Lesson 361 – my what big little feathers you have

The growth of these chicks is simply amazing.

What a big chick

Coming up on their 2 week birthday you can see that many have lost much (but not all) of their baby down and have replaced it with the feathers they’ll need to keep them warm.

Two days ago I turned off the heating lamp in their nursery. Each day after they’re born you’re supposed to raise it a bit higher as the chicks grow feathers which keep them warm. Ah, but then we had the littlest one whom I would always find directly under the light taking her naps, concerned about her welfare I kept the light going a little longer, a little closer than I normally would have.

This week we’re expecting the heat wave that has socked the mid-west, you can bet that no heating element will be on in the chick’s crate. We’ll be covering windows and keeping a fan on to circulate the room air as best we can.

Now to the down-side of baby chicks, as all moms know with growth comes poor table manners and prolific poop. Little chicks make little poops, big chicks make bigger and stinkier poop. Our downstairs is starting once again to smell like a barn (we change the bedding every other day). Not only is there more poop but they tip over the water (soaking the poop infested wood chips) and they spread their feed all over that soaking mess. Old McDonald had nothing on our house.

The results is well, rather odoriferous. We’ll not be having many dinner parties until these chicks move outdoors which if they keep at this rate should be in about 3 more weeks. I can last for 3 more weeks, I can last, I can.

Except for the littlest one – see her in the middle there? She STILL hasn’t sprouted one feather and has retained all of her baby down. Although we’re in the summer months (weeks) of New Hampshire, if she doesn’t have her feathers by the third week of August, she won’t be able to spend the nights in the hen house, it would be too cold for her.

Marc is still trying to deal with the fact that we now have a bunny on top of the dogs and chickens (and kids) – I don’t think I want to even mention the fact that there is a possibility we may be having an indoor chicken this coming winter.


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Chick Photos, chicken care, Eggs, Everything Eggs, Life Lessons

3 responses to “Lesson 361 – my what big little feathers you have

  1. Wendy, very interesting that that little chick has no feathers yet. Please keep us posted on her progress in particular — this could be an interesting and informative story for us constantly curious chickenkeepers!

    • Wendy Thomas

      You can bet that I’ll be keeping everyone updated. I find her entire story fascinating. Although she was technically as old as her siblings she is acting like a preemie. I have no idea if she will ever grow to regular size of not but rest assured, she’ll be well taken care of in our flock. 🙂


  2. “Rather odoriferous”–ha! I can relate to that! My chick nursery was in the same room as my blind 17 year-old cat’s liter box… Hopefully your little one will have a growing spurt and they’ll all be out in their own house soon!

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