Chick Update at Four Weeks

by Tammy Taylor

*this post contains an affiliate link

About four weeks ago we took the plunge and bought six baby chicks.  We’ve never raised chickens before so this is a brand new endeavor for us.  We were told when we purchased them that they were only a day old or so.  Awwww….  Here’s their baby picture.  Weren’t they cute and fuzzy?

Black and yellow chicks - Taylor-Made Ranch

The fuzzy yellow babies are called “Ideal 236” hybrid chicks. We were told they grow up white and that they’re known for their large white eggs.  They still have some yellow baby fuzz on their heads but their feathers are coming in white.  Although some chicks are larger than the others they are all growing well and they seem healthy.

4 weeks White Hybrid - Taylor-Made Ranch

We also bought three “Black Minorca” chicks.   At four weeks they are substantially larger than the white ones – we were told the Minorcas were a larger breed and they were right!  As I had previously researched they are striking with their red/black combination.

4 weeks Black Minorca - Taylor-Made Ranch

When we brought them home we kept the baby chicks in a large bucket under a heat lamp to keep them warm.  As they grew larger we moved them into a purchased coop that we’re temporarily keeping in the garage to keep them safe until they’re a little older – of course they loved their new digs and all that two-story space!  Our plan is to eventually move this coop outside yet keep it close to the house while they are still young.  We’ll use the coop as our mobile chicken tractor – moving the chickens to fresh grass each morning.

Garage Chicken Coop - Taylor-Made Ranch

We’ve been asked to share which coop we bought for the benefit of others that are considering the chicken tractor idea – we decided on this * chicken coop enclosure.  A photo of it is below.

Chicken Coop - Taylor-Made Ranch

Anyhoo, today was a warm sunny day with no wind so we wanted to allow our little chickies their very first outside play-date.  We borrowed a small portable dog kennel and set it up in the back yard, placing wire fencing over the top just in case these babies took flight.  Then one by one we placed them in the enclosure – they loved it!

4 weeks Outside Pen - Taylor-Made Ranch

We stayed out there with them just to keep an eye on things.  They got to be outside for quite a while before we had to bring them back inside for the evening.  Our hope is that we’ll get many more non-windy days to allow them to be safely enclosed but outside so they can play chicken for awhile.  The chicks will enjoy the kennel pen on a temporary basis, then while they’re still young we’ll move the chicken tractor outside and they’ll be moved daily but stay safely enclosed.  In the meantime we’ll be reinforcing our 1880 barn’s chicken coop and they’ll get to call it home when they’re grown.

1880 Barn Chicken Coop - Taylor-Made Ranch

So far we’ve gotten lots of enjoyment out of these chickies.  We still have lots to learn about raising chickens.  There was only one that was banded as a female and we suspect two of the three black ones are males just based on their looks and behavior – we’re hoping the others are all hens.  I wonder how old they have to be before you can tell?  Hummm…

~TMR~

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16 thoughts on “Chick Update at Four Weeks

  1. Mary@Back to the Basics!

    They are so beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing at the Creative HomeAcre Hop! Looking forward to seeing what you share this week! http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com/2013/06/join-us-at-creative-homeacre-hop_9.html

    Reply
  2. Carol J. Alexander

    We put our chicks outside under an over-turned laundry basket with a brick on top. The dog lays guard right next. Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop. Please come back and see us this week: http://everythinghomewithcarol.com/the-self-sufficient-homeacre-hop-2

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Carol – An over-turned laundry basket? How clever – now you’ve got me thinking of alternatives too. Humm…. ~TMR~

      Reply
  3. Mary@Back to the Basics!

    Cute chicks! Thanks for sharing at Tuesdays with a Twist! Looking forward to seeing what you share this week. http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com/2013/06/tuesdays-with-twist-9-party-time.html

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Ewa, so far they have been so much fun to raise. I’m glad we gave it a go. ~TMR~

      Reply
  4. Paula J

    Hi Tammy! Just found you through Ducks ‘n a Rows blog party and have added you on G+ 🙂 It’s too bad chicks can’t grow up to be just a larger version of what they are. I also invite you to stop by and link up with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party anytime from now throughout the weekend ~ http://lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com/2013/05/no-rules-weekend-blog-party-50.html Paula lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Paula, Chicks ARE cute when they’re babies, aren’t theY?? Thanks for the blog party invite, think I’ll “hop” right over! ~TMR~

      Reply
  5. Carmel

    We have the same coop. I would like to move it around the lawn also, but my husband doesn’t think the construction will stand up to it be moved often. Please post how that works out!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      We’re amending as well as reinforcing the coop to make it move-friendly and more predator proof. I’ll be posting about that (including pictures) so check back soon! ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. Kathy

    The white one with the more pronounced comb looks like a rooster. Their tails get larger and more stand upish. We have 2 roosters, it’s not ideal but it can be done. Three is iffy unless you are looking for meat birds or to keep more than one area going for special purposes: eggs, meat, mixed, etc.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thanks for the info Kathy, we’ll be watching these little guys to see if we can tell rooster/hen in the coming days & weeks. ~TMR~

      Reply
  7. Janet W.

    You’ll know for certain what chickens are males when they get those big tail feathers and they start crowing at all hours of the day and night. They settle down a little later and aren’t so vocal. Janet W.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Some of the chicks are starting to grow their tail feathers, but nothing that looks blatantly rooster-ish. I’ve also read that the black roosters feathers will be iridescent & two of them are but the third black chick is so far behind them in development I don’t know if there’s a difference between them or not. One of our little black chicks is very patchy in its feather growth, almost looks mangey (is that a word??) I don’t see mites or anything on it though and it acts healthy and happy, just not very pretty right now. Learning every day… ~TMR~

      Reply

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