Thursday, April 26, 2012

Brood is complete!

My new brood of chickens is now complete. I have my “old” chicks, which are now a bit more than a week old. Last night the new black chicks arrived. You can see the size difference. That’s how much the old babies grew in the last week. After seeing the new chicks and the old chicks together, I can also see how the old chicks are also stronger and more active than the newer little ones.

The new babies are still just a few days old and are still essentially pretty clueless about everything. They have learned how to drink water and eat food but that’s about the extent of their knowledge at the moment.

The newer babies are black, sex-linked chicks, which means they are a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Barred Rock hen. All my chickens do or will lay brown eggs. The color of a chicken’s egg shell is determined by the color of the chicken’s ear. Brown chickens tend to be larger than the white chickens raised by commercial growers, so the eggs are usually bigger, too. My old chickens lay jumbo sized eggs, so I can make a one-egg omelet that’s only slightly smaller than a two-egg omelet from a commercially grown white hen.

So far all the babies are doing well. The old babies weren’t thrilled with the arrival of the new babies, but that only lasted for 5-10 minutes. Soon, they were all getting along just fine.


Elora said...

Hmmmmm. Not sure what happened to my comment. I'm going to repost and just see what happens

Hey, Carolyn! I just ordered mine yesterday. Broilers and hens. With this freaky weather, we decided to hold them at the hatchery until after the first week in July. Got 11 (10+ one for the price break) New Hampshire Reds. Have found them to be great layers all winter long. Keep us posted on how your sex links do! Almost got them instead of the RIR's.

Carolyn H said...

Elora: My old chickens, the golden comets pretty much lay through the winter. This was especially true the first two years I had them. Now, at three years, they slowed down some this past winter but picked up again in early April.

Scott said...

Softy old Scott here says they're adorable. I have a pet parrot, but young parrot chicks look like spiky, wrinkly dinosaurs for weeks until their down grows in.

Carolyn H said...

Scott: Oh, yes, they are little cuties. They run around for about 10minutes, then eat ahd drink for a few minutes and then fall on their faces and sleep for 10-15 minutes, when the whole cycle starts up again. They are fun to watch.