Feathers and appearance *question*

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Nekhebet, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Nekhebet

    Nekhebet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2010
    At what age do growing chicks stop being hideous scraggly things? And how are their first feathers indicative of what they'll end up with?

    I have Seramas, there should be a pictoral guide of the chick down color/1st feathers to adult bird appearance like they have for quail!!
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  2. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    [​IMG] I have never thought of them as hedious but they will go through several changes before they feather out into their actually color pattern. Speckled Sussex and d'Uccles are the worst. It takes them quite awhile before you can see what their mature coloring is. Breeds are different but I think you can get a very good idea at 4 mo.
  3. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    The tail and wing feathers on my 2 week old Barred Rocks are already showing the pattern.
  4. TinaOK

    TinaOK Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2010
    Pink, OK
    A photo 'album' of the feather stages would be nice, especially to us new chick owners, but it would be a bit of work. I have read several things that say "do xxx (fill in the blank) when they are fully feathered out," but I don't know when they are fully featherd out because I've never raised a chick before. Is there a general age when the chicks are considered fully feathered? This might be somewhere but so far I haven't found it yet.

    I have started a spreadsheet with the age in weeks in one column, the dates, so I'll know what to expect when, and the things to do or what to expect in another column. I'm trying to fill it out so next time I raise chicks (which might be years from now) I'll remember.

  5. Nekhebet

    Nekhebet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2010
    Thanks guys, I assumed final plumage would come in by six months. My month plus birds don't have feathering on their necks or very little -overall they look patchy, and the feathers are not all that great. I've seen pix of seramas two and three months old that are filled in, but def not the spectacular look of the adult birds.
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Adding extra protein to the diet can sometimes help with feathering. I added mashed up hard boiled egg to my flock's diet this summer and my young birds feathered in beautifully.

    I've noticed with my Serama crossbreeds that the colors of the hens that are a year old this spring have begun to change somewhat. The feathers on the back of the necks of my two millies have gotten whiter, and the tan on my other hen has gotten lighter.
  7. Nekhebet

    Nekhebet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2010
    I give them plenty of mealworms, none of my young birds will touch egg or yogurt yet. I'm impatient to see what my guys will finish up like.
  8. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I was wondering, myself, about my young Golden-laced Wyandotte's feather pattern around four weeks. She was fully feathered out, but lacked the "lacing" patterns. I was feeling gypped!

    However, two months later, she developed the full lace patterns, and is now quite stunning! You just need to give your little guys time. They'll not disappoint you!
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    "Fully feathered" is generally around 8 weeks of age, although some 5 week old chicks can be ALMOST fully feathered. It just means when the baby down feathers are gone and real feathers have come in, covering the body, wings, neck and top of the head. Not when the plumage is at full growth and mature pattern.

    Once a chick is fully feathered, it can handle cold temperatures with its own insulation. Feathers ARE one of nature's most efficient insulators! Chick fluff doesn't hold heat, which is why the young ones need supplemental heat.

    Hope that helps!
  10. Nekhebet

    Nekhebet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2010
    Thanks Linda. I'm wondering about the mature pattern [​IMG]

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