Well, it was a very intense and eventful first week. We had a total loss of four baby chicks. The company was very nice and offered to replace the two that died in the first 48 hours. I was excited about that at first, but when I realized that the replacements wouldn’t arrive for a month, and I would have to do the baby thing all over again, I decided I didn’t want to do that. So I went to the Feed Barn to see if they had some chicks I might want. They did! They had Dominiques, which are a fairly rare breed, one that originated in the colonies. They look similar to Barred Rocks. They were the same age as my chicks, so they fit in without any problems. That black chick in the front (up above) is one of the Dominiques. They will end up black and white striped.
You can see the chicks are already sprouting quite a few feathers. From my previous experience with baby chicks, these feathers are not always the color that they will end up being as adults.
This chick (above) is that Appenzeller–the national chicken of Switzerland. They have a little topknot, and you can see that starting to sprout. They end up white with black dots.
Chicks at the feeder:
You can see a couple of the chicks with feathers on their feet in this picture:
The chicks are VERY interested in that little hole in the cardboard. If one chick looks at something, a bunch of them crowd around to see what’s so interesting.
Here is my favorite chick–the silvery one in the picture below. Of course, there is something wrong with her. I think it is some internal or genetic abnormality. I was sure she was going to die, but in the past few days she seems to be making her way in the world, finding food and water. (This is why I became a neonatal nurse. I am always drawn to the weakest, most hopeless cases 🙂 )
More feathers. This one in front is a Speckled Sussex:
Something is happening over here? what is it? Is it food? Is it an escape route?
If I jump on top of the feeder, I am closer to the top. Something very important is on the other side of this wall!
Time for bed. The chicks are so funny. It takes them a while to settle down, but then they all seem to agree its time to sleep.
There is always one straggler at bedtime.
And that’s week two of the chick report. Soon they will figure out how to fly over the top of their enclosure, and I will have to decide whether to allow them to roam the whole coop, or to put a wire top on their cardboard kingdom.