Background The impact of sex differences on chronic liver disease (CLD) and hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is unknown. The majority of animals used in research are male since the main difficulty with using female animals is the potential impact of the estrous cycle, increasing intragroup variability. The bile duct ligated (BDL) rat is a well-characterized model of CLD and HE in males which has not been investigated in females. Therefore, we aimed to characterize a female BDL model of CLD and HE and compare to male BDL rats. Material and Methods We assessed BDL or Sham female rats for estrous cycle phase, behavior (anxiety, motor incoordination and activity), body parameters (weight and composition, muscle weight/circumference, grip strength), liver parameters (enzymes and ammonia). We than compared to historical laboratory data from male BDL rats. Results Female BDL rats had impaired liver markers (P<0.0001) and ammonia (p<0.001) compared to female Shams. These results were comparable to male BDL rats except ammonia which was lower in females (p< 0.01). Female BDL rats did not differ in body weight, muscle circumference/weight and grip strength and had increased lean mass (p<0.005) compared to female shams. Whereas, male BDL rats have decreased lean mass, muscle circumference/weight and grip strength. Similar to male BDL rats, female BDL rats had increased anxiety (p<0.005), motor incoordination (p<0.05), and decreased activity (p<0.05) independent of the estrous cycle phase. Discussion and Conclusion We demonstrated BDL surgery in females leads to hepatic and neurological impairment comparable to male BDL rats (similar intra-group variability). Interestingly, contrary to male BDL vs Shams, body weight and muscle mass does not differ between female BDL and Shams. Since Mmuscle plays an important compensatory role in clearing ammonia during CLD, maintenance of muscle mass in females which could explain the lower blood ammonia levels in female BDL rats compared to male BDL rats. We conclude that this model provides new insights on the impact of sex on the pathogenesis of CLD and HE.