Friday, 23 July 2010

A Bit Of Sad News, And A Chick Update

The last chick didn't make it. It was in the slightly odd shaped egg, and I was always a little unsure about it. It did seem to pip yesterday, although I'm not certain the damage to the shell wasn't caused by the other chicks bouncing all over it. This morning, I opened the shell to peer inside, and it had died. A real shame, as it was fully formed.

However, I am focusing on the three successes currently bouncing around the brooder like insane cotton wool balls. They are steadier on their feet today, and are beginning to peck at everything. Including each other. Sigh. They amusingly fall asleep at odd moments, and just flop forwards on to their faces. I'm guessing that this is normal chick behaviour, and that I haven't got a bunch of narcoleptic poultry. The two dark chicks have decided that the larger lavender chick is some sort of cushion, and keep trying to sleep on it. It seems resigned to this role on occassion, and on others gets up and wobbles off, leaving the once comfy smaller chick sprawling on its back.

A kind Twitter pal has sent me a link about feather sexing, so I have had a go this morning. It involves looking at the feathers just beginning to sprout on the wings. The pin feathers come through in two rows, and apparently in a female the leading pins will be longer than the second row. In males, they should be more or less equal. The lavender chick seems to have female characteristics. The two dark chicks don't appear to have any feathers yet. Hmmmm. I will check again tomorrow.

The journey begins.


  1. A really useful link - thanks!

  2. Yep, falling asleep face first wherever they are standing is normal chick behavior! It always made me laugh. I'd love to know if the feather sexing works. Keep us posted as to the accuracy (I know it will take a while to be sure.) Take pictures often. They change so much right before your eyes and you won't even realize it until you look back at the progression in photos. Congrats on the new babies!