Chick feather color vs adult color

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by StarMeKritten, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. StarMeKritten

    StarMeKritten Songster

    Dec 28, 2013
    Moore County, NC
    I am wondering if the first flight feathers that start coming in are a good indication of adult color. I am a little confused right now because my less than a week old australorps have white wing feathers coming in. Will they feather in black later? Or did this lady sell me some mixed breed hatching eggs?


  2. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Songster

    May 23, 2013
    Their feathers will change many times as they grow up and reach adulthood. The colors can also change several times between now and then.
    I have not raised Australorps from chicks though, so I cannot say whether or not that is the correct coloring for an australorp.

    First Juvenile Molt ('mini-molt')
    There are actually two, juvenile or "mini molts" as I like to call them, before a chicken's first annual molt. The first mini molt begins at 6-8 days old and is complete by approximately 4 weeks when the chick's down is replaced by its first feathers.

    Second Juvenile Molt ('mini molt')
    The second mini molt occurs between 7-12 weeks old and the chicken's first feathers are replaced by its second feathers. It is at this
    time that a rooster's distinguishing, ornamental feathers will appear.

    All chickens will molt annually, their first occurs around 16-18 months of age. During a molt, chickens will lose their feathers and grow new ones. Molting occurs in response to decreased light as summer ends and winter approaches. Given that feathers consist of 85% protein, feather production places great demands on a chicken's energy and nutrient stores, as a result, egg production is likely to drop or cease completely until the molt is finished.

    read more -
  3. tundrabehr

    tundrabehr In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2014
    minneapolis, Minnesota
    The white wing feathers are totally normal on very young birds. Dont worry they will be totally black by adulthood.
  4. StarMeKritten

    StarMeKritten Songster

    Dec 28, 2013
    Moore County, NC
    Thank you for the information! This is my second hatch- the first group is 6.5 weeks old now. They have feathered in really nicely. I didn't realize that they would be molting again so soon! I have grown chickens too but these two groups have been the first that I've raised from chicks. The first ones I hatched are buffs. Their first feathers came in buff from the beginning. I really wasn't expecting to see white feathers coming in on a chick that's supposed to be black. I guess time will tell!
  5. pinkhistorycat

    pinkhistorycat Hatching

    May 30, 2012
    I was also surprised at the babies multi first were also buffs ..its nice to be able to tell them apart this before I always forgot who I picked up and who I did not.

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