Choosing baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LilMissChick, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. LilMissChick

    LilMissChick Chirping

    Feb 12, 2019
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    hi folks! I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this, so if it’s not, could you please direct me to the right place?

    In one week I’ll be heading out to pick out chicks from a hatchery shipment and from a breeder. I’ll be getting 2 salmon faverolles, 2 mottled ameraucanas, and 2 blue/blue splash australorps.

    What I was wondering is what to look for in their body types/looks to pick the best looking chickens? I believe I understand what to look for as good health signs, awake, curious, alert chickens, without watery eyes or pasty butts etc.
    What I’m looking for is advice on what to look for in their conformation. Should I be looking for the chubbiest cheeks on the ones with muffs, skin colours, anything particular I should be looking for for the five toes faverolles vs the Australorps etc.? With the mottled ameraucanas do I want to see lighter or darker down? And how much does their colouring as a chick reflect what their adult plumage will look like, if any?

    Any guidance would be appreciated:) thanks!
  2. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    Are the places you are going to, selling you straight run or sexed pullets?

    If you are going for straight run, then you should get info related to any telltale male signs (if you do or don't want males). For example, often males have larger/thicker legs...but in day or two old chicks I am not sure if you can tell much of a difference. Some chicks have feather differences at 1 day old, but not sure in the breeds you mentioned.

    Overall, I would look for active chicks eating and drinking. They should not be the sleepy/lethargic/sitting chicks as you watch them for several minutes (they are all a bit sleepy at first, of course). They should respond when you (a "predator") tries to get them...they should be aware of your approaching hand.

    Make sure no cross beak or beak deformities, no splay legs, and not the smallest of the bunch (unless you want small size).

    Chick coloring - I don't think that is a great guide not necessarily at predictor of color (excepting light colored chicks turn into light colored adults and visa versa- usually).

    For example, we bought 2 light colored and 2 dark colored EEs recently (same breeder). The dark ones looked nearly identical in coloring, with tiny differences in fluff coloring only above their eyes. They are both still dark colored, but very different in feather color now. The lighter colored EE's were similar in color, but one had a fair amount of red fluff in the, they look quite similar, even though I thought they would grow to look more different given the fluff differences.

    Good Luck to you and your new chicks!
  3. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    Breeders grow out a lot of chicks to keep only the best few because there is so much you simply cannot tell at that young age.
    You should look at the things you can see, of course -- correct number of toes, comb type, leg color, etc. if you are planning on showing them. And if you aren't sure what they're supposed to look like, you should be researching breed standards. Breeder club websites are usually jam packed with photos and information, that's a good place to start.

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