A Chick Update

I hadn’t quite expected the reception my article on the new chicks received, but I’m always glad to receive e-mail about them. The Spring Chicks post caused a bit of excitement because people have some misconceptions about chickens. The first is that all chicks are yellow. Actually, chicks come in a wide variety of colors. In many cases, the chick color is similar to the adult colors. For example, my Americaunas are multicolored brown and so are the chicks. These particular chicks are quite pretty. In fact, I feel they’re the nicest looking in the bunch. However, please don’t mention it to the chicks because they’ll get quite uppity.

Another misconception is that chicks generally grow at the same rate. Layers grow considerably slower than meat chickens. I’m sometimes amazed at just how fast the meat chicken chicks grow. As a consequence, these chicks will remain in the brooder box longer than meat chicken chicks would. The last batch I raised needed almost two additional weeks.

Not all chicks are natured alike either. Meat chickens generally are less intelligent and more aggressive than layers are. However, even layers have differences. For example, I’m finding it much easier to pick the Americauna chicks up than the others. The most skittish of the group are the Barred Plymouth Rocks. The Buff Orpingtons seem less likely to peck their brood mates. Individual chicks have small personality differences, even at this stage in life (and those differences will grow with time).

At this point, the chicks are starting to get feathers. The feathers start at the wing tips and move in from there. At some point, features will start appearing somewhat randomly and the birds will get quite ugly until they have a complete set of feathers. When the chicks have a complete set of feathers, I can remove the brooder box sides and let them roam free. After a few days I can start taking them out into the sunshine (with the roof on the cage, of course). All of these activities depend on the weather and the rate at which the chicks grow.

Watching the chicks grow is always a lot of fun. Thanks for the interesting e-mails you’ve sent my way. Let me know if you require any more information about my chick raising experiences at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.


Author: John

John Mueller is a freelance author and technical editor. He has writing in his blood, having produced 99 books and over 600 articles to date. The topics range from networking to artificial intelligence and from database management to heads-down programming. Some of his current books include a Web security book, discussions of how to manage big data using data science, a Windows command -line reference, and a book that shows how to build your own custom PC. His technical editing skills have helped over more than 67 authors refine the content of their manuscripts. John has provided technical editing services to both Data Based Advisor and Coast Compute magazines. He has also contributed articles to magazines such as Software Quality Connection, DevSource, InformIT, SQL Server Professional, Visual C++ Developer, Hard Core Visual Basic, asp.netPRO, Software Test and Performance, and Visual Basic Developer. Be sure to read John’s blog at http://blog.johnmuellerbooks.com/. When John isn’t working at the computer, you can find him outside in the garden, cutting wood, or generally enjoying nature. John also likes making wine and knitting. When not occupied with anything else, he makes glycerin soap and candles, which comes in handy for gift baskets. You can reach John on the Internet at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com. John is also setting up a website at http://www.johnmuellerbooks.com/. Feel free to take a look and make suggestions on how he can improve it.