently.


A female chicken being reared for egg production.
Pullets are typically raised to become layers.


A male bird reared for meat.
Cockerels are often raised specifically for consumption.


A juvenile female bird not fully mature.
The pullet will soon transition into a full-grown hen.


A young domestic cock.


A young hen in a flock.
The pullet was gently introduced to the established flock.


A young rooster.


A young domestic hen, usually one that is less than one year old.


A young male chicken.


A young hen, especially one less than a year old.


A young cock.


(slang) A spineless person; a coward.


A young domestic cock; not older than one year


A young girl.


A young hen, or female of the domestic fowl.


Flesh of a medium-sized young chicken suitable for frying


Young hen usually less than a year old

Common Curiosities

What are the primary purposes of cockerels and pullets?

Cockerels are often raised for meat, while pullets are typically reared for egg production.

Can a cockerel and a pullet be kept together?

They can, but it's essential to monitor behavior, as cockerels can sometimes become aggressive.

When do pullets start laying eggs?

Pullets generally begin laying eggs around 5-6 months of age.

How do cockerels and pullets differ in behavior?

Cockerels tend to be more aggressive and territorial, while pullets are quieter and less assertive.

What nutritional needs differ between cockerels and pullets?

Pullets require feed that promotes egg production, while cockerels might need more protein if being raised for meat.

What is the age range for a cockerel and a pullet?

Both terms refer to chickens less than one year old.

Why are cockerels considered more aggressive than pullets?

Cockerels exhibit territorial and assertive behaviors as part of their natural instincts, which become more prominent as they mature.

Are cockerels necessary in a flock if only eggs are desired?

No, cockerels are only needed if fertilized eggs or chicks are desired; pullets can lay unfertilized eggs.

What physical characteristics differentiate a cockerel from a pullet?

Cockerels have larger combs and wattles with brighter plumage, whereas pullets have smaller combs and more subdued feathers.

Is it possible to change the temperament of a cockerel to be less aggressive?

Some cockerels can be trained to be less aggressive with proper handling and socialization, but their natural instincts may still lead to territorial behavior.

Do cockerels crow before reaching one year old?

Yes, cockerels often start crowing well before they are a year old.

Are cockerels and pullets raised differently on farms?

Yes, cockerels are typically separated early and may be raised for meat, while pullets are kept together and reared primarily for egg production.

Can you tell a cockerel from a pullet by their behavior alone?

While not foolproof, cockerels often display more assertive behavior, including crowing and pecking, compared to the quieter pullets.

Do pullets interact well with other birds?

Pullets generally have a milder temperament, making them less aggressive and more social with other birds.

How do the living arrangements differ for cockerels and pullets?

Cockerels may require separate or isolated housing due to their aggressive nature, while pullets can often live together without issue.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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