Thought I would share how the chicks are turning out so far.
From the start I had thought we had 2 roosters and 10 pullets in the mix of 12 chicks that we had hatch. This was based on “feelings” guesses as well as characters and feet size, and really just for fun. The two I had thought to be roosters were the black and white Swedish Flower and the “Splash” Heritage Blue Copper Maran.
As it stands at them being 4 weeks now, I’m pretty confident in the guess that we have 1 rooster and 11 pullets. The rooster being the Blue Copper Maran I believe to have a nice bit of splash in its heritage (it is the only one that seems to have a definite yellowing in the chest).
We had him hatch last… almost a full 12 hours later.
I’ll be sharing some of the photos I was able to capture (those little buggers are fast and camera shy…except for our Olive Egger that I’ve named ‘Clover’). This will show the look that the chicks have as they have aged, and I’ll explain my reasonings for my guesses on their sexes. Truly it is still too early to be telling.
But as before, I am pretty confident in my assumptions thus far.
These 5 photos focus heavily on the BCM, particularly the rooster of the bunch.
Here, you can see the feathering progression of the Ameraucanas and the Swedish Flower Hens. There are a few of the BCM in between.
The hens I’ve determined so far by the feathering. It seems the Swedish Flower Hens have very pronounced combs (all four of them) so we’ll see if they do end up as roosters or not. I’m pretty sure though that because their wing feathers, back, and tail feathers all came in pretty quickly and that their now getting their chest and neck feathers, that they are indeed pullets. Only time will tell of course.
The two Olive eggers I’m pretty sure are pullets as well, it is hard to tell by their combs as they are pea combs so not overly pronounced as is. Their feet don’t seem overly large for their bodies and they are pretty much all feathered in except for some parts of their chest, neck and head.
The ameraucanas I’m determining also due to their tail, wing, and back feathers having all come in already. They do not seem to have as pronounced combs as the SFH do. We’ll see if I’m right about them being pullets.
The Blue copper marans I’m the most familiar with, as we had our BCMX chickens earlier this year, and the feathering was much the same manner. Our little BCM roo is looking much like Gimpy was at this age, patchy and with some sad looking tail/wing feathering. Barely any back feathers have come in on him. The other three on the other hand are looking almost full feathered except for the head. I’m 100% positive that we have three pullets and 1 roo in this breed.
Out of the twelve chicks who hatched we have two with crooked toes, sadly. One of our SFH and one of the Ameraucanas, I’ve recently discovered. I’m not sure if the Ameraucana developed due to a twist as I do not believe it to have had it from the beginning…and it is only one toe.
The SFH has had it from the beginning and one foot in particularly is especially bad. I did try to “cast” it to ensure the toes grow out properly but unfortunately she ended up taking her hip out on that leg due to the cast I had made. So alas, I removed it hoping the toes would be fine and it had been on long enough (close to a week I believe), and worked on putting her hip back (it is now just fine).
I’m looking now into it to see if there is anything I can do now, or if I am too late, but I believe my window has passed.
Definitely a sad learning curve on this one. It seems, the material I used was too stiff and in turn ended up causing the poor chicks hip to pop out, in a way. I’ve recently found information saying that bandaids work good, and I think in hindsight that this is a much more flexible material, as well as better at staying on with a smaller amount!
We will see if they will be able to roost with all the others, if not, most likely we will re-home them to someone with a small flock or someone who just wants a few chickens. I can’t justify culling them to myself as they will be just fine as layers and should be able to live their egg-laying life out. We’ll see, perhaps they’ll do just fine with all our other chickens but I must admit I’m concerned about them at integration time with the older gals and Gimpy.
Also, another thing is that if they cannot roost I’m worried they’ll end up sleeping in the nesting boxes, which I really do not want as I have had no problem with that so far.
From what I can see doing research, the main causes (it’s a bit of a debate) can be a variety of things, from genetics, improper humidity or temperatures in incubating, twisting / caused during hatch, Riboflavin deficiency, improper temperature in brooder floor…and I’m sure there’s more to add to that list!
I have given them electrolytes and vitamins earlier, but perhaps will do so again just in case, I’ll begin that tomorrow.
I will update in another 4 weeks or so.