They’re basically unrecognizable–I only know who’s who from watching them every day.  Their bodies are about the size of a coffee mug, and they weigh about 3/4 pound.  They eat all the time.  Instead of sounding like a squeaky bicycle wheel, their voices have lowered just a little and now sound like songbird conversations, complete with trills and some proto-clucks.

Zoe and I helped take care of her kindergarten’s incubator this month and got to see some chicks hatch.  It was hard to believe that our own birds were that small 21 days ago, so I decided to do a Before & After.  Hopefully this will be helpful to other new chick owners trying to figure out what their birds will look like as they grow.

barred rock chick day old   barred rock 3 weeks

[Barred Rock] Jumpy’s “J” has blurred and faded, and she’s huge.  But she still likes to jump.  She’s always the first to jump to the highest available perch at any moment.

barred rock chick day old  barred rock chick 3 weeks old

[Barred Rock] Lumpy, former thug, has mellowed.  She and Two Patch didn’t grow as fast as the others, so they tend to hang back a bit.  Lumpy’s still a speed demon at catching ants though.

barred rock chick day old  barred rock chick 3 weeks

[Barred Rock]One Patch has become a very competent flyer and often hops up to join Jumpy wherever she’s just perched.

barred rock chick day old  barred rock chick 3 weeks

[Barred Rock] Two Patch is the runt of the litter.  She’s still a bit of a loner, and it’s hard to catch a shot of her because her head is always in motion.

ameraucana chick day old  ameraucana 3 weeks

[Ameraucana] Feather is enormous.  So enormous she can’t fly really at all.  When everyone else flies up to the side of the box, Feather stays behind at the feeder–still eating.

ameraucana chick day old  ameraucana chick 3 weeks

[Ameraucana] Spalty, though almost as big as Feather, can still hop and fly pretty well. She’s usually the 5th up to a perch, after Jumpy, One Patch, Stripèd, and Stormy.

silver laced wyandotte chick day old  silver laced wyandotte 3 weeks

[Silver Laced Wyandotte] Stripèd is developing some of the distinctive silver-white plumage her breed is named for.  She’s very fat, a good flyer, and somewhat domineering.

silver laced wyandotte chick one day  silver laced wyandotte 3 weeks

[Silver Laced Wyandotte] Stormy, who was almost identical to Stripèd a few weeks ago, has darkened and now looks like an Edward Gorey character in a fur coat.  Like her sister Wyandotte, Stripèd, she carries her considerable bulk easily on short hops and flights.

In a week, they go outside to live in their chicken ark! and truthfully, though I love having them around in the kitchen, I can’t wait.  The dust baths are getting out of control, and they are desperate to forage outside and enjoy some more space…